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Closer integration of emirates 'key to growth'

Dubai, February 4, 2008

Closer integration with neighbours Dubai and Abu Dhabi is essential for the growth of the Northern Emirates, a study says.

The findings of the survey conducted to uncover residents’ opinion on lifestyle and developmental issues specific to the UAE emirates of Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah was released by DSL Exhibitions, organisers of the first Northern Emirates edition of the R&R Local Property Show.

A whopping 85 per cent said that fast and frequent public transport, connecting Northern Emirates with Dubai and Abu Dhabi will significantly boost growth opportunities and development in the region.

“Lack of connectivity with Dubai and Abu Dhabi has kept Northern Emirates out of the development mainstream for long,” said Khurram Burney of BL Properties. “If people are able to commute across the Emirates easily, the whole country will benefit.”

Sharjah came out as the best Northern Emirate, on several counts – as an investment destination (48.9 per cent), most desirable to live in (60 per cent) and the one promoting itself most actively (60 per cent). However, Ras Al Khaimah figured prominently in each area as a strong second.

“As this is the first time the R&R Local Property Show is moving out of Dubai to cover real estate on offer in Northern Emirates, we wanted to understand residents’ opinion on issues connected with living and working in that region,” said Tessa Morris, marketing director, DSL Exhibitions. “It also gives our exhibitors, partners and associates a better understanding of residents’ key concerns with regard to Northern Emirates.”

The survey was conducted online between January 15 and 20 with 200 residents who have lived in the UAE for three years or more.

While it is generally accepted that lifestyle facilities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are substantially better than those in Northern Emirates, the findings reflect that approximately a quarter of those polled place Northern Emirates at par with the bigger neighbours.

As much as 82.5 per cent of the respondents also said that it is cheaper to live in Northern Emirates, while a strong 44 per cent felt that the region now offers business infrastructure at par with Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

An overwhelming 72 per cent of the respondents agreed that the region has the potential for much faster growth. A large segment identified real estate and tourism as areas of growth, both of which are being aggressively pursued by administrations in the region.

While the region offers better home financing products as well as more flexible payment plans - especially in Ajman - when compared with Dubai and Abu Dhabi, not everyone seems aware of this, as only 39.5 per cent of the respondents agreed with this.

About 68 per cent agreed that there seems to be a lot of property on offer in the region but a majority (74.5 per cent) said they were not aware of the different property laws in the emirates. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: abu dhabi | Dubai | Emirates | Integration |

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