Sharjah (الشارقة) is the capital of Sharjah emirate and is the third largest city in the United Arab Emirates.
Sharjah is the third largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Oman. Sharjah is also next to Dubai and is effectively its suburb, with commuter traffic creating rush hour traffic jams. Expatriates generally live in Sharjah and work in Dubai because cost of living is cheaper in Sharjah, but better jobs are in Dubai.
However, the emirate is considerably larger than Dubai with coastline on both West and East coast of the peninsula, with exclaves of Kalba, Khor Fakkan, and Dibba Al Hisn. The road to the east coast goes through rugged Al Hajar mountains. Public buildings in the Emirate were all designed by the present Shaikh (a qualified architect), a nice visual change from the usual fare of skyscrapers in other Emirates.
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism website has sections on business, heritage, leisure, education, and coast.
See the Get in section of the Sharjah Emirate page for details on international and inter-emirate travel connections.
Public buses are by Sharjah Transport, There are seven local and three express routes. Dubai's RTA also offers express commuter bus service. Licensed taxi companies are Sharjah, Emirates, Citi, Union, and Advantage. Taxi plates are reflective green, helps spot them at night. Flag fall is Dhs. 3, then Dhs. 1 every 650 m. There is a surcharge of Dhs. 20 to go into Dubai.
- Heritage Area - Good overview available here including a few restoration of old houses. The Heritage is situated near the Corniche between Burj Avenue & Al-Maraija Road. Many historic buildings have been reconstructed with traditional materials. The most interesting sites are Al Hisn Fort, Literature Square with House of Poetry, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah Heritage Museum and Souq al-Arsa. Most sites in the Heritage Area have opening times set aside solely for women. Visitors of both genders should make certain of these on arrival in the city.
- Al Hisn Fort, Al-Hosn Avenue, ☎ 5685500. Sat to Thur 8am to 2pm, Fri:closed. The Sharjah Fort Museum dominates the Heritage District. The fort itself has been lovingly restored by the present Sheikh 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. Adult:AED 5, Family:AED 10, Children:Free.
- Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, ☎ 5655455, . Sat to Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization 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 and various artifacts from Mecca itself. Also a comprehensive display of Arab handicrafts. Adult: AED 5, Family: AED 10, Children: Free.
- Bait al-Naboodah, Heritage Area, ☎ 5685500. Sat to Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only. Adult: AED 5, Family: AED 10, Children: Free.
- Souq al-Arsah, Heritage Area. Sat to Thu 9am-1pm, 4 -9 pm, Fri 4-9 pm only. Another souq worth a visit. It is considered to be the oldest souq in the country. Stop at the traditional coffehouse for a mint tea and a plate of dates.
- Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, (Heritage Area), ☎ 5694561. Sat to Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only. A small museum with magnificients calligraphic works of art by Persian, Arabic and Tukish artist with a workshop where students are trained in the art of calligraphy Adult: AED 5, Family: AED 10, Children: Free.
- Art Area - Includes Sharjah's Art Museum which covers regional and international art exhibits, with the oriental collection being its highlights. The Arts Area is situated opposite the Heritage Area on the other side of Burj Avenue.
- Sharjah Art Museum, ☎ 5688222. Sat to Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only. The Sharjah Art Museum shows contemporary art by local and foreign artists. It is also the home of the Sharjah International Art Biennale"http://www.sharjahart.org/biennial/sharjah-biennial-10/welcome", a bi-yearly exhibition of international contemporary art and performance. Free Admission.
- Sharjah Archeology Museum, Sheikh Rashid bin Saqr alQassimi Road, ☎ 5665466, . Sat to Thu 9am-1am, 5-8pm, Fri 5-8pm, Sunday: Closed. The museum explore the changing environments experienced by the region's inhabitants from the Stone Age to the present day through displays of artefacts, coins, jewellery, pottery and ancient weapons. Investigate a dig in progress, explore models of burials, houses and tombs and see the first forms of writing in this area. . Adult:AED 5, Family:AED 10, Children:Free.
- Other museums also covers marine, natural history, aviation, and other valuable aspects "http://www.sharjahmuseums.ae/".
- Blue Souq (Souq Al Markazi or Central Souq) - An interesting, if slightly chaotic, 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.
