Why is Sharjah Becoming So Popular with Pakistanis?
12 December, 2019
It’s always interesting to see where communities find themselves developing. The top four expat destinations for Pakistanis are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the US, and South Africa. There are many reasons for the flux and development of communities overseas - one interesting case study is Sharjah, located in the UAE, as it hosts a growing Pakistani community. So, why is Sharjah specifically becoming so popular with Pakistanis?
Around 200,000 Pakistanis emigrate to the UAE for work per year, but 2019 is set to see an increase in that figure. 176,947 Pakistanis emigrated to the UAE on employment visas from January to October 2019, an increase of 1.7% on the yearly average. The UAE’s growing industries and economy and the ease with which potential workers can move across are the main reasons for the growth in Pakistanis in the UAE.
Sharjah, the third most populous and fastest-growing Emirate, is one to watch. Sharjah’s Pakistani population has seen an increase due to the growth in employment opportunities. Indeed, many jobs posted online cite a preference for a Pakistani employee. Much like Dubai before it, Sharjah’s development will be based on skilled workers emigrating from nearby nations to take to a variety of different modes of employment - from entry-level such as forklift truck operation to more senior sales and construction roles.
Sharjah’s growing population means there is also a growing housing demand. Residential enquiries increased by 50% between Q1 and Q2 of 2019. While the population has grown by 16% since 2015’s census count, meaning more houses are needed. Sharjah’s emerging status comes from the fact that while many gulf nations have seen volatile price fluctuations, Sharjah has been the most stable. This can be reflected in residential prices and the cost of renting, which is more appealing than, for instance, Dubai.
As Bayut shows with their record of properties to rent and buy in Sharjah, the demand is clearly high and the process to find and choose a property has been streamlined to remove the barriers to renting or buying. For example, the lowest price 3-bedroom property to rent in Sharjah is AED 22,000, while Dubai's equivalent is pushing AED 50,000 - which shows the distinct differences in the price of the two emirates.
Regulatory changes since 2014 in housing law in the emirate mean that all nationalities are able to purchase residential property, which has opened Sharjah up to those from around the world. This could also explain why so many Pakistanis are opting for Sharjah, knowing they will have little red tape standing in their way of setting up a life in the emirate. The proximity to Dubai could also be cited as a reason for the population growth, with so many opportunities and so much development occurring so close.
The spread of Pakistanis throughout the world shows the benefits of living in a global economy and taking transferable skills to other countries, allowing them to prosper. As Sharjah continues to grow, it will likely be seen as a haven for Pakistani emigres to enhance their skills and build a new community.