Home of one of Dubai's best open beaches, Kite Beach (see picture), which still gets a small bit of swell (Dubai never had much of one), despite the mushrooming of man-made islands just offshore. Umm Suqeim 1 has been left relatively untouched from recent demolition and rebuilding more prevalent in neighbouring Jumeirah. Behind Al Wasl road the zone feels very much old Dubai, the more so as you get towards the beach which contains a number of old, single and double story 'villas', some of which look a little ramshackle on the outside, but are probably lovely within.
Umm Suqueim 1 is also home to DOSC, an institution of old Dubai, and home to a large number of relatively happy looking, older expats who make up its membership. While being a sailing club - and it is a sailing club where you can moor your boat and learn to sail - it is also used by its members as a refuge from new Dubai. Members are likely to be longer term expats - partly because there is now a membership waiting list - but mostly because DOSC is an old Dubai remnant refusing to change in look or feel as the rest of the city grows up around it.
As an area to live, it's largely residential and very quiet - even the small road that runs directly on the road never seems to get too busy, and that's despite a fairly sizable population of 12,000. There are few schools, just a couple of nurseries, so school traffic runs don't impact the area much. That said, there are many good schools in neighbouring areas - JPS, Raffles, Kings'... mostly in either Umm Suqeim 3 or Al Safa, a few minutes drive away.
Housing stock errs on the older side - but there are few shiny new buildings, some in compounds, mainly on or just off Al Wasl road.
Rents (you cannot buy) in the area are in the high range. You'll pay around 150,000-200,000 AED per year for a three bed villa, 250,000 plus plus for a 5 bedroom. There are very few apartments in the area. As a result, this is not an area for single people. Residents are predominantly older, well to do Western expatriates who have scoffed at the idea of buying freeholds in Dubai (there are many who have resisted the urge), richer Asian families and, probably the largest single nationality, Emiratis.