More tenants move from Sharjah homes to Dubai
Properties in Al Nahda, Qusais and Muhaisnah see more interest from residents
Maya Thomas, a bid coordinator at Atkins, is a happy woman today. After waking up at unearthly hours to beat the traffic snarls from Sharjah until her workplace in Dubai for the past 14 years, Maya enjoys the liberty of a traffic-free commute now. Reason: She has shifted from her apartment near Mega Mall in Sharjah to Wasl Oasis 2 in Muhaisnah, Dubai.
"A 15-km commute from Sharjah to my workplace in Dubai should usually take me only 20 minutes. However, with traffic pouring in from Ajman, other northern emirates and inner roads of Sharjah, I had to leave home at 6am to reach office at 7am. After beating the traffic at the Al Nahda Interchange at 6am and touching Al Ittihad Road, my pressure would ease and stress levels come down. However, to go to work in such stressful conditions was taking a toll on me. I was wallowing in self pity and had to switch roles between a corporate woman, a reckless driver and a home maker," she recalls.
Today, her family is willing to shell out Dh12,000 more in annual rent to afford a good quality of life.
"We live in a new flat and Wasl Oasis 2 is well maintained. I feel my kids missed out on a great childhood by not living in a good community," says Maya, adding that families primarily choose to live in Sharjah owing to financial constraints or because their children's schools are in that emirate.
She is just one example among several families who have resorted to reverse migration from Sharjah to Dubai.
Areas of interest
There has always been a steady movement of tenants residing in Sharjah and having their workplace in areas such as Jebel Ali, Dubai Investment Park, etc., mainly on account of saving on commute time and increased affordable options in Dubai. Their preferred areas are Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Investment Park, Al Barsha, Dubai Sports City, etc.
"It is too early in the year to tell whether we will be witnessing a reverse migration from Sharjah to Dubai, but a decrease in rent is seen as another strong incentive for residents to relocate back to Dubai. This shows that despite being more expensive than Sharjah, Dubai is still a favourable address among expats," says Zuhour Majeed, content executive, PropertyFinder.
Typically, areas such as Al Qusais, Muhaisnah and Al Nahda Dubai attract a lot of residents who are considering the move.
According to Ranju Kapoor, general manager of Hamptons International: "We have not observed a significant spike in rental migration from Sharjah to Dubai. However, with a number of new buildings coming in these areas, there is brisker activity. Demand has always been high in these areas and now there is increased supply to meet it."
Hedging against rent hike
Meanwhile, tenants who wish to hedge against rental inflation in the run-up to Expo 2020 can opt to move into properties in outlying areas.
"All areas along the announced Metro expansion works [both Red and Green lines] will become much more desirable in the run-up to Expo 2020, given the convenience factor," informs Kapoor.
Rents in properties in outlying areas with limited infrastructure tend to adjust quickest in a down cycle and last in the up cycle, says Jesse Downs, managing director of Phidar Advisory.
However, central locations usually put up a strong resistance to rent declines, due to a combination of occupier preferences, transportation options and costs. This could also be attributed to landlords' pricing strategies.
"In Dubai, it's relatively common to find landlords who prefer to leave a unit empty rather than adjust the rent to market rates. Effectively, this reduces inventory, even though supply remains unchanged," adds Downs.
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