- Sharjah Desert Park, (28 km from Sharjah on the road to Al Dhaid. It has three components spread over one square kilometre: the Natural History Museum, Arabian Wildlife Centre and the Children’s Farm.The museum provides people of all ages with an opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna of the Arabian Desert and has five main exhibition halls: A Journey through Sharjah, Man and the Environment, A Journey through Time, The Living Desert and The Living Sea. The Arabian Wildlife Centre showcases the rich diversity of fauna in the Arabian Peninsula as well as teaching about species which have become, and are becoming, extinct. It contains more than 100 species of animals, and is divided into a reptile and insect house, aviary, nocturnal houses, viewing area and a section for large predators and monkeys. The children’s farm gives children a chance to come into close contact with farm animals, such as donkeys, goats, sheep and chickens.). Sunday to Thursday 9 am – 5.30 pm, Friday 2 pm - 5.30 pm, Saturday 11 am – 5.30 pm, Tuesday: Closed. The park covers an area of 1 km2. Adult: AED 15, Children (12 – 16 years): AED 5, Children (under 12): Free.
- Fish Market, Corniche Road (opposite Blue Suq). daily 5am to 1pm.
- King Faisal Mosque, Al-Ittahid Square. This magnificient mosque was a gift of the Saudi Arabian King Faisal. It was opened in 1987 and has space for 15.000 people. There are separate prayer rooms for men and women and the mosque has an Islamic library with more than 7.000 books. Admission for muslims only.
- Al-Qasba and Eye of the Emirates, Al-Taiwoon Road, Al-Chan Lagoon, ☎ 5560777, . Sat to Thu 10am to 11pm, Fr 4pm to 11 pm. At Al Qasba,you can enjoy culture, entertainment and leisure attractions representing the very best from the Arab world and beyond.
- Al-Mahattah-Museum, Estiqlal Square, ☎ 5733079. Sat to Thu 8am to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm. Al Mahatta was the first airport in the Gulf region. It was opened in 1932 as a staging post for commercial flights from Britain to India. There is an interesting film about the daily life at the airport and Sharjah town in the 1930s and four original propeller planes stand in the hangar. Adult:AED 5, Family:AED 10, Children:Free.
- Jetskiing is very famous around summer time in the Khalid Lagoon.
- F1 Boat Races happen around the manmade island in the Buhaira Corniche sometime around December.
- 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, the Date Festival is held at the Fruit and Vegetable Market from May 15 to August 15.
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
- Seashells, Ahmed bin Dar-eish Square, AL-Chan Road (near Raddission SAS Resort), ☎ 5283501. Sat to Thu 12noon to 3pm, 7pm to mifnight. Fish restaurant serving fried or grilled shrimps, tuna fish and hammour or a seafood platter at reasonable prices
- Lasani, Sameer Al Mahmood Building, King Faisal Road, Al Majaz 1, Al Majaz, Sharjah (Near RAK Bank), ☎ +971 (6) 573-0075. Pakistani bbq and oriental food. One of the best Pakistani food in sharjah.
- Al Reem Suites Shrjah (Al Reem Hotel Apartments), Alqulayyah Sharjah (Opposit Khuthubah R/A), ☎ 065647700. 12 noon. a well furnished serviced apartment hotel situated on the way to ajman cornish road. 180. (350,)
- Syed Al Biryani, Shop#2,Ezza Tower,Al Nad Qassmia,Opp Crystal Plaza Hotel, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, ☎ +971 65506699. House of Great taste. one of the best restaurants in Sharjah
Sharjah is a "dry emirate" which means sale or possession of alcohol within Sharjah is almost entirely forbidden. There are three exceptions:
- Sharjah Wanderers Club, . Members & their guests only. Founded 1977 as a sports club for rugby and diving, it has a pool, tennis courts and lighted rugby fields. There is a British bar with spirits, wine, bitter, lager, stout, and serve traditional British food.
- 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.
- Holiday Inn Sharjah, (in the heart of the Central Business District), ☎ 65599900, . checkin: 12noon; checkout: 2pm. 180 rooms, Lobby Lounge open 24hrs, Al Dana Dining Restaurant, health and fitness centre, suana, shuttle service to access the beach (distance: 2 kilometres) single or double from AED 270 to 430,.
- Radisson Blue Resort, (situated on a white sandy beach), ☎ 65657777, . (,complimentary shuttle service to shopping areas in Sharjah and Dubai)
- Lou' Lou'a Beach Resort, Al Mina Road, ☎ 5285000, .
