Sharjah Tourist Information
Sharjah stands out in contrast to the over-the-top glitz of its neighbour Dubai, with its blend of high culture and a laid-back atmosphere. It has a delightfully dusty old town with colourful painted market stalls to explore. The city of Sharjah earned the title of "Arab Capital of Culture" from UNESCO in 1998, and since then has added increasingly modern attractions to its Sharjah tourist information guides. ¶ Yet you'll still find a good dose of the modernity of other emirates, with brand new luxury emporiums like the Sharjah City Centre, and glittering high rises stretching their way up into the clear blue sky. Sharjah is the only emirate with coastline along both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and its Corniche provides stunning views across the azure waters. Set sail at sunset for a peaceful view of the city skyline, admiring the refined architecture of this emirate.
Things to do in Sharjah
There are many cultural things to do in Sharjah, and an abundance of museums to enjoy. Many of these are located in its "Heritage" and "Art" Areas, located near Burj Avenue. Gain a greater understanding of Islamic history and culture at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, located in a picturesque souk on the waterfront. You can then gaze at the contemporary art at the Sharjah Art Museum, before visiting the Sharjah Heritage Museum to learn about the emirate's history and lifestyle. You can indulge your whims and your wallet at the Souk Al Arsah, which dates back 50 years. Top off your day with a spin on the Eye of the Emirates Ferris Wheel, offering a birds-eye view of the twinkling city lights below.
Things to see in Sharjah
At night, the Al Majaz Waterfront comes alive with the music and colourful lights of the Sharjah Fountain, which puts on a spectacular five-minute dancing water show. If you want to get out of the bustling city for more natural things to see in Sharjah, the Desert Park makes an ideal day trip. It's home to the Arabian Wildlife Centre, where you will find slithering snakes and mischievous monkeys. Those in search of more highbrow culture can visit the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, with its displays of intricate expression and the materials used to achieve these elegant penmanship patterns. Finally, pick up a few trinkets in the chaotic hustle and bustle of the Blue Souk, which hosts over 600 shops well-stocked with gold and exotic curios.
Sharjah is well-served by both Sharjah International Airport and Dubai International Airport. There's a shuttle bus running every 30 minutes connecting Sharjah's airport with the city centre, and travellers entering Dubai can use inter-Emirate bus services or taxi services. Within the city, convenient public buses are operated by Sharjah Transport, with both local and express routes to choose from. A commuter bus links Dubai and Sharjah, although this can get quite busy on a workday. Licensed taxi companies include Emirates, Citi, Union, Sharjah, and Advantage. These can be hailed on the street or summoned at any hotel at your convenience.
From religious to art events, there are many reasons to celebrate. In addition to Ramadan, one of the most exciting Sharjah events is the Sharjah Water Festival each December. This features the Grand Prix of Sharjah, sand sculpture competitions, and the F1H20 Championships. Celebrate the mouth-watering date season with the Date Festival, held from May through August at the city's Fruit and Vegetable Market. Sharjah's reputation as a centre of culture is firmly re-established each year at the Sharjah Arts Biennial in March, which allows Arab artists to share their unique local perspective and talent with an international audience.
Restaurants in Sharjah
Juicy meat and vegetables combine in shawarma, which is sold all over the city when you're in need of a quick bite. You can also sit down for a tantalizing foray into local cuisine, which combines slow-cooked meat and wheat with exotic spices such as turmeric and cinnamon. ¶ From fast food to fine dining, there's a range of restaurants in Sharjah to suit every taste and budget. Many are situated along the Corniche and in the Heritage Area. You can also sample the catch of the day at the Fish Market on Corniche Road, opposite the Blue Souk.