Dubai - Al Qusais is a residential oasis for Dubai expats

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Al Qusais is a considerably large community in Dubai, and is home to people from across the globe.

Cross nationalities, ask any millennial who has grown up in Dubai about their favourite place in the city - Al Qusais will always be an answer for the majority.

It is one of the most sought-after residential areas in the city, thanks to the more affordable rents, sprawling residential spaces and easily-available civic amenities like parks, banks, restaurants, hospitals and retail and leisure outlets. It is also home to the Philippines Consulate. However, it is not the facilities that make Al Qusais special.

Residents who live or once lived in Qusais will always tell you - "We lived together like one, big family."

Al Qusais is a considerably large community in Dubai, and is home to people from across the globe. It is located in the Deira area of east Dubai. Al Qusais borders the localities of Hor Al Anz and Al Twar and is further subdivided into residential and industrial localities.

A good place for businesses

The industrial localities are lined with several hundreds of garages, workshops and extension offices for large logistics firms. Take Rathish Kumar for example, the owner of White Planet Auto Repairing in Qusais.

He has been running the business for 10 years. "I started my career in the UAE as a mechanic. After that, I was part of a family garage in Rashidiya for several years. I decided to open my garage in Qusais 10 years ago because we raised our entire family here. People in the community can find services at an affordable price without going too far away from their homes."

Residents live like a large family

One of the most iconic residential hubs in Qusais is the Sheikh Colony, a small cluster of apartments where most residents have been living for several years. Atheeth Ratheesh, a former resident of Qusais, said: "My best childhood memories are in Qusais. I grew up playing cricket in the narrow streets between the Sheikh Colony apartments. The boys I played with back in the day, I am still friends with them."

He added: "Growing up, all the residents in the Sheikh Colony apartments would go out for picnics together over the weekend. We all lived like a large family."

Anas Ibrahim, a mechanical engineer who lives near the Dubai Grand Hotel by Fortune, said: "I am 28 years old now. We moved to Qusais when I was 12. My friends and I still meet up at the Qusais parking lots, catch up over tea from Filli Restaurant. My best memories are playing cricket in the rains."

The Qusais Pond Park, Al Bustan Centre and Residence, Lulu Hypermarket and Panoor Restaurant are some of the most iconic hotspots in Qusais, haunted by new and old residents of Dubai. "Once the Metro came to Qusais, the rents in these areas shot up.

But since the apartments are old, they are very big in size. Most residents continue staying in Qusais because of sentimental reasons," said Vimal Roy, businessman.

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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