Emirate of Sharjah
The Emirate of Sharjah might not be as famous as Dubai in the worldwide community, but it surely has a lot of interesting tourist attractions with high class amenities and technology. The Emirate of Sharjah is no less than Dubai and Abu Dhabi when it comes to technology and amenities, instead it has more convenience than the other emirates because of the huge amount of residential area surrounded with hundreds of shops.
Sharjah is very different than all the other emirates of UAE that is why it must be visited to enjoy the amazing environment. This emirate is the cultural capital of UAE, the third largest emirate and a highly populated city in United Arab Emirates. One of the major differences which international tourists feel is that they must dress modestly and cannot drink and party in Sharjah. However, if you can do the same in all other emirates then Sharjah becomes your best choice to get entertained with the difference. Most of us want to have a different kind of experience than the usual one and Sharjah provides you that fun embedded in a rich culture. Sharjah has incredible museums for the visitors and was also called the Cultural Capital of the Arab by UNESCO in 1998.
Sharjah is also known for its amazing traditional food with lots of local restaurants. There are some modern and huge malls like Sahara Mall in Sharjah but if you are a cultural buff you will enjoy more at the local restaurants with Arabic settings and ambience savoring on some tasty local dishes. Sharjah is also very densely populated and is famous for its jam-packed traffic and crowded markets and areas; something you cannot find in other emirates. Sharjah is also the most affordable alternate to the people who work in Dubai and do not want to pay high rentals, so they choose to live in Sharjah to save living cost. Hence, Sharjah accommodates the needs of the workers of Dubai as well. It is also said, without Sharjah, Dubai will become unlivable for middle class families as it balances the overall expense sheet for the middle-class families.
Sharjah The Best Family Tourist Destination in UAE
Due to its conservative environment, Sharjah is considered as the best family destination for tourism. The emirate is highly safe for foreigners and their kids, there are no bars, no clubs, no sheesha bars and very less crime. Muslims and middle-class families prefer to live in Sharjah as they get world class facilities for them and their kids in a relatively cheaper price than Dubai. On top of that Sharjah also has many beaches, watersports areas where families go for strolling and entertainment.
The city has many cinemas, many malls and you can find all sort of high-end fashion brands from all over the world present in Sharjah. The markets of Sharjah normally called as Souks are also known to offer amazing local and traditional products at cheaper prices. Sharjah also has many beach resorts and high-class hotels which are full of high-class amenities.
16 Wonderful Attractions in the Emirate of Sharjah
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is the best place to learn about the deep roots of Arab and the Islamic Culture. You can visit and see some scientific and religious manuscripts in the museum which also displays a collection of Islamic art and crafts that date back to the 7th century. You will find many clay pots, handicrafts, weaponry, and coins. You can also learn about the different Muslim dynasties with exhibits ranging from Mughal, Ottoman, Abbasid, and Umayyad eras.
Sharjah Arts Museum
Sharjah Arts Museum is one of the largest museums of United Arab Emirates and is a state of an art facility which was opened in 1997 for the love of art. The museum features permanent and temporary exhibitions that display the works of Arab artists from many countries. The museum also exhibits the collection of art by Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi. The museum has three floors and around 72 galleries of exhibition. The museum displays the paintings by some international artists who visited Middle East and were impressed by the culture, hospitality, architecture, and environment.
The Ali Darwish gallery displays the contemporary artwork of more than 300 works by locals, Arab and foreign artists called watercolors of Sharjah. This museum is the best place to visit in UAE for those who want to dive deep into the roots of Islamic art and culture.
Al Noor Mosque in Emirate of Sharjah
Al Noor Mosque is a huge and one of its kind in Sharjah, located at the Corniche area with a beautiful surrounding or gardens and water. You will see many tourists taking pictures around it as this is the only mosque in Sharjah which can be visited by non-Muslims. The mosque welcomes the visitors where they can learn about the Islamic beliefs and traditions. Non-Muslims have to book a tour to visit the mosque where they are provided with a history about the Emirate of Sharjah and Islamic culture. The mosque was built in 2005 and its structure is based on the Ottoman construction style.
Al Noor Island in Emirate of Sharjah
Al Noor Island is a beautiful oasis in the middle of Sharjah near to the Al Noor Mosque. It has been created in Khalid Lagoon and is connected with the city by a bridge. The island is decorated with gardens and sculptures all around it and provides an exceptional experience for the tourists. The art and sculptures are created by renown artists from around the world which are beautifully blended with the natural environment. There is also a butterfly house in the Al Noor Island which has more than 500 different kind of butterflies.
Sharjah Science Museum
Sharjah Science Museum exhibits amazing state of the art elements from the scientific research, studies, and inventions. This is a great place to go with kids as they can learn information through interactive games. The interesting games include music synthesizer, human body puzzle and cartoon making. Other interactive learning games include testing the flexibility of your muscles, strength of your grip and how good you can balance yourself. There is also an on-site planetarium particularly famous among the kids where you can experience the tour of space and learn about the universe.
