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Sharjah Property Buyers’ Guide

The Emirate of Sharjah is the third-largest in the United Arab Emirates, containing about 23% of the population of the country. While often overlooked by the bigger cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the city of Sharjah is the third-most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, with over 800,000 natives and expats living there.

Why Pick Sharjah?

Sharjah is a city brimming with culture, having been named Arab Capital of Culture and Islamic Culture Capital by UNESCO and ISESCO respectively.

The currency in Sharjah is the United Arab Emirate Dirham, with 1 AED converting to €0.24, £0.20 or $0.27. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Sharjah will cost you about 20 AED, while 3-courses in a mid-range restaurant will cost around 80 AED. Groceries are a good price and there is a reasonably well-developed transport infrastructure including bus routes and plenty of taxis. A monthly travel pass will cost around 250 AED.

The price of property in Sharjah is considerably less expensive than in nearby regions so if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to living in places like Dubai, Sharjah is the place for you. It’s also close enough that if you work in Dubai, the commute home will not be too overwhelming. It’s also one of the best times to move to Sharjah, as the property prices are lower than ever, down as much as 10% in some locations.

What To Do In Sharjah

Despite not being as large as the nearby Dubai, there is still plenty on offer in Sharjah.

Food & Drink

There are plenty of restaurants to visit in Sharjah, offering a range of Middle Eastern cuisines for those looking to embrace the culture of the region. You can try seafood caught fresh from the nearby Arabian Gulf or for those less adventurous, you can also find many international chain restaurants.

Rain Room

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sharjah is the permanent home of Rain Room, a unique art experience by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass. Previously featured in venues such as the MoMA in New York and the Barbican In London, it is an art installation that allows visitors to walk through a downpour of water without getting wet. Motion sensors detect movement and signal to the water nozzles in the ceiling which create a dry radius around a person. It’s truly a unique experience.

Al Majaz Waterfront

The Al Majaz Waterfront is one of the cultural highlights of the city, the ultimate destination for many events including the Sharjah Light Festival and the Sharjah Fringe Festival. The Light Festival showcases the city's rich heritage through a kaleidoscope display of light while the Fringe Festival invites performers from across the globe to showcase their talents, including musicians, dancers and more.

Sharjah Wanderers

Sharjah Wanderers is a sporting club that is very popular with the expatriate community in Sharjah. It offers a range of sports including cricket, football, rugby, swimming and golf. It is one of the only places in Sharjah where alcohol can be legally sold.

Local & International Travel Information

The Sharjah International Airport is the main way in and out of the region, serving nearly 12 million passengers in 2015. It is the third-largest Middle East airfreight hub in terms of cargo tonnage and the home of the low-cost carrier Air Arabia.

It operates flights to various destinations such as India, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and many more. For flights to destinations further away such as the Americas, you will need to transfer from another destination. Another option is to fly to Dubai International Airport, which is only around 15 kilometres away from Sharjah. Dubai International Airport offers flights to destinations all over the world.

Weather

As with most of the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah has a hot desert climate, meaning you can expect warm winters and even warmer summers. This makes it perfect if you’re looking to live somewhere with constant hot weather, even in the months that would typically be cold in other countries.

The average temperature in the summer months reaches 42 degrees celsius while the coldest month of January will still see an average of 24 degrees celsius.

You can expect very light rain that occurs during the winter months, with about two-thirds of the year’s rain falling in February and March. During the summer you can expect little to no rainfall between May and October.

Culture

Sharjah is very strict in terms of its decency laws. There has been an alcohol ban in place since 1985, forbidding the sale and consumption of alcohol to those without a license. The sale and consumption of alcohol are limited to locations like bars and nightclubs or in your own home with a valid alcohol license.

Sharjah is generally seen as more conservative than other Emirates such as Dubai. Sharjah calls for a modest style of dress, so make sure you’re covered up to not offend. Mixing between unmarried men and women is illegal, so if you are a couple planning to move there this should be kept in mind.

Where To Buy Properties

Even though it isn't as large as other cities in the UAE, there are still plenty of different areas to move to. Here’s a bit more information about a few of them:

Al Majaz

Al Majaz is commonly thought to be the most popular area to live in the region, offering a variety of affordable apartment complexes with accommodation of all sizes that overlook Khalid Lagoon. This can range from studios to 5-bedroom flats with a mix of properties that can be affordable or luxurious, depending on your budget and tastes. There are plenty of apartment complexes with additional features, such as gyms and swimming pools.

A studio apartment will cost an average of 17,000 AED to rent per year, with a two-bedroom apartment increasing to around 35,000 AED per year. If you’re looking to buy instead of rent, the prices will be about 328,000 AED for a studio and 1,627,000 AED for a four-bed apartment.

Al Nahda

Al Nahda is located right on the border of Sharjah and Dubai, so is a great place to live for tenants who frequently visit Dubai for work or entertainment. The properties available are mostly apartments, with studio apartments costing 17,000 AED and 2-beds around 34,000 AED. Most of the property in Al Nahda is simple but elegant.

Al Taawun

Popular for families, Al Taawun is a great place to rent for a close-knot self-contained community. This is a family-friendly location that has plenty of restaurants, cafes and amenities to enjoy. It is located along the Al Mamzar Lake, providing amazing views from waterfront apartments.

The average rent is once again around 17,000 AED for a studio apartment and 34,000 AED for a 2-bedroom. If you’re looking for a bigger family apartment, you can rent a 4-bedroom for around 73,000 AED. The waterfront apartments in the area will usually cost more than other properties.

Al Rahmaniya

Al Rahmaniya is a great alternative to the apartment living featured elsewhere in Sharjah. It is a peaceful area divided into 10 sub-communities that offers stunning and modern villas. The villas are usually between 3-7 bed units, with a range of amenities including a separate room for a maid. Buying a villa in Al Rahmaniya will cost you around 1,348,000 for a 3-bed and 3,564,000 for a 6-bed.

The Types of Typical Properties

In Sharjah, the typical property type is apartments. These are usually in large apartment complex towers, which offer everything from studio apartments to five-bedroom apartments suitable for large families. Buying or renting one of these apartments will usually grant you access to a range of additional features, including gyms, pools and private security to maintain your safety.

Apart from apartments, you can also find a selection of villas located just outside the city centre. These luxury villas are a lot pricier than apartment living but come with a range of amenities to make up for it.

Moving

Foreigners have been able to buy property in Sharjah since 2014 when a new law was passed to allow this. Foreigners must hold a UAE residency visa to be granted a lease. Buying property is only allowed in certain areas, but more and more housing is being built yearly that is available to buy in these areas.

How Offerpal Can Help

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