Escape the dizzying heights of Dubai

Discover wild side of the UAE’s lowest new development

THE ENDURING mental image conjured by Dubai is one of sparkling steel towers reaching so far into the sky they’re in danger of bothering a deity. The city’s reputation as a paean to Middle Eastern wealth and excess, a hub of consumerism and hotel franchises, means it’s one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. For those looking for a spot of peace, pleasant views and paradise in their holiday home, Dubai is often the last location that comes to mind.

Emirat businessman Zaal Mohammed Zaal, started developing an estate with the intention of changing that perception. He named its flagship development Al Barari, meaning “wilderness” in Arabic, and the luxury residential development was designed to be a desert oasis in the royal enclave of Nad Al Sheba. The $3.2bn project spans 360 acres, comprising 189 residences and The Reserve, a collection of 28 bespoke villas priced anywhere between $2.5m to $12m.

Contrary to the concrete landscape of Dubai, 80 per cent of the site is made up of natural greenery; high-end residences are strategically placed around six themed gardens, lakes, freshwater streams and secluded walkways making the overall feel more akin to a botanical garden than a high-end housing development. Last month, Zaal unveiled the latest stage of the development, Ashjar, derived from the Arabic for “trees”, which forms part of the lowest density development in the United Arab Emirates.

Some of the one to three bedroom apartments still boast terraces and the upper levels look out over the desert, central Dubai and the Burj Khalifa tower, the tallest man made structure in the world. Zaal expects the apartments to sell out fast based on sales from the Al Barari’s second phase of residences, Seventh Heaven, which went on sale in February. All but 5 per cent of the properties sold out in two days.

The Ashjar apartments are now on sale and a two-bedroom show home is available for viewings.

Prices start at $3.3m for 1,900 sqft. For more information email info@albarari.com or call +9714388603