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Revision as of 17:49, 3 February 2010
Sharjah (الشارقة) is the capital of Sharjah emirate and is the third largest city in the United Arab Emirates.
See the Get in section of the Sharjah Emirate page for details on international and inter-emirate travel connections.
Sharjah was crowned the prestigious Cultural Capital of the Arab World in 1998 by UNESCO. H.H Sheikh Sultan Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, continously enriched Sharjah with Heritage, cultural, and Historical value. He was behind the sucess towards establishment of seventeen world class museums in the emirate which displays multiple rich museums. A local overview of Sharjah's heritage is available at the Heritage Area including a few restoration of old houses. The Art Area includes Sharjah's Art Museum which covers regional and international art exhibits, with the oriental collection being its highlights. Other museums also covers marine, natural history, aviation, and other valuable aspects.
The public buildings in the Emirate were all designed by the present Shaikh (a qualified architect) and make a nice visual change from the usual fare of skyscrapers in the other Emirates.
The "Blue Souq" (Souq Al Markazi or Central Souq) is an interesting, if slightly shambolic, 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. Another souq worth a visit is Souq al-Arsah (considered to be the oldest souq in the country).
The Heritage District of Sharjah city is dominated by the Sharjah Fort Museum. The fort itself has been lovingly restored by the present Shaikh, 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.
Also in the Heritage District is the Islamic Museum. This 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 of the time and various artifacts from Mecca itself. There is also a comprehensive display of Arab handicrafts.
Most sites in the Heritage District have certain opening times set aside solely for women. Visitors of both genders should make certain of these on arrival in the city.
- Must visit some of Sharjah's Seventeen Museums as Sharjah is known for its rich cultural & heritage position.
- Jetskiing is very famous around summer time in the Khalid Lagoon.
- F1 Boat Races happen around the man-made island in the Buhaira Corniche sometime around December.
- Must go to the "Eye of the Emirates". (Qanat al Qasba)
- 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, a Date Festival is held at the Fruit and Vegetable Market from May 15 to August 15.
Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah Art Museum (by the Old Souk), ☎ www.sharjahbiennial.org, [new]. Sharjah Biennial, a bi-yearly exhibition of international contemporary art and performance. 16 March - 16 May 2009
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 at very cheap
- Mushmaool Arabic Grill Restaurant, Al Miraj Building 1, Besides Megamall Entrance 3, Abu Shagara, Sharjah, ☎ 06 5754244. 12pm - 4pm & 7pm - 12am. Mushmaool is just good food and amazing service. Provides you the best grill in town and an outstanding dining experience. Committed to provide quality food and a healthy dining experience as close to as what you get at home. AED 35.00/Person
Sharjah is known as a "dry emirate" which means the sale or possession of alcohol within Sharjah is almost entirely forbidden. There are three exceptions:
- Sharjah Wanderers Club, . Sports club with pool, gym, hockey team etc but they also have a British bar with traditional British food. They serve spirits, wine, bitter, lager and stout on the premises. Members and their guests only.
- Alcohol is available at the duty-free and business class lounges of Sharjah International Airport.
- If you have an personal alcohol license, you may bring in alcohol from other emirates and consume it at home.
- Crystal Plaza Hotel Sharjah, #66496 Al Qasimeyah - Immigration Road, Sharjah, UAE, ☎ +97165722575, . Crystal Plaza Hotel is located in the heart of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), less than a kilometer from Mega Mall Sharjah. This three-star property takes pride in its contemporary amenities and friendly services. For leisure breaks, be glad to know that from Crystal Plaza Hotel, Gold Souk, Mega Mall Sharjah, and Heritage Center are just a few minutes away. Rates start at AED 355.00.
- Radisson Blu Resort Sharjah is the top 5 stars resort in Sharjah. It is a well-known landmark that caters to both business and leisure travellers.
- City Hotel, inexpensive and ideally located in the centre of town between Rolla Square and Municipality Roundabout and 10-15 minutes walk from the bus/taxi station. Rooms contain a fridge. Phone +971 6 561 5600 or email CityHotel@emirates.net.ae.
- Sharjah Youth Hostel, . Not a particularly appealing hostel; the furniture is run-down, the bathrooms are shady, the location is suburban and the clientele is mostly South Asian guest workers, rather than the typical hostel crowd. But it's by far the cheapest place to stay in town. There is currently no web-based reservation system. Send them an email and wait for the confirmation or call after sending the mail to confirm. The dorm is currently priced at 60 AED.
- The Suites Hotel Apartments, located in central Sharjah near the Majarah Souqe and close to the shopping areas. The Apartments are only 15 minutes away from Sharjah airport and 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport and are available from around 50 USD per night, a good option for groups or families.
- Millennium Hotel Sharjah is one of the most luxurious hotels in the UAE and provids top class service and rooms. The hotel is usually full booked so it is always better to book before arrival.
Generally speaking, Sharjah is a very safe place. Western women may get a few stares as they are fairly rare in Sharjah, but it is a safe place to walk around 24 /7
The beautiful and peaceful Qatar Island is close by.