Out of the UAE’s seven emirates, Sharjah has some of the some of the country’s most restrictive rules, including a total ban on alcohol. Among these is a ban on sub-letting and having multiple tenants in the same residence, but lax enforcement, increasing migration to the emirate, and landlords’ natural desire for higher rents have increased the prevalence of the phenomenon.
Illegal sublets increase rents, strain wages
Now, rents for three-year leases are seeing 50% increases over their term, as more workers move in together to pool their resources. This has the effect of lowering these illegal tenants’ individual rents below the cost of leasing a whole unit, while providing outsized returns to landlords. However, this increase in rents makes it harder to make ends meet in single-occupancy accommodation and will likely cause wage inflation for businesses based in the area.
New developments and tourism growth
These increases in market rent are positive for the developers of new residential buildings in the area, with phase one of a 200,000-person development breaking ground this quarter. The waterfront on which this development is being built is core to Sharjah’s economic expansion plans, which include improving its status as a cruise destination to grow to 10 million annual visitors by 2021. For comparison, Singapore first reached that figure in 2007 and drew 15.1 million visitors in 2014. Key to this push will be exploiting UNESCO’s designation of Sharjah as the cultural capital of the Arab world.
Business opportunities in Sharjah
With these growth plans come exciting opportunities for businesses in the emirate. Growing stock of commercial and residential premises present a growth market for real estate services firms, while increased tourism will benefit the hospitality industry. Already, Starwood hotels has prepared for this growth by opening a 349-room, five-star Sheraton in the emirate, its 25th hotel in the UAE.
The new Al Saja’a Industrial Oasis offers further opportunities for light industry, with 14 million square feet of space located near to the emirate’s international airport and the Al Hamriyah Port. Healy Consultants Group assists businesses with entering the Sharjah market, as well as with the wider UAE, and can help your business to set up as quickly as possible.
To learn more about how Healy Consultants Group helps with business registration in Sharjah, visit our website or write to our experts at
Photo by Cazz, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.