- Al Reem Suites ,Shrjah (Al Reem Hotel Apartments ,Sharjah), Po.Box No:66211,Shrjah Ua, (Situated at Rashid Bin Khadim Square (qurthubah R/A)), ☎ 065647700. checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 2 pm. Alreem Suites Sharjah located on the way to the Ajman cornish road very close to Radisoon blue resort.well Furnished rooms available at reasonable rates (monthly and daily basis).Quality Service and Room service available.Airport Drop and Pick Up Services,City Tours and Shopping centre drops are available upon request.. 180 to 350.
- 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.
- 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.
- Al Mulla Hotel Suites, Buhaira Cornich, Opposite Marbelle Resort & Holiday Inn, ☎ +971-6-5745333. Costs about 85 USD for a huge one bedroom suite that comes with kitchen and living room - can fit about 4 people.
- Al Sharq Hotel, 10 Al Ghuwair St., Rolla Square, P.O.Box 20201, Sharjah (Just in front of Rolla garden), ☎ +971 6 5620000, . The Hotel is situated just in front of Rolla Square, opposite the main shopping centres, and surrounded by government departments and close to the Corniche. Shuttle service to the beaches and shopping malls.
- Radission SAS Resort Hotel, Ahmed Bin Dareish Square, Corniche Road, ☎ 5657777, .
- Grand Hotel Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan al-Awal Road, Al Chan Beach, ☎ 5285557, . double room city view AED 800,- sea view AED 900,-, single room city view AED 700,- sea view AED 800,-.
- Holiday Inn Sharjah, (in the heart of Sharjah’s Central Business District, shuttle service to the beach (2 kilometres away)), ☎ 65599900 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 65599909), . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12noon. double or single AED 270 to 400 (Sept 2010).
- Holiday International Hotel, (on the edge of Khaled Lagoon), ☎ 65736666, .
- Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah, Corniche Street, P.O. Box 3527, ☎ +971 6 565 7777, . Standing along the white-sand beaches of the Arabian Gulf, this five-star Radisson Blu Resort is located close to Sharjah's historic features.
- Souq al-Arsa, (in the Heritage Area). 10am to 1.30pm, 4 to 10pm. Souq al-Arsa is considered the most atmospheric souq in the United Arab Emirates: authentic antiques, handicrafts, carpets and souvenirs for a much better price than in Dubai.
- Sharjah Central Souq (Blue Souq, New Souq). 9am to 1.30pm, 3 to 10pm. The Central Souq is one of the best souqs in the United Arab Repubic, specialising in carpets from Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey, pashminas from Kashmir ans silver jewellry from Oman and Yemen. In the Gold Center (corner of Sheikh Humaid bin Sar al-Qassimi Road and Al Wahda Roas) there are plenty of stores selling gold jewellry.
- Khlas Malaki Dates, Corniche Road (near Marbella Resort), ☎ 5738383. Sat to Wed 9am to 1pm, 4pm to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm. sweet dates, packed into small boxes, a nice souvenir
- Sharjah Mega Mall, Immigration Road, ☎ 5742574, . Sat to Wed 11am to 11pm, Thu 11am to 1am, Fri 2pm to 1am. luxury shopping center with more than 140 international shops and the Lebanese Beyrouth Restaurant. It is one of the largest shopping centers in the world and is located just 20 minutes from the International aiport
- Al Reem Suites Shrjah (Al Reem Apartment Hotel Shrjah), Po. Box No: 66211,Sharjah,Uae (Opposit Rashid bin Khadim square,on the way to ajman cornish road.), ☎ 065647700. 12 noon. A well furnished and serviced apartment hotel situated close to Radisson blue hotel.Reasonable accommodation available on daily and monthly basis.Quality service,spacious and well arranged rooms. 180. (350,)
Generally speaking, Sharjah is a very safe place. Women are usually stared at, in certain parts of the city so bring a male relative or friend, to be safe.
If you pay with an overseas credit card, most merchants will attempt to apply dynamic currency conversion, charging several percent more than the issuer conversion would have cost. Unlike in some countries, the UAE merchants will not inform you of the choice and will choose to accept the conversion without asking. It is usually possible to intervene and ask "No" to be answered.
- Al Zahra Private Hospital, Al-Zahra Sq., Al Ghuair, phone 5619999,5613311
The beautiful and peaceful Qatar Island is close by.
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