High rise: Rents in Al Nahda and Al Tawun area can be compared to those in Silicon Oasis or JBR in Dubai Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: A steady rise in rents in Sharjah has left residents and prospective tenants a worried lot.

Agents and occupants say they’ve seen rents rise 30-40 per cent since the start of this year.

Real estate companies in Sharjah say the surge could be greater in the months to come

“Based on current market standards, parts of Sharjah such as Al Nahda and Al Tawun can compete with several neighbourhoods in Dubai such as Silicon Oasis, International City and even JBR for that matter,” says Wafa Ghanam of Betterhomes.

Mustafa S. Jaliwala, a leasing executive at Cluttons Sharjah, says, “This is primarily due to an increased demand for rental properties in the emirate that’s outstripping the market availability.”

“I see a lot of people moving within the emirate to newer buildings with basic facilities like central air-conditioning, besides there’s always been a steady influx of people from Dubai,” he said.

The latter may not be viable any longer, given the market trends, say other industry insiders.

Rent increase

XPRESS spoke to the manager of a plush four-tower building on the edge of Sharjah’s border with Dubai. He said two-bedroom apartments in his building were going for Dh42,000 annually, up from Dh32,000 at the start of the year — a 31.25 per cent increase in less than six months. However he says he has seen worse. “There’s a building not far from here charging an astounding Dh70,000 for two-bedroom apartments,” he told XPRESS.

Interestingly, online searches reveal there are many two-bedroom apartments in Al Nahda on the other side of the Dubai-Sharjah border that are going for between Dh66,000 and Dh68,000.

“Some places in Al Nahda, Sharjah are charging Dh40,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. My question is, aren’t people paying almost as much on the other side in Dubai?” said long-time Sharjah resident Antara Sen. “Friends say things will only get worse. I am afraid I will have to either move to Ajman or shift to a smaller place,” says Pradeep Nair, who runs an ad agency in Dubai but lives in the crowded Al Nahda Park area.

Pakistani resident Anjum Shaikh said he was forced to move out because his landlord hiked his rent by almost 34 per cent — up to Dh35,000 from Dh26,000. He was offered a Dh3,000 ‘discount’ if he paid the rent in two cheques, but he got ‘extremely lucky’ and found a 2-BHK flat in Al Khan for the same rent in four instalments.

Agents say rents for a 1-BHK in Abu Shagara or King Faisal Street would cost Dh27,000-Dh28,000 on an average as opposed to Dh20,000 to Dh22,000 less than three months ago. For a 2-BHK unit, the figures are anywhere between Dh35,000 and Dh38,000, up from Dh28,000-Dh30,000 .