Explore Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Explore Sharjah the capital of Sharjah emirate and is the third largest city of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Oman. Sharjah is also next to Dubai and is effectively its suburb, with commuter traffic creating rush hour traffic jams. Expatriates generally live in Sharjah and work in Dubai because cost of living is cheaper in Sharjah, but better jobs are in Dubai.
Public buildings in the Emirate were all designed by the present Shaikh (a qualified architect), a nice visual change from the usual fare of skyscrapers in other Emirates.
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism website has sections on business, heritage, leisure, education, and coast.
What to see. Best top attractions in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
- Heritage Area- Good overview available here including a few restorations of old houses. The Heritage is situated near the Corniche between Burj Avenue & Al-Maraija Road. Many historic buildings have been reconstructed with traditional materials. The most interesting sites are Al Hisn Fort, Literature Square with House of Poetry, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah Heritage Museum and Souq al-Arsa. Most sites in the Heritage Area have opening times set aside solely for women. Visitors of both genders should make certain of these on arrival in the city.
- Al Hisn Fort, Al-Hosn Avenue. Sat to Thur 8am to 2pm, Fri:closed. The Sharjah Fort Museum dominates the Heritage District. The fort itself has been lovingly restored by the present Sheikh and the museum provides something of a glimpse at social history of the Emirate. Many exhibit signs, however, are solely in Arabic, with those in English often being rife with errors.
- Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. Sat to Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is a fascinating place for any visitors with an interest in the faith, as there are handwritten Qur’ans, letters from the Prophet Muhammad to other leaders and various artifacts from Mecca itself. Also a comprehensive display of Arab handicrafts.
- Bait al-Naboodah, Heritage Area. Sat to Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only.
- Souq al-Arsah, Heritage Area. Sat to Thu 9am-1pm, 4 -9 pm, Fri 4-9 pm only. Another souq worth a visit. It is considered to be the oldest souq in the country. Stop at the traditional coffehousefor a mint tea and a plate of dates. edit
- Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, (Heritage Area). Sat to Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only. A small museum with magnificent calligraphic works of art by Persian, Arabic and Turkish artist with a workshop where students are trained in the art of calligraphy
- Art Area- Includes Sharjah’s Art Museum which covers regional and international art exhibits, with the oriental collection being its highlights. The Arts Area is situated opposite the Heritage Area on the other side of Burj Avenue.
- Sharjah Art Museum. Sat to Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only. The Sharjah Art Museum shows contemporary art by local and foreign artists. It is also the home of the Sharjah International Art Biennale, a bi-yearly exhibition of international contemporary art and performance. Free Admission.
- Sharjah Archeology Museum, Sheikh Rashid bin Saqr alQassimi Road. Sat to Thu 9am-1am, 5-8pm, Fri 5-8pm, Sunday: Closed. The museum explore the changing environments experienced by the region’s inhabitants from the Stone Age to the present day through displays of artifacts, coins, jewelry, pottery and ancient weapons. Investigate a dig in progress, explore models of burials, houses and tombs and see the first forms of writing in this area.
- Blue Souq (Souq Al Markazi or Central Souq)- An interesting, if slightly chaotic, shopping centre hosting around 600 shops in two wings. The ground floor shops tend to stock gold and expensive designer clothes, with the upper level containing shops stocking carpets and curios from as far afield as Afghanistan and Tibet. Haggling over prices in the upper-level shops will frequently attract massive discounts. A great place to buy gifts and traditional goods. Considered superior to Dubai for carpets by Western expatriates.Sharjah Desert Park, (28 km from Sharjah on the road to Al Dhaid. It has three components spread over one square kilometre: the Natural History Museum, Arabian Wildlife Centre and the Children’s Farm.The museum provides people of all ages with an opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna of the Arabian Desert and has five main exhibition halls: A Journey through Sharjah, Man and the Environment, A Journey through Time, The Living Desert and The Living Sea. The Arabian Wildlife Centre showcases the rich diversity of fauna in the Arabian Peninsula as well as teaching about species which have become, and are becoming, extinct. It contains more than 100 species of animals, and is divided into a reptile and insect house, aviary, nocturnal houses, viewing area and a section for large predators and monkeys. The children’s farm gives children a chance to come into close contact with farm animals, such as donkeys, goats, sheep and chickens.). Sunday to Thursday 9 am – 5.30 pm, Friday 2 pm – 5.30 pm, Saturday 11 am – 5.30 pm, Tuesday: Closed. The park covers an area of 1 km2.
- Fish Market, Corniche Road (opposite Blue Suq). Daily 5am to 1pm. edit
- King Faisal Mosque, Al-Ittahid Square. This magnificent mosque was a gift of the Saudi Arabian King Faisal. It was opened in 1987 and has space for 15.000 people. There are separate prayer rooms for men and women and the mosque has an Islamic library with more than 7.000 books. Admission for muslims only.
- Al-Qasba and Eye of the Emirates, Al-Taiwoon Road, Al-Chan Lagoon. Sat to Thu 10am to 11pm, Fr 4pm to 11 pm. At Al Qasba,you can enjoy culture, entertainment and leisure attractions representing the very best from the Arab world and beyond.
- Al-Mahattah-Museum, Estiqlal Square. Sat to Thu 8am to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm. Al Mahatta was the first airport in the Gulf region. It was opened in 1932 as a staging post for commercial flights from England to India.
What to do in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
- Jetskiing is very famous around summer time in the Khalid Lagoon.
- F1 Boat Races happen around the manmade island in the Buhaira Corniche sometime around December.
- Qanat al Qasba has a beautiful mosque right by the canal.
- From Al Qasba there is a ferry that gives you a boat tour around Sharjah.
- Several diffent yearly festivals take place, and each one is a wonderful cultural experience. There are many fun activities at these festivals such as camel rides, henna, delicious Arabian foods and dishes, and much more.
- In celebration of the date season, which runs from mid-May to mid-August, the Date Festival is held at the Fruit and Vegetable Market from May 15 to August 15.
The ubiquitous shawarma is sold all over Sharjah and makes a very cheap and hearty meal. khuboos made of wheat also a cheap food available.
Sharjah is a “dry emirate” which means sale or possession of alcohol within Sharjah is almost entirely forbidden. Alcohol is available at the duty-free and business class lounges of Sharjah International Airport.
- Souq al-Arsa, (in the Heritage Area). 10am to 1.30pm, 4 to 10pm. Souq al-Arsa is considered the most atmospheric souq in the United Arab Emirates: authentic antiques, handicrafts, carpets and souvenirs for a much better price than in Dubai.
- Sharjah Central Souq (Blue Souq, New Souq). 9am to 1.30pm, 3 to 10pm. The Central Souq is one of the best souqs in the United Arab Repubic, specialising in carpets from Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey, pashminas from Kashmir ans silver jewellry from Oman and Yemen. In the Gold Center (corner of Sheikh Humaid bin Sar al-Qassimi Road and Al Wahda Roas) there are plenty of stores selling gold jewellry.
- Khlas Malaki Dates, Corniche Road (near Marbella Resort). Sat to Wed 9am to 1pm, 4pm to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm. sweet dates, packed into small boxes, a nice souvenir
- Sharjah Mega Mall, Immigration Road. Sat to Wed 11am to 11pm, Thu 11am to 1am, Fri 2pm to 1am. Luxury shopping center with more than 140 international shops and the Lebanese Beyrouth Restaurant. It is one of the largest shopping centers in the world and is located just 20 minutes from the International aiport
You must also visit the beautiful and peaceful Qatar Island which is close by.
Official tourism websites of Sharjah
For more information please visit the official government website: