Built in the heart of the Emirates Living district, The Lakes has proved a lucrative investment for residents who purchased homes in the early years.
Prices peaked in September last year, to reach Dh1,900 per sq ft – up Dh700 on the start of 2008 – but have since reversed to an average of Dh1,300, according to data from Hamptons International.
But despite recent losses, the real estate firm says buying now is wise as they expect prices to recover in the near future. Three-bedroom properties are now on the market for between Dh2.8 million to Dh5.6m
"With asking prices currently in the range of Dh1,250 to Dh1,350 per sq ft, we expect price-falls to be muted in the coming months, as the current rates can drive good demand," says a Hamptons spokesman.
Launched in 2001, the development, which was one of the first released by Emaar, comprises more than 600 properties built in six phases. As the first section of the Emirates Living area, located between Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road between Jebel Ali and Al Barsha, The Lakes proved popular during its initial stages, due to the atmosphere of living by water and green spaces.
"The lakefront ambience provided by The Lakes and the spacious villas in the project have fetched robust demand in the primary and secondary market in the past years," the Hamptons spokesman adds.
The 12 styles of villas and townhouses range from two to five bedrooms and are between 2,100sq ft and 3,100sq ft each. Built between The Montgomerie and Emirates golf clubs, the development enjoys an ideal position, close to Sheikh Zayed Road and opposite Dubai Marina. A flyover provides a direct route to the highway giving easy access to the centre of town to the north or Jebel Ali to the south.
In addition to golf access, residents have a number of other sports facilities on their doorstep, including squash and tennis courts. The Lakes Club is within walking distance offering a swimming pool, gym and aerobic studio on top of a small supermarket and a restaurant. A nursery school is located nearby. It is also surrounded by Emaar's other developments, The Springs, The Meadow and Emirates Hills, all of which can be easily accessed on foot via the extensive network of walkways. These separate projects have not only increased the community feel but also provide a number of amenities through their own community centres, providing a greater choice of shopping and dining options. There are also schools and a mosque in the adjacent Meadows and Springs.
With security guards patrolling neighbourhoods and monitoring cars coming in, residents have a heightened feeling of security, while maintenance staff are also on hand should there be a problem.
Traffic can build up during rush hour at the main entrance by Emirates Golf Club, but it is relatively quiet at other times thanks to the gated communities not providing through roads.
The location also means it is easy to reach such business hubs as Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City, the latter of which has an amphitheatre where a number of international pop stars have played, while another venue is under construction. Dubai Marina has plenty of dining options.
Thanks to all this, the area has proved particularly popular with families, some of whom have chosen to rent rather than buy. While selling prices have been falling since October, rental rates are still high, with three-bedroom properties ranging in price from Dh250,000 to Dh320,000 a year, proving a valuable investment for buyers.
The Hamptons spokesman says: "The communities have traditionally yielded strong rentals, and will continue to be good long-term, value propositions. Price shifts will depend on the rental fluctuations in the coming months."