The Rain Room in Emirate of Sharjah
Imagine you are standing in the rain and you do not get wet. It is possible in the Rain Room of Sharjah. The Rain Room started as an experimental exhibition and became permanent because of the wonderful feedback by the visitors. It is built in the residential area of Al Majarrah where up to six visitors can enter at one time. You can walk through the rain of 2,500 liters of self-cleaning water without getting wet. There are sensors that detect your movement and help the system to prevent rain from falling on your head. The result is this magical experience where you stand or walk in the middle and there is rain everywhere around you except your head.
Sharjah Heritage Area
Sharjah Heritage Area as the name suggests has many museums which display the heritage of Sharjah, UAE and the Islamic countries. The museums include Sharjah Heritage museum that is famous for presenting all the aspects of a traditional Emirati lifestyle. There is a Calligraphy museum that presents the essence of this amazing Arab art.
There is a restored home called Bait Al Naboodah which was a traditional old home belonging to Al-Shamsi family. The house is a great place to learn about the traditional Emirati Culture before the discovery of Oil. There are some old markets “Souks” that have been restored and one of them is Souk Al Arsah which is a large open courtyard type of market. This souk with its traditional style has many handicraft and jewelry shops.
Sharjah Fort is located at the corner of the Heritage District and was once the residence of the ruling family of Sharjah. It has also served as an important defense structure for the emirate of Sharjah. The Sharjah fort is also called Al Hisn and was built around more than 200 years ago.
You can visit the fort and can learn about the history of Sharjah and its strategic importance in trading between Arab countries. You can climb up on the roof to enjoy the amazing views of the sea and across the Heritage District. The fort also displays the overall process of its restoration which was done in the late 20th century.
Sharjah Aquarium & Maritime Museum
Sharjah Aquarium & Maritime Museum both highlight the importance of sea in the development of Sharjah though the time. The wonderful aquarium is the main attraction for the kids who get amused with a wonderful variety of sea life. The aquarium has more than 150 species of sea life including reef sharks and sea rays.
There is a Maritime Museum of Sharjah which is connected with the aquarium building where you can learn about the traditional wooden dhow making process. You can also learn about the pearl collecting and the fishing industry of Sharjah which were once the main professions of the locals. The museum displays the traditional wooden ships, beautiful pearls and the old equipment that was used for fishing.
Sharjah Archaeology Museum
Sharjah Archaeology Museum is a great place to visit to learn the roots and history of early human settlements in this region. There is a Stone Age section where you will be mesmerized by the objects including old seashells and gems that were used by the humans. There is a Bronze Age hall as well that features the archaeological finds of jewelry, pottery, metals, and stone. The Iron Age Hall displays a wonderful camel statue and a ceramic dome that was extracted from the Muweilah site. The displays and objects provide information that is very easy to understand by the visitors and children.
Blue Souk in Emirate of Sharjah
The Blue Souk or the blue market is considered as the central market in Sharjah. The name Blue Souk came from the blue tile work on the exterior of the structure. There are more than 600 shops inside the market which include clothing, electronics, perfumes, and gold shops. The upper portion of the market has shops of carpets, traditional Arabic clothing, and Arabic jewelry. This souk is a very nice place to visit especially if you want to look into high quality handicrafts and Arabic clothing.
Souk Al-Jubail in Emirate of Sharjah
Souk Al-Jubail is a large covered market in Sharjah which is also an amazing place to experience the traditional Arab market experience. This market is loved by photographers who want to capture the traditional trading and bargaining processes of the local traders. There is a Fish souk as well as Fruit and Vegetable Souk which are always crowded with vendors and buyers. You can experience a rich culture and enjoy the bargaining process for good deals on food and other products.
Kalba Village in Emirate of Sharjah
The village of Kalba is a beautiful fishing village located towards the south of the Emirate of Sharjah. Here you can experience the fresh seafood extraction process and some museums. There is also an amazing mangrove forest in Kalba conservation reserve. The Kalba village is also an amazing place for nice strolls and for bird watching process. You can book tours for boating in the mangroves of Kalba or canoeing.
Al Qasba in Emirate of Sharjah
Al Qasba is a beautiful waterfront venue which is ideal for family strolls. There are several nice cafes and restaurants along the canal that divides it into two parts. There are beautiful bridges to cross the canal and to move from one side to the other. Al Qasba is equally amusing for adults and kids as it also features an entertainment park for the kids with plenty of rides. The canal between the bright cafes offer boat services where you can feel a little Venice experience for some time. There is a large Ferris wheel at the corner of Al Qasba where you can ride up and view the beauty of Sharjah from the top. The strategical location of the wheel makes it an amazing place to enjoy both the seaside and the densely population side of Sharjah.
Khor Fakkan in Emirate of Sharjah
Khor Fakkan is the famous and largest town on the east coast of Sharjah. The port area of the town is considered very picturesque and the surroundings are considered ideal for watersports and divers. Khor Fakkan beach is also a wonderful place to relax on the beautiful white sand beach. One of the famous diving spots of Khor Fakkan is called Shark Island. There is also a dam called Rifaisa Dam, that was built over a village and when the water level is low, you can see the tops of the houses that went underwater.
Sharjah Desert Park
Sharjah Desert Park is a great place to learn about the unique desert ecosystem of Arab. The desert park has a botanical museum, children’s animal farm, natural history museum and popular wildlife center. Kids love the experience of the animal farm and the botanical museum. Adults also enjoy and the amazing history about the natural Arab environment and the desert plants.