Many expatriates and foreign investors set up camp in Nairobi due to the city’s advanced infrastructure and easy entry into and out of the country. In addition to strong rental yields and growing real-estate industry, Nairobi’s has it all: Chinatown, Little Mogadishu and even Nairobi’s very own Beverly Hills.
As much as anybody, both local and foreign, can live anywhere, more often than not, foreign investors from the same region or country invest in one area of the city to be around other Europeans, Indians, Chinese, Somalis or Americans.
If there is a population that has been effective in settling across the world and setting up their distinct towns, it is the Chinese. Nairobi is no different and even though Chinatown here is not as expansive and as established as in other parts of the world, it is very much vibrant and alive.
- The Kilimani area of Nairobi is Kenya’s Chinatown with majority of foreign investors in this area having Chinese origins.
- Chinese invest in Kilimani by establishing whole-owned or joint companies and investing in commercial and residential properties, both rental or otherwise.
- When you visit Zen, a popular Chinese joint that offers gastronomic Chinese delights situated in Kilimani, you literally enter into the bustle that characterizes a Chinatown.
Eastleigh, located in Nairobi’s Eastlands, is the city’s Little Mogadishu (Mogadishu is the capital city of Somalia).
- Initially, the area was occupied by significant number of Somali immigrants but recently, more wealthy Somalis are investing in this area, buying land and investing billions of dollars in high-rise commercial and residential properties.
- Little Mogadishu is building a name for itself as a growing area contributing substantial amounts of resources to the city’s growth owing to the immense trade that takes place here.
- Nevertheless, poor infrastructure and insecurity characterize Little Mogadishu.
Nairobi’s Beverly Hills
Foreign investors from the United States and even from Europe mostly invest and reside in Muthaiga, popularly known as Bervely Hills of Nairobi.
- Located 20mn from the city centre, Muthaiga is a highly fashionable surbub with has close proximity to the Gigiri area that hosts the United Nations Complex, Canadian Embassy and United States Embassy etc.
- Muthaiga is also close to popular residential areas among Westerners such as Runda and Ridgeways.
- The area is ideal for foreign investors owing to its close proximity to town, favorable climate and environment, high security, efficient infrastructures including golf courses and its easy access to international schools such as German School of Nairobi etc.
- Most wealthy American and European foreigners, international organizations and NGOs, diplomats and Kenya’s richest invest in high-end residential and commercial properties here.
- The interest by these special groups has pushed the cost of property in Muthaiga very high with an acre of land in these areas having excesses of up to Ksh500 million.
For the Americans and Europeans who want a more out-of town environment, they opt for the surbab of Karen in Nairobi’s southwest.
Indian/Asian Town in Nairobi
Nairobi’s Indian/Asian town is situated in parts of Nairobi known as Westlands.
- The area is thronged with Indian eateries, temples, commercial and residential properties owned and developed by the South Asian community.
- Even for the South Asian community members who do not own property, they prefer to lease and operate from here.
- Aga Khan IV spent his childhood in Westlands.
- Until recently, the area has been a residential area although it is now growing as a business district.