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Reem Island quickly becoming expat hotspot in Abu Dhabi

Just a five-minute drive from the commercial district in Abu Dhabi is Reem Island, one of the fastest growing communities in the city.

It is proving popular with expatriates, due to its accessibility, world-class amenities and attractive setting, reports Gulf News.

Visitors can expect to see modern glass buildings dominating the skyline from a distance and open green spaces, waterfront accommodation and a shiny new shopping mall once they get closer.

Natalie Cantini, an Italian-Austrian teacher, told the news provider: "I find it easy to live here as a westerner. There are so many of us around, and it is a very urban setting."

This enclave of expat life, where residents shop at Waitrose or Geant, is a 6.5-metre island 600 metres off the coast and the first place where foreign citizens can freely buy property in Abu Dhabi.

Several different neighbourhoods have been created on Reem Island, with Marina Square being the one most widely recognised.

It is home to 8,000 people and consists of high rises with pleasant walkways, 85 retail outlets and 25 eateries.

Currently the fastest growing area of the island is Shams District, which boasts the highest penthouse bridge in the world.

This can be found at Gate Towers, which stretches 245 metres into the air and sees 21 penthouses, each with their own swimming pool and garden, spanning the space between three structures.

As well as having enough restaurants, cafes, parks, gyms and beauty salons to mean many of the residents need never leave, Reem Island has high quality healthcare facilities, British curriculum school Repton and a campus of the Paris-Sorbonne University.

For those who do need to leave and head into the centre of Abu Dhabi to work, there are two bridges giving them direct access, which is one of the main attractions of the island.

Gloria Stephen, a housewife from Britain, said: "It is more like a gated city within a city. We have all amenities that make it a beautiful place to live, work and have fun.

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