Arabian Business: Buying property in Sharjah is compelling than ever before

Arabian Business: Buying property in Sharjah is compelling than ever before

News: 1 November 2017

A generational change is sweeping through its real estate development space

Arabian Business: 1 November 2017

This year has been an exciting one for Sharjah. From new technology parks to airport expansion, and from new hospitals to a focus on digitisation, it seems the emirate has rarely been out of the news headlines.

This year has also seen announcements from major developers, who clearly see Sharjah as a strong location in which to build new residential, retail and hospitality projects. Indeed, Arada, a new developer of which I am chairman, also launched its first residential projects in the city, including Aljada, Sharjah’s largest ever mixed-use mega-project.

Why now? There are numerous reasons why developers are starting to take a real interest in Sharjah. First and foremost has been the government’s decision in 2014 to relax ownership rules, which has made it possible for everyone — not just citizens of Arab countries — to buy property in the emirate.

Then there’s the favourable economic environment. Sharjah’s government budget is hitting a new high this year, reaching Dh22 billion for the first time, despite the constraints that are affecting budgets elsewhere thanks to the lower oil price. Spending on infrastructure is up by 7 per cent, representing almost a third of the full budget.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s projects Sharjah’s real GDP growth to average 2.4 per cent between 2017-20 (or about 5 per cent on average in nominal terms), helped by the fact that fully a third of the UAE’s manufacturing base is located in our emirate.