Rent pressure leaves many worried

By Jamil Khan


THERE is ample availability of accommodation in different parts of Sharjah. But still the rents are too high even in this current economic downturn. The only affordable accommodation, which is easily available is “bedspace”, for the working class people who have landed in the Emirate in search of green pastures.

A man passes multi-layers of posters offering 'badspace'. Photo by Jamil Khan

A man passes multi-layers of posters offering ‘badspace’. –Photo by Jamil Khan

The posters pasted on the corners of the walls of almost all commercial buildings in the area indicate that a plenty of space is available on rent.

The posters are pasted by those landlords or tenants who need people to share their apartments so that the economic burden on them could be lessened. The monthly rents are like a sword hanging on their heads. In many cases, the affordable living accommodation bedspace is classified to help other tenants.

Neil, a young expatriate from Philippines, was found looking at the advertisement pasted on the makeshift wall of a shopping centre in Al Nahda.

“I visit almost all such places on my weekly off-day in the area to find a suitable place on reasonable monthly rent, but all my efforts went into vain,” he said.

He told The Gulf Today that during his stay in the Sharjah for the last three months, he has been paying 20 per cent of his salary as rent for a bed space. “The number of posters show that almost all apartments in the area have plenty of accommodation, but when you phone them to ask the rent you will not remain in good mood,” he said.

Like Neil, there are many other expats who spend their weekly-off days money on telephone calls to check about the availability of accommodation.

Badshah Khan, a Pakistani national, who is living with six other countrymen in a small room on a high-rise building in the area was one of those who needs some relief. “After spending almost 12-hour work-shift, the body needs a peaceful place to rest, but in a small room which is full of human beings we don’t get any respite,” he said.

He said that he does not understand why the rent of rooms have yet not come down.

However, there are a lot of working class people who prefer shared accommodation as they want to live with their countrymen. “The only purpose of living in shared accommodation is saving money, without considering unhealthy and unhygienic conditions, to send home,” said Noorul Ameen, a Bangladeshi.

He is working as an assistant at one of the grocery shops near Al Khan Bridge. He earns Dhs2,100 as salary.

“We have to arrange accommodation, meal and other daily requirements from our own pocket. We have to tighten our belts to save money,” he said.

The expats from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Philippine and Sri Lanka are living in shared accommodation to lessen their share of monthly rents and other expenses.

-Published in The Gulf Today-Sharjah | Mar 01, 2009

~ by jamilkhan on March 1, 2009.

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