With an average rental price of AED 296,643 (which will get you a 4-5 bed villa), the Lakes, Dubai is not the cheapest option in the city, but is far from the most expensive either (nip over the pond to Emirates Hills for that). One of the first freehold areas to have been developed, accommodation is said to be spacious, but can be a little tired as well.
A gated community, the area offers 3 bedroom townhouses (approximate rent 220,000 AED) up to 5/6 bed villas (600,000 AED annual rent). A lot of life revolves around the 30,000 ft community centre (15,000 ft indoor space), with its own restaurant, cafe and health club (squash, tennis and aerobics). It is also equipped with games rooms for adults and play areas for children.
The community centre was refurbished late in 2013 and now includes restaurant bar, Reform Dubai (pictured), which serves traditional British food and drink to customers from 7am to midnight, seven days a week. The venue houses a pub. (Note: Reform's British chef, along with its bar staff are said to have left, while pricing remains very much at the high end. Like, 190 AED for fish and chips).
The Lakes also offers its residents recreation areas (11 parks and shared pools, children play areas, lakes (seven of them), BBQ areas, half basketball courts and a football field. Like most of these developments in Dubai there is 24 hour security).
If you like your golf, you'll also be happy in the location, sandwiched as it is between The Montgomerie at Emirates Hills and Emirates Golf Course - both highly rated courses. Some of the villas overlook the latter.
The area is part of the Emirates Living area which consists of The Greens (largely low-rise apartment blocks); The Springs (mostly affordable villa-style developments); and The Lakes and The Meadows (larger free-standing villas with gardens). Emirates Hills is basically part of these communities, but swankier, and therefore is treated separately. Of all the areas the Meadows tends to be the most sought-after, and the most expensive (excluding Emirates Hills).
The closest school Regent International School - but there are more nearby (check the map), a Choithram supermarket is 5 minutes away from most villas, the Saudi German Hospital is 6 minutes away, while Dubai Airport will take you 39 minutes to get to.
The Lakes is ideally suited for families, and is a great green space with a good community vibe, thanks it must be said to its community centre. An Emaar development, it's also pretty well maintained.