Sharjah has many factors that make it attractive to investment. They include the many incentives, facilities and privileges given to investors which complement the availability of reasonably cheap labor, and the abundance of infrastructure services. And there is no doubt that high personal income is one of the most important factors since it means high purchasing power.
Added to these factors is the continued growth in demand in all sectors because of the continued urbanization and modernization drive in Sharjah.
We should take into account the fact that customs duties are as low as 4 percent on a number of imported goods, which is very low compared to other countries. Customs duties are only 1 percent for food imports and all imports designated for industrial production sectors, and pure gold bars are exempt in our duties.
Also included are facilities extended by the Sharjah ports and free - zones especially in the fields of free storage up to two months, besides the total freedom of commercial transactions which are not bound by any constraint or condition especially in financial affairs and the transfer abroad of both capital and gains.
Through all its various departments, the Government of Sharjah is committed to providing all forms of support and help to develop the industrial sector. One of these is the technical advice and help in preparing feasibility studies extended by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Chamber carries out field studies to assess the conditions and gives its opinion and suggestions which contribute to the development of a factory and help it to overcome the barriers.
The Government of Sharjah provides basic infrastructure facilities and high quality services to improve industrial activities. It has established special industrial zones to the west of the city with an area of more than 40 sq.km. This area is divided into 16 subdivisions, each specializing in a certain industry. All zones are connected through a modern network of roads that link them to the seaports and airports of the Emirate.
The Chamber has also established a "model" industrial zone and provided it with all facilities and services needed. Independent field studies have proved that the cost of industrial investment in Sharjah is 35% less than in any other emirate. This is because the Government of Sharjah shoulders about 70% of the real costs of industry in water and electricity.
The Government also supports local industry by giving its products the priority in purchasing with a price advantage of up to 10% of the value of orders and tenders for the departments of the Sharjah Government when they have the same quality of other tendered products.
For more than two decades, the real estate investment in Sharjah has been guaranteed, and there is continued demand for such investment from UAE and Gulf citizens. The demand has spurred a rise in commercial, residential and industrial land prices. The lands overlooking the Khaled lagoon corniche and Union Street connecting Sharjah with Dubai have witnessed an exceptional rise in prices. Analysts confirm that the rise is due to the stability and security in the region and the economic prosperity of the UAE.
Added to these is the fact that Sharjah has cornered almost half the industrial investment in the country. But despite the rise in land and property prices, Sharjah properties have remained reasonably priced, a trend that is confirmed by the tendency of local residents of other emirates to buy land and real estate, especially those with a limited income.
The same applies to rent levels in the emirate. For three years now, Sharjah has been witnessing a drive for luxury residential buildings in different parts of the city like the Khaled Lagoon Corniche. A number of luxury high-rises have been constructed to add more beauty to the area and the region as a whole. The drive continues according to a plan aimed to make the district one of the most beautiful in the world, considering the high-rise towers planned in Al-Khan project and a channel to connect Khaled Lagoon to its two Lagoons, Al Khan Lagoon and Al Mamzar North Lagoon.