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Dubai’s communities line up to tap the Sharjah migration

Sports City with its 9,000 units emerges as the biggest beneficiary from such a move

Gulf News

Dubai: Is the daily Sharjah to Dubai — and back — road trip getting too much for you? If yes, a handful of residential communities on the Dubai side are all too willing to roll out the welcome mat for you. And along with favourable rental terms, some landlords there are even throwing in a few incentives such as fitouts and rent-free periods.

A handful of mini residential communities within the Dubailand master-development are benefiting from whatever migration that is happening from Sharjah to Dubai.

But the biggest beneficiary from the switch is Dubai Sports City, where just about 9,000 homes have been delivered to date and another 4,515 units are being readied between now and 2020, according to the Property Monitor tracker from Cavendish Maxwell. That’s quite a substantial amount being delivered into a single location within a fairly short span of time.

That’s why the current rents on offer — starting from the mid Dh30,000 for a studio and Dh70,000 for a one-bed, according to property listings sites. If the tenant prefers a golf course view and willing to pay a little extra, a two-bed can be had for slightly over the Dh80,000 mark.

In terms of its location, DSC serves up quite a few benefits. It “offers attractive rents for a particular section of people migrating from Sharjah and who work in office locations in the southern part of Dubai such as Jumeirah Lake Towers, Tecom and Dubai Marina,” said Sathya Srinivisan, Head of Strategic Consulting and Research at Cavendish Maxwell.

“The declining rents in Dubai have also ensured that increasingly more options are available within Dubai for those wanting to migrate from Sharjah. Discovery Gardens is another perennial favourite.”

Sporting infrastructure

When all the new properties were being completed in Sports City, there were many who felt that the leasing activity will take time to evolve. For one, it was still a relatively untested destination from a residential standpoint (though the sporting infrastructure was already a top attraction).

But by the looks of it, Sports City seems to have found that niche, with current occupancy levels up in the 60 per cent plus range. (This includes end-user property owners too.) Interestingly, Sharjah too had seen multiple towers being delivered in the last 18 months.

But the impression has been that these are still on the market at a fairly high rental premium, and that could be putting off potential tenants from seeking an upgrade within the emirate.

Also, with Dubai, there is the sentiment — within industry circles and tenants — that chances of a sudden spike in the city’s rental levels are unlikely in the short-term.

There is far too much supply coming through, expected at about 55,000-65,000 units by 2020. The new residential options cut a wide swathe — from the Dh300,000 studio in Dubai South to a Dh30 million mansion in one of the MBR (Mohammad Bin Rashid) City’s 11 districts.

Other communities

But is it only the Sports City that is benefiting from the Sharjah migration?

“Communities in Dubailaind are among the beneficiaries of the migration,” said Srinivasan. “Other areas that benefit include Al Warqa, Al Khail Heights, Remraam and IMPZ.

“However, a lack of metro connectivity means some of these locations are not as attractive for a significant section of the migrating population. For people reliant on public transport, places like Al Nahda (in Dubai), Al Ghusais and Discovery Gardens are more attractive.”

Will Sharjah’s landlords step in put an end to such thoughts on the part of their residents? There have been rent falls in Sharjah but mostly confined to older properties. It will be when the rents on new — or relatively new — buildings ask for lower rents that residents will have the options to choose from.

Until then, locations such as Dubai Sports City and Dubailand beckon.

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