Arabian Ranches – the amoeba of Dubai’s real estate
There’s a compound in Dubai called Arabian Ranches. I call it a ‘compound’ as if it’s a dozen houses around a communal garden and pool, but what I really mean is several thousand houses divided into individually themed “villages” of a couple of hundred houses each, each with their own subsections of gardens and pools.
No-one knows how many houses it contains exactly. Some say 6,000. But what you need to know is that it’s big.
And, since Dubai “took off” again, Arabian Ranches has been doubling its cells like an amoeba on a reproductive frenzy. Every week, we see new “exclusive” sectors launched as the community’s boundary creeps steadily across the desert towards the Omani border.
At the weekend, the children and I drove down the side road, from which you can see the land pegged off for all the new sectors.
“Look how big the Ranches is going to be!” I said, as we drove on and on past great swathes desert about to be reclaimed by new developments called Lila, Rasha and Casa.
“Wow,” said DD. “It’s massive. It’s as big as Dubai itself. They can’t call it all Arabian Ranches! They should come up with a new name for the new bits.”
“Yeah! Yeah!” piped up DS. “They could call it something really cool, like… umm… Angry Birds Ranches!”
The children fell about laughing but, the more I thought about it; the more I thought about the frustrations residents will face as the community, with its paltry two exits and – to date – one small shopping centre, absorbs another x-thousand residents, I began to think DS had hit on quite the perfect name: Angry Birds Ranches. I think it could catch on.