Finally, the conservative emirates realized the diversification effort initiated by neighboring Dubai and takes the first step towards offering properties to investors from outside GCC bloc. Following Dubai’s footsteps, most other emirates already offers the opportunity for expats to buy properties within UAE. Sharjah was the exception so far. Its been rumored due to Saudi influence the rulers were hesitating to bring in the law in order to keep Sharjah’s Islamic values intact, however, capitalism wins eventually.
Anyhow, it is a very welcoming move and a great opportunity for those who missed Dubai’s property bandwagon. As Dubai’s property market has seen its good and bad times, it has pretty much consolidated now, and unless there is a major regional conflict, it will only improve hereafter. Sharjah can learn both from Ajman and Dubai to this date. Ajman being highly adventurous and ambitious made a plight to fly as high as Dubai in last decade, however, failed primarily because of recession and partly because of fundamentals. Ajman however, now is recovering with rest of the world as well as UAE in general. The other small emirates of Fujairah, RAK and Umm al Qwain are doing whatever they can in their own capacity but still has a long way to go.
Abu Dhabi on the other hand is a dynamic economy itself primarily because of oil wealth and now due to diversification in real estate and tourism. So the comparison of Abu Dhabi does not fit either with Dubai or Sharjah. Moreover, Abu Dhabi is also not a close neighbor of Dubai as Sharjah is, due to which Sharjah directly gets impacted with any positive or negative sentiments in Dubai.
Getting back to the recent law passed for Sharjah where expats holding UAE residency can buy properties in selected location on leasehold basis for 100 years. It should be noted that the news is still maturing and details are coming in, however, it is known that the first location where the leasehold is offered is strategically located on Emirates Road close to Dhaid Interchange and only 10 KMs away from Sharjah’s international Airport. For someone living and working in Dubai and aspire for quality affordable living, the aforementioned location has already raised the eyebrows. The location is perfect to travel to Dubai on freeways and at the same time away from crowded Sharjah’s city center.
The project is named “Tilal City” and helmed by Tilal Properties, a new joint venture between Sharjah Asset Management and Eskan Real Estate Development. The project’s completion date as of now is fixed on end of 2017. The project, will comprise 1800 land plots. Split into five zones, it will provide high-quality, affordable housing for 65,000 residents in apartments, villas and townhouses. Tilal City will also include commercial, office and retail space as well as multi-use community facilities, schools, mosques and landscaped open areas.
With rising cost of Dubai properties and better opportunities in Dubai while comparatively low cost of living in Sharjah people normally choose to live in Sharjah and work in Dubai. However, many people are reluctant because of travel time between Sharjah and Dubai specially during peak hours. The strategic location of Tilal city will ensure that the travel time to Dubai remains less while affordable better quality of properties are available. It makes sense as of now to invest in Sharjah, not only because Sharjah itself is growing and has diverse economy based on industry and tourism, but primarily because of proximity to Dubai, this kind of option was never available.