Gulfnews, 22 October, 2018
The UAE has been ranked the happiest country in the Arab world for the fourth consecutive year by the Word Happiness Report. Over the last few years, we’ve seen several initiatives by the UAE government to promote happiness in the region. To find out which Sharjah neighbourhoods have the happiest residents in 2018, ServiceMarket, recently surveyed over 1200 residents in the Emirate.
Each area was rated on 19 different attributes, including the availability of public transportation, sense of community, and facilities. The survey has also revealed neighbourhoods that are most suitable for a healthy lifestyle and families with children.
With an overall average rating of 3.95 out of a maximum of 5, Al Khan and the Buhrairah Corniche was the highest rated neighbourhood in Sharjah.
Residents of this suburban neighbourhood were happy with the layout, size, and quality of finishing of their homes. Al Khan was also rated highly for availability of parking spaces. Buhairah Corniche is known for having a variety of spacious, high-quality apartments.
“Al Khan/Buhrairah Corniche is one of the nicest-looking sea-facing locations in Sharjah. The apartments in this area a generally spacious, but the size varies from building to building. The only thing this area lacks is parking spaces,” said Hera, a resident of Sharjah.
Another Sharjah resident remarked, “I am happy to see that Al Khan, the area where I live ranks the highest on the happiness meter!”
Al Majaz and Al Nahda/Al Wahda followed this area closely, and both neighbourhoods scored high in terms of proximity to shops and restaurants. Many people who work in Dubai choose to live in Al Nahda because it borders Dubai and it is cheaper to rent a home in this area.
While Rolla was grouped with Corniche Rolla, Corniche Street, Al Ghuwair, Al Jubail, and King Faisal Street for the purpose of this study, it also received very high ratings for a number of attributes on its own. Since it is a very central and densely populated area, it’s not surprising that its residents face a scarcity of parking spaces. But what it lacks in terms of availability of parking spaces, it makes up for in availability of public transportation, including an abundance of buses and taxis.
Areas with the best homes
You may choose to live in Sharjah because it’s more affordable to rent a home here compared to Dubai, but no compromise should made on the quality, layout and size of the home because these factors also influence your well-being. Al Khan/Buhrairah Corniche, Al Nahda/Al Wahda and Al Taawun had the highest ratings in terms of these factors. If facilities like swimming pools and gyms matter to you, then you should know that these three areas were also ranked highest for the quality of the facilities in residential buildings. On the other hand, Al Nabba/Nabaah, Industrial Area and Butina/Buteenascored poorly.
Highest rated areas for families with children
If you have children and are shortlisting residential areas in terms of proximity to schools, sense of community, child-friendliness and safety, then University City, Al Khan/Buhrairah Corniche, Abu Shaqara/Bu Daniq/Yarmook are the ideal areas for you. As its name implies, University City has the most educational institutions in the Emirate, whereas Al Majaz was rated the lowest for proximity to schools. With an average rating of 2.55, Industrial Areas was ranked the least child-friendly area.
Highest rated areas for a healthy lifestyle
Since health plays a major role in our happiness and well-being, it’s important to consider factors like greenery, walking possibilities, noise levels and the quality of the facilities like gyms and swimming pools while choosing a neighbourhood. Al Khan/Buhrairah Corniche, Al Majaz, and Al Nahda/Al Wahda had the highest scores in terms of these factors, and Butina/Buteena and Industrial Area received the lowest ratings. If you’ve recently invested in a pedometer and are looking for places where you can easily reach your daily target of 10,000 steps, Al Majaz and Al Khan/Buhrairah Corniche might be the ideal neighbourhoods for you.
Other interesting findings:
- Al Majaz was rated the highest in terms of greenery, whereas Industrial Area received the poorest score. Most Sharjah residents felt that there were not sufficient green places in their area.
- Al Khan/Buhrairah Corniche and University City had the highest ratings for availability of parking spaces.
- On the other hand, Rolla, Corniche Rolla, Corniche Street, Al Ghuwair, Al Jubail, and King Faisal Street, the biggest and most densely populated area of Sharjah, ranked the lowest in terms of availability of parking spaces, but it had the highest score for availability of public transportation.
- Many areas in Sharjah experience traffic congestion. Industrial Area, Al Nahda/Al Wahda, and Al Taawun were the worst in terms of traffic.
- Al Khan/Buhrairah Corniche was ranked the most pet-friendly neighbourhood in Sharjah, and Industrial Area ranked the lowest.
- Sharjah residents generally felt safe in their neighbourhoods, especially in Al Khan/Buhrairah Corniche and Al Majaz.
What were the attributes that the areas were rated on?
The survey focused on the following 19 attributes:
- The quality of the finishing in their home
- The layout and size of their home
- The availability of parking spaces
- The amount of green areas
- Value for money
- Sense of community
- The walking possibilities
- The availability of public transportation
- The proximity to shops
- The proximity to restaurants
- The activity and entertainment options nearby
- The quality of the facilities (swimming pool, gym, etc.)
- The proximity to schools/kindergartens
- The amount of traffic
- Noise levels
- Feeling of safety
- Overall rating of area