Sharjah: Rents in Sharjah have dropped by 15 per cent, according to Ahmad Mohammad Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).
With real estate prices easing in Dubai, more residents are relocating to live there to take advantage of lower rents — causing an outflow of residents from Sharjah.
However, "prime locations" in Sharjah such as Buheira "were not badly affected", he added.
"We did not have such a high rate of growth in real estate, it was steady, we were less affected," he said.
Now more people from Ajman and Umm Al Quwain are relocating to Sharjah for the cheaper rates and the proximity to their work in Dubai, said economic analyst Mohammad Al Asoomi.
Traditionally, many tourists and visitors heading to Dubai stayed in the cheaper hotels in Sharjah, but with dropping hotel rates all around, Sharjah is losing out on those extra visitors.
"Dubai hotel rates have come down, but it's the people's right to choose where to stay, we don't place importance on whether they come to Sharjah or Dubai," Al Midfa said.
"When people come to the UAE, their spending benefits all sectors in all the emirates. We have directives not to differentiate between Dubai and Sharjah."
Sharjah has a 70 per cent hotel and apartment occupancy rate and people still come to Sharjah for its culture, heritage and family atmosphere, he added.
New five-star hotels are already in the pipeline for next year, he said, though he could not elaborate on the details.