Real estate

Dubai vs Sharjah - A Cost of Living Comparison

Dubai vs SharjahDubai and Sharjah are the UAE's two key commercial hubs. Not just this. According to the most recent cost of living reports, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah are way more affordable cities to live in when compared to other cities worldwide, stacking up very high in this aspect amongst over 490 hotspots such as Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva, Singapore, Tokyo, London and New York.Many expats who work in Dubai choose to live in Sharjah and do the daily commute as rents in Sharjah are much cheaper than Dubai. Although Sharjah is a mere fifteen minutes drive from Dubai on traffic-free roads, peak office hours see heavy congestion that can be so severe that it takes people up to two hours to reach Dubai and their subsequent place of work.

Many expats who work in Dubai choose to live in Sharjah and do the daily commute as rents in Sharjah are much cheaper than Dubai. Although Sharjah is a mere fifteen minutes drive from Dubai on traffic-free roads, peak office hours see heavy congestion that can be so severe that it takes people up to two hours to reach Dubai and their subsequent place of work.
When it comes to deciding whether to live in Dubai or Sharjah, the two biggest factors that are typically taken into consideration are housing prices and lifestyle. If you work for a company based in Sharjah, then your employer will pay housing allowances suitable for Sharjah. This means that if you choose to live in Dubai, you need to be prepared to pay at least half your rent out of your own pocket.As for the social aspect, while there are attractions in Sharjah that are enjoyable for singles and families, Sharjah is a ‘dry' emirate. So, if you want to enjoy buzzing nightlife and head to a pub over the weekend, the city may not be right for you. However, Dubai isn't far for weekend getaways and partying, so this may not be such a deal breaker. However, the infrastructure is quite basic compared to Dubai and there could be power cuts (no air conditioning) during the summer. Public transport is not nearly as comfortable as it is in Dubai, and getting around the city can be hard as while Dubai Metro connects far and near parts of the city, it does not extend to Sharjah.

As for the social aspect, while there are attractions in Sharjah that are enjoyable for singles and families, Sharjah is a ‘dry' emirate. So, if you want to enjoy buzzing nightlife and head to a pub over the weekend, the city may not be right for you. However, Dubai isn't far for weekend getaways and partying, so this may not be such a deal breaker. However, the infrastructure is quite basic compared to Dubai and there could be power cuts (no air conditioning) during the summer. Public transport is not nearly as comfortable as it is in Dubai, and getting around the city can be hard as while Dubai Metro connects far and near parts of the city, it does not extend to Sharjah.Also, Sharjah is a much more conservative emirate than Dubai. Residents are expected to dress modestly: that goes for both men and women. So, while Sharjah may not dazzle with glitz, like Dubai, it features attractions that range from old traditional souks and modern shopping malls to a wide array of hotels and restaurants offering a variety of local and international cuisines. There are also many sporting activities such as dune bashing and horse riding to biking and shooting. No wonder then that UNESCO declared it Cultural Capital of the Arab World.

Also, Sharjah is a much more conservative emirate than Dubai. Residents are expected to dress modestly: that goes for both men and women. So, while Sharjah may not dazzle with glitz, like Dubai, it features attractions that range from old traditional souks and modern shopping malls to a wide array of hotels and restaurants offering a variety of local and international cuisines. There are also many sporting activities such as dune bashing and horse riding to biking and shooting. No wonder then that UNESCO declared it Cultural Capital of the Arab World.

Trying to make up your mind about whether to live in Dubai or Sharjah? We took a look at a cost of living comparison between the two emirates. Here are some insights.

A resident would require around 12,000 dirhams in Sharjah to maintain a standard of life similar to what one would enjoy with 20,000 dirhams in Dubai. For one, salaries are about 34 percent lower in Sharjah than in Dubai. Two, general consumer prices are about 39 percent cheaper in Sharjah. And three, rents in Sharjah are close to 60 percent lower than in Dubai.
When it comes to dining and entertainment, eating out costs are about 24 percent cheaper in Sharjah, with a meal for two at a mid range restaurant costing close to 33 percent less than in Dubai. Grocery prices seem to be around 16 percent and utility costs (electricity, heating and water) around 10 percent lower than in Dubai. Internet is around 3.5 percent and monthly fitness club memberships about 38 percent cheaper in the emirate of Sharjah. Shopping in Sharjah is also likely to be more cost-effective than Dubai, with a difference of at least 25 percent.

When it comes to choice of real estate, Dubai offers a wider range of Dubai property to choose from. However, Sharjah also has some really luxurious buildings with apartments that can be rented at a much lesser price than a posh Dubai sea view apartment. Sharjah's Corniche area is fab and has some really swanky apartments with fantastic views of the lagoons and beach.

So, these are a few things to remember while making the decision to move to Dubai or Sharjah. Both cities have their pros and cons, so know what's important to you before taking the plunge.

A post by david.marsha (2 Posts)

david.marsha is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Living in Dubai, UAE David Marsha works as an editor for www.bhomes.com. Also guest blogging for several real estate and travel blogs. He has been blogging for reputed UAE real estate firms offering commercial and residential services for Dubai properties.

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