Sharjah real estate beckons with open arms to investors

Emirate is set to become one of most attractive destinations in GCC

Sharjah Corniche, United Arab Emirates. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Sharjah Corniche, United Arab Emirates. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Investors that have seized the opportunity to invest in Sharjah's real estate sector can be sure that they will end up not only with attractive returns on their investment, but also a coveted home in an emirate that is set to be one of the most attractive destinations in the GCC, experts at the Acres Real Estate Investment Exhibition (Acres 2019) said.

The sixth edition of the event is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and is organised by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Sharjah Real Estate Registration Department.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the event which is being held at Expo Centre Sharjah until March 21.

Various experts and real estate developers at the event spoke about the attractiveness of the Sharjah market, and how it has matured in recent years. They also spoke about the easing of regulations that had made it easier for interested parties to invest in the emirate. Several developers also spoke about how the increasing number of projects being launched by developers in various locations across the city would prove to be a boon for investors, as they will end up with several options to consider at highly attractive prices.

"Right now, more competition means that consumers are happy with what is being presented to them," said Dr Faisal Ali Mousa, chairman of Fam Holding.

"We are not scared about competition because it presents us with an opportunity to be more innovative in our offerings. We have a very loyal set of customers and we work very hard to ensure that we cater to their requirements. Today, investors are attracted to the lifestyle that Sharjah offers, and they can get it at extremely attractive prices."

Similarly, Abdallah F. Al Shakra, chairman of Ajmal Makan, spoke about investors looking to find a home with a lifestyle offering that suits them. "We have investors that have come to us because they love the idea about having a home close to the water and the tranquility that they find outside the city. However, we have focused on ensuring that connectivity is not an issue. Being located within a few minutes of all the major highways means that home owners don't have to worry about getting to work."

Khalifa Al Shaibani, director-general of Tilal Properties, underlined the importance of developers offering a promising investment opportunity, as well as products that meet the requirements of those seeking long-term residence after retirement.

"It's undoubtedly a valuable opportunity for developers to take advantage of the city's advanced infrastructure," he said. "The real estate market in Sharjah is one of the most promising in the Middle East because it abounds in business opportunities, including attractive returns for investors."

Issa Ataya, managing director at Alef Group, also highlighted the fact that not only had Sharjah's real estate market matured, but that it remained balanced between supply and demand.

"Developers have to ensure that there is a balance between supply and demand so that prices can remain stable. Because of this fact, we have seen that investors are increasingly looking to Sharjah for their homes as well as for business investment opportunities. The value of real estate deals in the emirate totalled Dh22.5 billion last year. According to the Sharjah Real Estate Registration Directorate, investors from 48 nationalities worldwide were involved in the transactions. GCC nationals topped the list with investments worth over Dh20 billion," Ataya said.

Slow and steady building timelines are crucial

Real estate developers across Sharjah need to ensure that they have a proper understanding of the demand from investors, so that they can set realistic building timelines for their projects, said Saeed Ghanim Al Suwaidi, chairman of the Real Estate Sector Business Groups at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Speaking to Khaleej Times at the opening of the Acres Real Estate Investment Exhibition (Acres 2019), Al Suwaidi described the real estate sector in Sharjah as a very unique offering.

"The real estate sector is known to have its ups and downs, but Sharjah is special in that its has remained stable for several years now. The new rules and regulations that have led to a maturity, and an opening of the market, have made it a very attractive investment destination."

However, he cautioned developers against overzealous building targets that will flood the market with excessive supply. "We need to ensure that, as developers, we do the proper market research that sheds light on the nature of the demand. The population is increasing across the emirate, and this will drive demand; but, if developers see a slowdown in demand, then they have to look at the option of reducing the speed of their construction."

He also noted that several developers had already taken this into account and launched mega-development projects in phases that span over several years. "We have seen developments that are due for handover in 2023 and this is the right approach; it has to be slow and steady."

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