Sharjah may not yet be as popular a destination as Dubai or even Abu Dhabi, but it is still the third most important city in the United Arab Emirates. It's a destination with a rich cultural and historical heritage that is full of surprises. You can easily visit this city during your trip to Dubai, for it is only about 25 miles away (40 km) and it can be visited in one day. In this post, I will explain how to get from Dubai to Sharjah.
Going from Dubai to Sharjah by Ferry
As of 2019, there is an easy and very popular way to reach Sharjah city from Dubai, and that is to take a ferry. In fact, for me it is simply the best method to travel between these two cities. The RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) of Dubai provides a ferry service from Dubai to Sharjah.
This ferry runs every day of the week at the following times:
- Every day except Fridays — every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and every 90 minutes between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.,
- Fridays — every hour from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Ferries depart from Al Ghubaiba Ferry Terminal in Dubai and reach Sharjah Aquarium Ferry Terminal in only 40 minutes.
The ticket costs AED 15 (about $4.10) in Standard Class and AED 25 (just about $6.80) in Gold Class, and you can pay using your NOL Card.
Going from Dubai to Sharjah by bus
If you want to go and visit the city of Sharjah and its surroundings freely, another very common way to reach this emirate from Dubai is by bus. Getting from Dubai to Sharjah is never very expensive, but taking the public bus is still one of the cheapest options, as the ticket itself will cost you only AED 18, or $4.90.
The Intercity Bus, also managed by the RTA, connects Dubai and Sharjah on 3 different lines:
- Line E306, with a departure from Al Ghubaiba bus station every 10 to 20 minutes, between 6 a.m. and 11:40 p.m.;
- Line E307, departing from Deira City Central Bus Station every 10 to 20 minutes, between 6 a.m. and 11:40 p.m;
- Line E311, with a departure from Al Rashidiya Bus Station every 30 minutes, between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
All three routes have Sharjah's Al Jubail Bus Station as their destination. Trips take between 1 hour and 1 hour 20 minutes, depending on the departure station and traffic conditions.
For more information on bus travel in Dubai, you can visit the official website of the RTA.
Going on a tour from Dubai to Sharjah
If you prefer to simply be guided from Dubai to Sharjah to see the city's major sights, this half-day tour is for you!
You will be picked up from your hotel or downtown Dubai, and driven to Sharjah by a professional guide. You will discover the Faisal Mosque, the Sharjah Fort as well as the city's souk, before returning to Dubai.
Going from Dubai to Sharjah by private vehicle
If you want to travel in comfort, you can also use chauffeured transportation services. Uber, for example, is available in Dubai, and a one-way trip from Dubai to Sharjah will usually cost you between AED 120 and AED 160 depending on the type of vehicle (between $33 and $44).
You can also find companies that will provide you with a vehicle and driver for a whole day, and they can take you anywhere you want in Dubai, Sharjah, and even to other destinations such as Abu Dhabi and Ajman.
Rules to follow in Sharjah
Before I quickly tell you about the most beautiful things to see and do in Sharjah, it is important to specify that this city is much more traditional and less open to the West than Dubai. You might be surprised when you arrive in Dubai, to see how tolerant the city is and how welcoming it is to tourists. The situation is a little different in Sharjah, which has a reputation for being a conservative emirate.
For example, the prohibition of alcohol consumption applies even to foreigners, and the dress codes are also stricter (women and young women will have to cover their knees, shoulders and their belly, for example).
What to see in Sharjah?
- The Sharjah Heritage Museum, dedicated to the Emirati heritage and customs of the people of the emirate.
- The Calligraphy Museum, located next to the Heritage Museum, highlights the history of the ancient art of Arabic calligraphy through a large number of documents.
- The Sharjah Aquarium, which houses more than 250 species of aquatic animals.
- The Sharjah Art Museum – the largest in the Persian Gulf
- Al Hisn Fort, a defensive fortress that was also a royal residence and the seat of government, and now houses a museum of the city's modern history.
- Souk Al Markazi, the central souk of the city, with over 600 stalls.
- Al-Noor Mosque, the only mosque in this emirate open to non-Muslims.
- Eye of the Emirates, a large wheel 197 feet high (60 meters).
- The Al Qasba canal, which runs along the most beautiful boulevard of the city...
To simplify your life and easily discover many sites of Sharjah, I recommend taking a ticket for the Hop-On Hop-Off tourist bus, which will allow you to freely travel on 2 routes during a whole day, and to stop in front of as many sites of interest as you want!
And this concludes my article! Hope you found it helpful and now have a clearer idea of what you can see and do in Sharjah, and more importantly, how to get there. Depending on how long your stay in Dubai will be, going to visit the nearby cities can definitely prove to be very interesting! 😄
I quite like to visit Sharjah myself, though I must admit my favorite city out of Dubai is Abu Dhabi – there is plenty to do in the capital of the UAE, and it is well worth staying the night to see as many things as possible 😉