Spotlight on Sharjah: Investing in sustainable cities is the way forward
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Spotlight on Sharjah: Investing in sustainable cities is the way forward

Spotlight on Sharjah: Investing in sustainable cities is the way forward

Initiatives by the Sharjah government to increase economic activity as well as developing the city as a hub for culture and tourism, have truly boosted demand for upscale property

Today, we are witnessing a historic drive to incorporate sustainable practices into the global economy. The world’s major governments are diversifying their focus away from fossil fuel industries, and investing hundreds of billions of dollars in sustainable sectors such as clean energy and green tech, drawing further investment from the private sector.

It’s obvious that there needs to be a fundamental change in our approach to economics, growth and development, with sustainability as a core objective. Through demand-side management, we can drastically reduce the global demand for fossil fuels to offset carbon emissions, applying passive and active design techniques to real estate projects from conception to development to greatly reduce their projected total energy demands.

Sustainable real estate projects such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, The Sustainable City in Dubai and Sharjah Sustainable City are leading the global movement towards sustainable living, promoting a lifestyle that is compatible with a long-term future for generations to come.

Designed to be working models of future cities, these developments provide practical solutions related to food security, water and energy management, as well as natural resources conservation, in fully integrated, net-zero energy and vibrant communities offering a unique and eco-friendly lifestyle.

People are looking for more sustainable answers to their everyday needs, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, and solar PV installations in homes to offset energy bills. Much like electric cars will become the industry standard by the end of this decade, sustainable property development will also become prevalent, and homes in sustainable projects will put their owners ahead of the curve. Instead of having to retrofit older properties, new homes that come as standard with solar PVC and energy-saving technology and design will be the most attractive to homebuyers and investors, making them a wise choice for investment.

Over the past couple of years, we have seen a big shift in demand from central, urban city projects such as high-rise apartment complexes to suburban lifestyle destination developments, as families are looking to take advantage of attractive prices in the UAE property market to invest in a home or investment property.

In the past, one of Sharjah’s main attractions was as an affordable option with close proximity to Dubai as a business and tourism hub. However, initiatives in recent years by the Sharjah government to increase economic activity within the emirate itself, such as its thriving free zones, as well as developing the city as a hub for culture and tourism, have truly boosted demand for upscale property that is suitable for professionals and their families to call home.

According to a report by property portal Bayut.com, in the first half of 2021 “Sharjah’s real estate sector has displayed significant stability, recording minor fluctuations mainly under 10 per cent in both sales and rental prices. The emirate’s growing off-plan sector and healthy rental yields of up to 6 per cent have also been instrumental in attracting real estate investors.”

This has been further driven by affordable prices, low interest rates, flexible payment plans and service charge exemptions being offered by many developers to tempt buyers into the emirate.

This powerful combination of attractive location, desirable lifestyle and a sustainable way of living is going to be the gold standard for real estate developments in the coming years, making eco-friendly lifestyle destination projects in the UAE, and Sharjah in particular, a savvy choice for property investors today.

Yousif Ahmed Al-Mutawa is the chief executive officer of Sharjah Sustainable City

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