Dubai International City

Dubai International City
International City, Dubai
—  City  —
Dubai International City
IC Dubai by Night — CBD and England Clusters.

Nickname(s): IC; IC Phase 1; Warsan 1; IC Dubai
International City, Dubai
Coordinates: 25°8′31″N 55°24′17.06″E / 25.14194°N 55.4047389°E / 25.14194; 55.4047389Coordinates: 25°8′31″N 55°24′17.06″E / 25.14194°N 55.4047389°E / 25.14194; 55.4047389
Country United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates
Emirate Dubai Dubai
City Dubai
Incorporated July 10, 2004 (2004-07-10)
Founder Nakheel Properties
 - Total 8.2 km2 (3.16 sq mi)
 - Land 8.0 km2 (3.08 sq mi)
 - Water 0.2 km2 (0.8 sq mi)
Population (Jan. 2010)
 - Total 120,000
 - Rank 117
 - Density 15,000/km2 (38,849.8/sq mi)
Time zone AST (UTC+4)
 - Summer (DST) AST (UTC+4)
Phone Code +971 and 4
FIPS code (AE)10-4

Dubai International city is a country-themed architecture of residences, business, and tourist attractions. Spreading over an area of 800 hectares (8 million square meters), the arrangement of the city is inspired by the traditional carpets of Middle East. Once completed, the project will contain studio and one bedroom apartments and accommodate over 60,000 residents.


Dubai International City, embraces the residential districts of Central Business District (CBD), Persia, Greece, Spain, Morocco, England, France, Italy, Russia,China and Emirates. Apart from these districts that were initially planned for Dubai International City namely Lake District and Forbidden City are now on put on hold due to the effects of the Global Financial Recession. Some astounding attractions in the city includes the World Famous Dragon Mart which is the worlds biggest machinery and equipment market.

The Residential District

The Residential District of Dubai international city planned to have numerous country specific and themed residential developments and retail outlets. There will be commercial shops, restaurants, medical centers, a post office, police station, and transportation services.

China District

China Cluster in Dubai International City

International City’s China Precinct lies at one end of the residential district. The simple lines of its two-, three- and four-storey buildings echo the Chinese mantra of harmony and balance. The traditional Chinese motifs, balconies, red tile overhangs, undulating roofs and pagodas reflect the yin of its imperial past; while nearby Dragon Mart Complex provides the yang of 21st century convenience.

England District

England Cluster in Dubai International City

England Precinct mirrors traditional London architecture, especially with 18th- and 19th-century Georgian and Revivalist styles featured in its two-, three- and four-storey buildings that are topped by red gabled roofs and brick chimneys. Shop fronts on the ground floor further accentuate England Precinct’s quaint little village charm.

France District

France Cluster in Dubai International City

It features two-, three- and four-storey residential blocks characterized by long French windows, red and gray bricks, and pilasters or half-columns. All of which evoke Paris’s flair for fashion. Resembling the architecture of southern France, the traditional yellow buildings have a timeless air to them to complement the surrounding areas.

Persia District

Persia Cluster in Dubai International City

The legacy of Persian history and the enduring popularity of its art have filtered through to every corner of the globe. This is evident in International City’s Persia Precinct. Situated in the heart of the residential district, its two-, three- and four storey buildings are decorated with traditional Islamic domes and wide-spaced arches and windows. These peach and blue colored facades lend the neighborhood an ancient character reminiscent of the ancient cities of Bam, Shiraz, Esfahan and Tehran.

Greece District

International City’s Greece Precinct lies at the edge of the residential district. The design of its three- and four-storey buildings on the other hand, travel back to the age of Homer, Aristotle and Alexander. Featuring tiled-roofs, balconies, symmetrically placed windows and white-painted walls, this precinct reminds one of the Greek architectural ideals of order and harmony.

Russia District

While Russia may have harsh winters, International City’s Russia Precinct features two- to four-storey residential buildings with cool whites and greys to offer solace from the heat of the desert. The rest of the precinct’s elements blend harmoniously like a Tchaikovsky masterpiece, with an urban design as choreographed as a Bolshoi Ballet performance.

Spain District

Spain Cluster in Dubai International City

Spain is renowned for its artistic heritage and zest for life. These passions are captured in International City’s Spain Precinct. It’s three-and four-storey buildings are designed according to traditional stucco exterior finish, with Mediterranean oranges and peaches contrasting with brightly tiled, low-pitched roofs. Arched windows and raised entryways call to mind traditional elements of Spanish architecture, while authentic-looking balconies bring a sense of the outdoors into some of these flats. Arched doorways, windows, porches and entries round off the Spanish look.

Morocco District

With hospitality a cornerstone of Moroccan culture, International City’s Morocco Precinct provide an equally welcoming experience through the simplicity of the architecture: airy spaces and sand-coloured walls. The precinct’s three- and four-storey residential buildings are decorated with vibrant green tiles, natural terra-cottas, stucco walls and wide-arched windows.

Italy District

Italy Cluster in Dubai International City

Two- to four-storey residential blocks adhere to the Italian passion for artistry as epitomized by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The precincts dreamy landscape comes from terracotta roofs that evoke a rustic Tuscan charm, complemented by facades that are simple and pleasing in their fluidity.


Emirates Cluster in Dubai International City

Currently under construction, Emirates – the 10th precinct in the Residential District — lies at the northeast end. Comprising 26 low-rise apartment blocks offering studio and one-bedroom apartments, the unique design and architecture of these buildings capture the Arabian essence and timeless charm of the Emirates, providing a touch of nostalgia to thoroughly modern Dubai.

