Sharjah Property : Dubai Properties

By: John Hill

Sharjah is the third largest emirate (sovereign state) of the United Arab Emirates (the UAE), and the only emirate to have coastline on both the east and west coasts of the UAE thanks to its enclaves which border the Gulf of Oman. The majority of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates are all surprisingly small with Sharjah having an area of just 2600 square kilometres, comprising 16 kilometres of shoreline along the Persian Gulf and extending 80 kilometres into the interior of the country. The emirate of Dubai and the emirate of Ajman both border Sharjah, and with the recent growth of these three emirates the urban areas have expanded to all but meet at the borders.

Sharjah maintains strict decency laws under which unmarried men and women are not allowed to mix, and enforces a conservative dress code for men and women. Sharjah is also the only emirate in the UAE in which the possession, consumption or sale of alcohol is banned.

Some emirates of the UAE have only recently started to allow foreign freehold ownership of property, before 2002 the only option available to foreign nationals was 99-year leasehold agreements. Sharjah has not passed any laws regarding freehold ownership by foreigners and the 99 year lease system is still the only option available to non UAE or GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) citizens who wish to purchase property in Sharjah.

Sharjah has commenced development of the Nujoom Islands which is to be the biggest tourism, residential and commercial project in Sharjah. The Nujoom Islands project will consist of 10 manmade islands, and three areas of mainland; the development will increase the coastline of Sharjah by 30 kilometres. The development is situated near the town of Hamriya 15 kilometres from Sharjah city. Sharjah also being the name of the major city in the emirate of Sharjah.

The project will be aesthetically pleasing with a ratio of 40% development and 60% landscaped roads, gardens, parks, and beaches. The ten islands will be connected to both the mainland and each other by a series of bridges, and will be separated by a series of water channels. The Nujoom Islands project will house over 40,000 residents and will provide many services and amenities such as schools, banks, mosques, restaurants and clubs. The development will also have several centres spread throughout, including a large commercial centre and nine smaller commercial centres, six centres for light industry and two entertainment centres.

Residential and tourist accommodation for the project will consist of four hotels, two resorts, 145 apartment buildings, 40 high rise towers (for commercial and residential uses) and 1,400 villas set in either park side or waterside locations. The Completion date for the Nujoom Islands is 2010.

Developers have also built and are constructing several towers in Sharjah City including the ABBCO tower, Sharjah Gate, and two towers being developed by Tiger Real Estate, the Al Sandos tower and the Al Taawun Tower. The Tiger Real Estate Towers are being sold on a 99 year leasehold basis with an option to transfer to freehold ownership when, or if, the law permits.

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