Dhaka’s neighborhoods are forever changing. Some neighborhoods are older and some are newer as the city expands outwards to accommodate the growing population. Dhaka’s different neighborhood’s can be categorized as either residential or commercial.
Lalmatia, Mohammadpur & Dhanmondi
These three neighborhoods are closely located to each other. They house the middle-class. Dhanmondi has historically been suburban in nature and has been home to the upper-middle-class. Post-2000’s, apartment buildings have popped up and gentrified it to the middle-class and lower-middle-class. Lalmatia & Mohammadpur is mostly occupied by the lower-middle-class.
There are many schools, hospitals, restaurants and shopping malls in the area. The area is best for young families with children of school going age. However, it is notorious for some of the worst traffic in Dhaka. During peak hours such as school recess or banks closing, the roads can end up in complete gridlock.
Uttara & Mirpur
Mirpur is one of Dhaka’s oldest suburban neighborhoods. Mirpur is a big area and is home to both the working class and the affluent class. For instance, migrant workers may live in more run-down areas of Mirpur, while affluent families such as the families of Bangladesh Army officials might live in Mirpur DOHS, which is like a gated community with cleaner streets, better roads, parks, and gyms.
Uttara is one of the most remote neighborhoods of Dhaka but it spans a huge area just like Mirpur. The vibe you get in Uttara is very similar to Dhanmondi. Uttara is divided into different sectors and they all have apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, and restaurants. Office buildings have also sprung up in Uttara making it a self-sufficient community for many middle-class Dhaka dwellers. Housing in Uttara used to be very cheap, but since more and more people arrived and business thrived, prices rose. Buying a house in Uttara in the early 2000’s was considered as becoming a hermit — it’s just so far from the other parts of Dhaka. Now, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Dismissing Uttara is like dismissing one of the independent economic powers of Dhaka.
Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara
Gulshan, Banani & Baridhara are the more affluent neighborhoods in Dhaka. Gulshan is home to many foreign embassies, which is why foreign delegates live in the area. Due to the presence of notable expats, the area has thrived as the hub of all things refined — whether it be services such as FedEx, UPS, money exchanges or large-scale modern groceries with organic food, and restaurants of international tastes and cuisines. Security is very high in the area.
Banani is located right next to Gulshan and it is home to the most restaurants in Dhaka. Baridhara is relatively sparsely populated compared to Gulshan & Banani. Because Gulshan and Banani are such premium locations to live in, more and more apartment buildings are quickly popping up and the area is getting more densely populated. Many embassies have bought up land in Baridhara to make a permanent move.
Bashundhara & Purbachal
Bashundhara is a residential area that hasn’t seen a lot of development despite big plans. It’s home to some of the best private universities in Dhaka — namely North South University and the Independent University of Bangladesh. There’s still a long road ahead for Bashundhara. More people have to buy up housing in order for the area to be feasible for business such as schools, hospital, and restaurants to thrive.
Purbachal is just empty land area with plans to turn it into a residential community. They’ve started selling land and making the area suitable for roads and building construction.
Badda, Rampura, Niketan, Banasree
These areas are occupied by the lower-middle-class and the working class. You can find the most basic amenities in these areas, such as corner grocery shops, small restaurants, pharmacies and poorly maintained roads. If there are any schools, hospitals or clinics, they are likely sub-standard but decent enough for the daily needs of an average citizen.
All other residential areas of Dhaka are peripheries. Some are occupied by the working class, some by migrant workers and students. Other neighborhoods not mentioned — such as Khilgaon, resemble the neighborhoods of the lower-middle-class and the working class.
All the residential areas mentioned earlier also have office buildings. People generally want to live close to where they work. The following commercial areas are at the heart of Dhaka and accessible from most residential neighborhoods.
Motijheel is the oldest and most notable commercial hubs in Dhaka. Companies that are located might include print media companies such as newspapers, magazines or companies such as agricultural product producers, insurance providers. Motijheel is closest to the working-class residential neighborhoods of Moghbazar and Rampura.
Tejgaon is a the center of Dhaka and it is a large area with several smaller neighborhoods. Tejgaon Industrial Area is one designated neighborhood of Tejgaon for industrial activities. For instance, there may be industries for assembling and manufacturing work in the area.
Tejgaon is home to many national newspapers and television channels and even the prime minister’s office. The five-star hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon is located in the Kawran Bazar area of Tejgaon.
Mohakhali is the location of many reputable company offices. Companies that are located in Mohakhali operate in industries such as pharmaceuticals, water treatment, software development, garment manufacturing and so on.
In close proximity is Mohakhali DOHS which is an upscale neighborhood for the residence of the armed forces — much like Mirpur DOHS.
In addition to these locations, there’s industries throughout Dhaka. As mentioned earlier, there’s office buildings in residential areas of Dhaka as well.