The Iconic leader and one-time President of South Africa the late Nelson Rohlilhahla Mandela once said “Why bother to visit Europe, you’ll find it all here.” This statement was in reference to Abuja the now famous federal capital territory of the most populous black nation in the world. The centrally located Nigeria city with a population of 979,876 was created in 1980. It replaced Lagos as capital on 12 December 1991. Abuja is now the 10th most expensive city in Africa and the planned city has become a real estate hotspot. There are several places in this city that appeals to the senses. However not all fingers are equal; there are some that stands unrivalled. Here is a compilation of the 5 hottest zones in Abuja in terms of real estate worth or living costs including rent and basic consumables and of course prestige:
Gwarinpa is believed to be the largest housing Estate in West Africa. This probably is the only area on our list that can accommodate the average civil servant. It is home to many upper middle class folks who want a decent alternative to Maitama or Wuse 2. Regardless, houses here are still quite expensive just as social hang-outs will quickly leave a huge hole in your pocket if you decide to socialize and entertain family and friends.
Gwarinpa District is in phase 3 development plan of Abuja. It became popular when Gwarinpa Housing Estate in the district was built.
There is also another residential area called Life-Camp in the Gwarinpa district. Most Construction companies in Abuja have staff quarters in Life-Camp.
Gwarinpa is about 15 minutes drive to the Central business district and about 20Km from the Abuja Airport. Gwarinpa is mainly a residential area though some businesses especially service oriented businesses like banks and eateries are springing up very rapidly. Most of these businesses are located on the three major roads in Gwarinpa. The roads are 1st avenue, 2nd avenue and 3rd Avenue. Within Gwarinpa Estate there are also some small estates. These include Federal ministry of works and housing Estate, War College Estate, FHA Estate, Citec villas, Abuja Model City etc.
There are Real Estate opportunities in Gwarinpa. Some areas in the district are still developing; there are still some undeveloped plots in the area. Also within the Gwarinpa estate, some of the original beneficiaries of the houses built by government occasionally offer their houses for sale. So it would have been cruel not to have Gwarinpa on our list, at least in the 5th spot
4. GARKI DISTRICT
Garki District takes the 4th spot on our list because it doesn’t really fall into the league of top places like WUSE 2 or Maitama in terms of high cost of living. However it still is quite an expensive area when not compared with the big guns. For instance Garki 2 has some of the most expensive supermarkets and shopping malls in Abuja, just in case you’re dreaming of purchasing regular consumables. Rent in this part of the city is also quite high and a 2 bedroom flat could go for between N1.5 million to N2.5 million per year depending on which part you find yourself in.
The Garki District is the area in the southwest corner of the city, having the Central District to the north and the Asokoro District to the east. The District is subdivided into units called “Areas”. Garki uses a distinctive naming convention of “Area” to refer to parts of Garki. These are designated as Areas 1 to 11. Garki II is used to differentiate the area from Garki Area 2.
Garki is presently the principal business district of Abuja. Numerous buildings of interest are located in this area. Some of them include the General Post Office, Abuja International Conference Centre located on Herbert Macaulay Way, Nicon Luxury Hotel. A zoological garden as well as the Garki Shopping Centre are located in Area 2.
The Army Headquarters, Air force Headquarters and Navy Headquarters are all located in the Garki District. The tallest building in this district is the Radio House. This houses the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications, and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Stations and Corporate Headquarters are also based in Garki. The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) which oversees and runs the Administration of the Federal Capital Territory is located in Garki. The Office of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja is located in Area 10
Other places of note include the Central Bank of Nigeria, Arts and Culture Centre and The Nigerian Police Mobile Force Headquarters in Area 10. The Abuja Municipal Area Council, which is the local Government administration, has its headquarters in Area 10. The new United States Embassy is also located in the Garki district. Garki is definitely a place in Abuja you can’t miss. It attracts all and sundry to its domain
Wuse – a district that falls in the phase 1 development plan of the federal capital territory is divided into zones (Zones 1 – 7). There is also Wuse II which is different from Wuse Zone 2 which makes it an expansive area.
Notable places in Wuse include Wuse Market, AP Plaza, Banex plazas, Emab Plaza, General Post office, FRSC, NAFDAC, FERMA, Sheraton Hotel, Rockview Hotel, SilverBird Cinema, EFCC and AGIS. Wuse II is very close to Maitama and also shares its exclusivity.
The area is one of the busiest places in the city. In June, 2014, a bomb blast rocked the district. The attack took place near the popular Banex Plaza killing at least 21 people and leaving 52 more injured.
Wuse has most of Abuja’s upscale restaurants and hospitality centers. It’s where you’ll find the Exclusive stores, Juice Place 2, Quarter Café, Woks and Koi, The Nail Bar or Bloomsbury Plaza among other high flying places where the big spenders in town love to frequent. This district competes with Maitama for living costs but is more of a commercial district. The few residents in this area make you understand with their lifestyles the difference between high class living and well …. you know the rest. So now you know why it just had to make this list.
Maitama is one of the major districts of Abuja, it is in the phase 1 development plan of the federal capital territory. Maitama is one of the prestigious areas in Abuja. The area is home to most embassies and high commissions. It is an exclusive and expensive area where Nigeria’s big-shots reside.
Most people who live in Maitama are diplomats, ministers, government functionaries, former or serving governors and their families, senators or big time contractors but not regular civil servants or ordinary Nigerians like you and I. If you can cough out N2.5 million for a 2 bedroom flat for 12 months or spend close to N100,000 for regular groceries for a family of 4 at any of the expensive supermarkets (212 or Classic) then you should live in Maitama. The Dome, Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigerian Communications Commission, British Council, Transcorp Hilton and Ministers hill are some of the distinguishing places in Maitama. Maitama District is to the north of the city, with the Wuse and Central Districts lying to its southwest and southeast. This area is the high end section of society and business, and has the reputation of being very exclusive and very expensive. You may want to liken Maitama to Victoria Island in Lagos. Maitama is touted to house the most expensive building in the capital.
This haven for serving ministers and top government officials is recognized as Abuja’s most exclusive district. A high class and secured area, Asokoro is one of the major districts in Abuja.
One of the stand points of this area which easily makes it our hottest zone is its strategic location. Asokoro is ultimately close to the seat of power not only in Nigeria but the entire West African region. It houses Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) secretariat, National Intelligence Agency, World Health Organization (WHO) Office e.t.c. Also, Aso rock a prominent landmark in Abuja is situated in Asokoro. Asokoro is not just for anybody even if you think you are rich you may still need to cut that rich coat according to your size due to the cost of living in Asokoro. Many comfortable Nigerians can’t even rent an apartment in Asokoro not to talk of owning a land. Rents start from N4 million for 2 bedroom flats and that’s not also talking about the few expensive shops around where you may spend some people’s annual salaries on a single spree. In fact you have to be insanely wealthy to stand your ground in Asokoro.
Asokoro is indeed the pearl of Abuja and an Abuja without an Asokoro will be lack luster. Now you see why it’s indisputably our number one.