The Central District

CBD Cluster in Dubai International City

International City's Central District is spread over 21 hectares the multi-purpose Central District will be the centre of International City's commercial activity. The Central Business District upon completion will endow the central hub of the development.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden city will encompass ans area of 240,000 square metres with parking facilities for 2,000 cars, the city is the replica of iconic Forbidden City of Beijing, China. When completed it will accommodate residential, retail, outlets, museums, and performing courts.

The Lake District

The Lake District surrounds the Al Warsan Lake a 100 hectare natural Eco system and home to nearly 200 species of birds including some of the most exotic and rare birds found in the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Asia.

A unique freshwater lake lies inside the boundaries of International City alongside the Dubai-Hatta Road. The Al Wasan lake consists of a series of interconnected wetlands of about 3 metres depth set in an arid undulating desert landscape. The Al Wasan pools were created in the 1990s when excess treated sewage effluent water was pumped from the nearby Al Weer sewage treatment plant into shallow pits which had been excavated as a quarry by a local building company. An assessment of the lake's biological characteristics and water quality in an Environmental Impact Assessment and baseline survey of flora and fauna - indicted clean water rich in aquatic life and exhibiting high biological productivity.

DragonMart provides a gateway for the supply of Chinese products in the Middle Eastern and North African Markets, offering Chinese traders and manufacturers a unique platform from which to cater to the needs of this sizeable market. Inaugurated on December 7th, 2004, the 1.2 kilometre-long DragonMart is the largest trading centre for Chinese products outside mainland China.

The 150,000 square meter dragon-shaped structure has 3,950 shops engaged in the wholesale and retail trade of a variety of Chinese products including home appliances, stationery, office appliances, communication and acoustic equipment, lamps, household items, building materials, furniture, toys, machinery, garments, textiles, footwear and general merchandise.

With over 2,500 parking spaces, the shopping centre is divided into seven zones offering an array of high quality facilities for visitors and traders alike, making it the largest Chinese commercial centre in the MENA region.

Strategically located on the Hatta - Al Ain highway, the mart is adjacent to eight fully equipped warehouses, only 200 metres away from the main complex, offering a total area of 30,000 square metres of warehousing facilities to its traders.

Dragon Mart, Dubai
Dragon Mart Aerial View

Al Warsan Lake

Al Warsan Lake, is a unique man-made wetland and a valuable habitat for more than 185 species of birds, including some of the rarest in the Arabian and Asian regions. It is created from the treated sewage effluent water. The lake is off limits to public and gated.

Dubai International City is located in the Al Warsan region of Dubai, opposite to the Dubai Central Fruit and Vegetable Market.

Nakheel's International City Development has been questioned by news articles with controversies and issues. These articles claim International City has struggled with a poor reputation and negative press reports stemming from various issues including problems with its own sewage systems and the nearby sewage facility, access to the site, and a perceived lack of amenities. A follow-up poll from Emirates 24-7 revealed that a huge percentage – 91 percent – of readers showed “a marked aversion to investing in International City units.” A considerable 67 percent said they “would not touch the place.” [1]

Sewage Plant Proximity

Due to its proximity to the Sewage Treatment Plant, and constant overflow, certain clusters like Morocco & China are subjected to the odor of sewage when the wind direction changes at night. [2]

Sewage Treatment Plant next to International City


Entering and exiting the city during rush hour can require you to spend 10-20 minutes gridlocked. There is one major entry and one major exit to the city. [3]

Gridlock at the exit of International city is an everyday occurrence during rush hours

Shoddy Construction

Being a low cost construction project, poor quality of materials were used as a result, pipes overflow during heavy rains, pavements sink into the ground, buildings seem to have formation of cracks within a short span of 2-3 years. Neither the developer nor the owners association maintain the open areas. Street lights do not function at night.[4]

Sewage floods England cluster for 2 weeks
Sewage flood, a common occurrence

Law and Order

While Nakheel's noble intentions were to make low and medium cost housing available to the masses (who were suffering due to the real-estate boom up until mid 2008 and before the GFC) by providing medium and low income earners with legal and decent housing instead of resorting to illegitimate Villa Sharing, Dubai was badly hit by the Global Financial Crisis. This led to an instant devaluation or rentals by 75% - 80% of its value in 2008. Due to this sudden drop in prices, even the extremely lowest income group (laborers, truck drivers, taxi drivers) identified this area as a potential upgrade to their existing Labor camps [5]. Coupled with Nakheel's financial downfall, controls and checks over the city's security, compliance to regulations and maintenance of infrastructure were dropped beginning in January 2009 by the developer who used to control and maintain this earlier. [6]

Laborers gather outside a shop window to watch a cricket match on TV

The community is serviced by the RTA bus service.

Dubai Bus Service by RTA

Bus Routes:
X23 Dubai Gold Souk Bus: Dubai International City -->Ras Al Khor --> Oud Metha --> Dubai Gold Souk
Operates in a 10 to 15 minute frequency.
365 Rashidiya Metro Station Bus: Dubai International City -->Silicon Oasis --> Dubai Academic City --> Rashidiya Metro Station
Operates in a 25 to 30 minute frequency.
53 Dubai Gold Souk Bus: Dubai International City --> Al Badia --> Dubai Festival City --> Deira City Centre -->Dubai Gold Souk
Operates in a 25 to 30 minute frequency.
300 Dubai International City Intercity Bus: The bus rotates frequently between the International City Clusters
You many plan and time your journey using the RTA Website RTA Wojhati Route Planner or inquire about your route/bus/connectivity at the RTA Call Center 800 9090.

You will require a Nol Card (Prepaid Bus/Metro Card) to avail bus services. There are no Nol Services (New Card Issue / Recharge) yet at International City. The same may be obtained at any Major Bus Terminus or Metro Stations.

Taxis are easily available within this community. The Dubai Taxi Call center number is 04 208 0808.

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