Pictures by Anete Thomas
For almost everyone residing in Sharjah, University student or professional, conversations pertaining to traffic to and fro Dubai are an easy in. For Sharjah residents, it isn’t uncommon to have someone exclaim ‘Oh, the traffic is terrible!’ with a cringe.
While internationally, the emirate of Dubai is known for SZR, Burj Khalifa and a burgeoning art scene, Sharjah is highly underrated – it is. Despite the traffic, Sharjah retains the calm, art and cultural roots that the world is rushing to erase. A real hook in the ground, a story.
Here are five reasons you should can live in Sharjah happy as a clam at high tide:
1. Affordable living
Shobhana, a resident of Al Nahda shares
The general perception is that Sharjah is more affordable than other cities in the UAE.
With spacious apartments and villas, beautiful views of the cornice, the beach at Al Taawun, and the re-vamped Sharjah port, the accommodations in Sharjah are variant and affordable. While rents in popular parts of Sharjah can be as low as AED 1500 per month, properties in neighboring cities are likely to cost more.
Services like parlours, grocery shopping, and even cleaning services are much more reasonably priced.
2. Arts & Entertainment
Over the last five years, with the launch of a new art gallery, the rapid development of the Majaz Waterfront, Al Noor Island, Sharjah Ampitheatre, and several festivals and tourism sites like Mleiha, there’s plenty to keep engaged.
All that with Dubai and Abu Dhabi a stone’s throw away [when you skip traffic].
It goes above and beyond bar hopping nights, surrounded by a cloud of smoke. Having dinner at Zaroob, strolling the corniche, watching kids play in the same places you did – that’s a different texture of delight.
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I’ve been living in Sharjah for 18 years now and, in all honesty, I would never want to live anywhere else. Sharjah has diversity – people or things. My friends, and people in general, usually complain about the traffic, which is true, but then again, why do crowds gather here?
– Aisha Aleem Makki
Little grocery stores that deliver everything to your doorstep, laundrymen that come to collect the day’s laundry, at least 3 local cafeterias in every area that will deliver straight to your home.
With usually easy-to-find cabs and buses every hour between the emirates, if you’re not one for Dubai high life and still want a spacious living arrangement, Sharjah is the place to go.
Having lived in the emirate for 15 years, I call it home. It’s a place of comfort and warmth.
said a student who resides in Sharjah and studies in Dubai.
Where everybody knows your name.
Despite rapid growth, the city has retained its warmth. With community parks where kids gather to play football, neighbours know and socialize with each other, large common areas like the waterfront where income is no differentiator, Sharjah dwellers aren’t strangers to each other.
The spirit of having ‘building friends’ is strong here.
5. Rare finds
In Sharjah everything is conveniently accessible. I have seen people come here to do their shopping rounds.
– Garima Himthani
Faloodas, traditional shawarmas, the original karak – these age-old flavors are readily available in Sharjah. Street shopping in areas like Jamal Abdul Nasir, the spice bazaar at Irani market, and Rolla, is old-school bargain and highly affordable.
If you don’t want to spend too much on an outfit, want to customize and create your own, tailoring services are reasonably priced as well [so are the parlours and the ardent stores and the food stores].
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Do you live in Sharjah? What do you think of the city? Share with us in the comments.
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