Sharjah is a city in the United Arab Emirates that is much less well known than its neighbor Dubai. However, thanks to its rich architecture, numerous museums, beautiful gardens and large shopping malls, Sharjah is a particularly attractive travel destination. In this short article, I give you an overview of everything you can discover if you ever have the opportunity of visiting Sharjah 🙂
AN AUTHENTIC AND TRADITIONAL EMIRATE
Sharjah is an amazingly rich and diverse city, which has taken advantage of its proximity to Dubai to develop (if you don't know where Dubai is, you can check my article on the subject! 🙂).
Sharjah is considered the most conservative emirate of all. Here, it is strictly forbidden to consume alcohol, and strict dress codesmust be followed.
In the historic district of Sharjah, you can discover buildings and gardens typical of this part of the world. The stone wind tower or the Al Hisn fort are among the most important heritage of the history of this city.
In the alleys of the heritage district, you can alsodiscover deeply authentic and colorful souks, for example the beautiful bleu souk, the fish souk or the Al Arsa market (the old coal souk).
During your stay in Dubai, you can travel to Sharjah thanks to the Hop-On Hop-Off buses, which will allow you to visit the different places of your choice at your own pace throughout the day. For more information, click here.
A CITY TURNED TOWARDS THE FUTURE?
Despite its attachment to tradition, Sharjah is also a modern city. The most beautiful symbol of this link between tradition and modernism is the King Faisal Mosque, whose construction started in 1984, and which is to this day the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates.
Sharjah is also a famous place among shopping enthusiasts, for you can find several large shopping malls there, such as the Mega Mall or the Sahara Centre Shopping Mall.
There are also large leisure parks in the city, such as around the Al Quasba Canal, where you can find many restaurants, museums, art galleries, and even the Eye of the Emirates, a 196-feet high (60 m) Ferris wheel that provides one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city and the ocean.
On the beaches around the city, you can also enjoy the water and take part in a variety of water sports such as jet skiing, water skiing and windsurfing.
SHARJAH: THE CULTURAL CAPITAL OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The city is home to more than 20 museums and hosts a major contemporary art festival every two years, for which it was designated by UNESCO as the cultural capital of the Arab world.
Among the most important museums and cultural sites in the city, you can discover the Museum of Islamic Civilization, which traces more than a thousand years of history through scientific discoveries, works of art and religion. The Museum of Calligraphy is another major attraction in the city and the only museum of its kind in the Middle East.
The Sharjah Maritime Museum and the Sharjah Aquarium are also among the must-see attractions in Sharjah. In the aquarium, you can observe hundreds of species of fish and a unique reconstruction of the region's underwater flora and fauna.