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Hi All,

I know that this is probably a common enquiry but we are an Irish Family with 2 boys aged 13 & 6 and my huband is getting relocated to their offices in Sharjah.
Where would the best location to live, keeping in mind schools (as I probably wont be driving straight away) and location for sports centres /activities.

How accessable is the public transport if I have to take it to get to schools in the first couple of months??

Thank you
 

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Are you going to be living in sharjah or living in dubai that makes it easy for your husband to commute?

Miridiff is a good option for living near sharjah but in dubai.

Really this depends if the package is sharjah villa and school money, or dubai villa and school money. There is quite a big difference in price between the two.

Taxi's are easy enough to come along but with two children will become quite expensive quickly.
 

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There are some people including frequent posters on this forum who do like living in Sharjah, but the common consensus is that Dubai is a much better place for Western expatriate families. Mirdiff is a good location in Dubai as it's on the border with Sharjah yet has a large western expatriate community as well as shopping amenities that aren't found in Sharjah.

Sharjah is a rough place. Not dangerous but it's more chaotic and less developed than Dubai. It's also more conservative.

But it will come down to your package and your housing allowances/school fees. If your husband's company is not a UAE based company odds are you'll receive a western expatriate package which will allow you to afford Dubai. If it's a Sharjah based company then you will likely receive a salary and benefits in line with the lower cost of living in Sharjah.

As for public transportation, I wouldn't count on it. Very few western expatriates use public transportation in the UAE. It'd be difficult to arrange your life around public transportation to/from schools and shopping although it is possible, but will require lengthy travel time and waiting. Taxis are cheap and available in Dubai, but not quite as available in Sharjah and your best bet is to buckle down and drive as most western expats do.
 

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Sharjah is what you make it.

Sharjah is not the wild west and just not that bad,yes there is only one place for Alcohol[You can join the Sharjah wonders which is an expat club], and dancing ect but Dubai and Ajiman are right next door. There are a variety of School depending on which area you live in,I am close to Sharjah English School and The Australian School which are both popular but there are others.I have never been bothered by the police or anybody else and you just wear regular clothes,my wife is blonde and has never had an issues.

The taxis are not a problem but it can add up since they add 20 AED to the final cost going to Dubai and back the other way.You don't have to do the western thing,so take the bus and explore to see where they go,they have nice new Orange and white ones. The first time we came to Dubai for a conference we took buses all around and did not care if there were any western expats on the bus.

There is a very very nice Arabian wildlife center,a new aquarium,many museums and the rolla square area is fun to look around with great prices on things.
 

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My husband and I are also relocating to Sharjah. I know when comparing it to Dubai, Sharjah seems to be not as forwards and progressive, however it is actually meant to be very family friendly. I haven't been there yet, so I cant tell you from experience. My husband and I will be working at the Victorian International School of Sharjah - which is meant to be a fantastic school (I've heard great things from current teachers there as well as others who have been there).

Perhaps try and get in contact with some people who would be working at your husbands company and email them to find out where they are living so that you can try and live nearby.
 

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If you had a choice, pick Dubai over Sharjah. I have been in Sharjah for the last two years. Before that, I grew up in this state. It is definitely more conservative here than Dubai, to the point where you cannot sit at a park bench with your hand over the shoulder of your significant other. Some arab guy will come over and say that it is not allowed. The traffic is bad in Sharjah and that too at odd times. Dubai is more developed and so they benefit from bigger roads and stuff.

Dealing with government officials here is a hassle. They just don't care, plain and simple. You will have to do a lot of running around to get paperwork and stuff done, often back and forth between the same offices as they are highly unorganized. Of course, there are exceptions in all this negativity and you will find some officials who are really nice and very helpful, but from my experience, there aren't a whole lot. Best bet is if your husband's company has a PRO who can take care of all the paperwork and do the government office stuff.

The good things are that it is definitely more family oriented. You should definitely get yourself into a social network of some sort so that you have other people to talk to and spend time with, otherwise it is very very boring and you will go out of your mind.

Nice Places to live in Sharjah:

- Buharia Corniche area is nice, near the lake, few stores nearby, little bit of traffic. The just finished the new majaz waterfront which is pretty nice.

- Sharqan Area, which is where I live, is not too bad. Its close to the beach. Traffic isn't too bad. there are few stores nearby and Ajman city center not too far away. They have a Spinneys nearby which is probably where you would want to shop to get foodstuff from back home. Close to Rolla which I'll explain next.

- AL Nadha area because it is easier to get to Dubai from there. It is right at the border of Sharjah and Dubai.

Places to avoid:

- Rolla: Way too many people, too much traffic. Its the cheaper shopping spot with a lot of stores where you can find all kinds of things and you can bargain a lot. Mostly Indian/Pakistani stores.

- Abu Shagara: Used car haven and very congested. You can't drive through that area without someone asking you every two minutes if you want to sell your car. Also because of the congestion, parking on the street is almost impossible.

Let me know if you have any other questions and I can try and help.
 

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If you had a choice, pick Dubai over Sharjah. I have been in Sharjah for the last two years. Before that, I grew up in this state. It is definitely more conservative here than Dubai, to the point where you cannot sit at a park bench with your hand over the shoulder of your significant other.
Nitro my fella sounds a bit off, but why are you still living there after writing such a testimony ?:tongue1: Did you move?
 

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I am spending a bit of time in Sharjah and can testify to the traffic, at times (most times) it's congested.

I had a person tell me the other day most people spend two days in Sharjah, one day to move in, and the next day to move out.

That being said I like the Corniche area.
 
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