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Sharjah is the subtle and more refined cousin to Dubai; foregoing towering skylines and glitzy shopping centres to concentrate on its art and culture scenes, this emirate has been crowned a Cultural Capital by UNESCO in 1998 and again in 2014. Sharjah is a ‘dry’ emirate, meaning no alcohol is available.

 

Home to some of the country’s most awe-inspiring art galleries, alongside well-painted museums telling stories of the UAE rich history, Sharjah offers luxury in the form of the arts and intelligence instead of material goods. The restored Sharjah Heritage Area and the huge Mleiha Archeological Site is not to be missed, and immersing yourself in the information showcased by either makes it easy to appreciate how this city is doing so much to preserve it’s heritage.

 

Sharjah is the third largest of seven emirates of the gulf country of the UAE and is one of the fastest growing cities in the world seeing a boom in foreign investment and trading over recent years. The city itself is a masterpiece reflective of the galleries it homes; a blend of modern and traditional Islamic architecture separated by beautiful gardens, promenades, and parks. Sharjah’s cuisine matches its museums in uniqueness and inherited complexity and visitors can indulge in rich marinades, well seasoned meats, and filling rice or chickpeas sides. Restaurants cater to every taste and budget from fine dining to simple street food. 

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Places to go and things to do in Sharjah

5km Mangrove Tour

5km Mangrove Tour

Sharjah is home to the clear waters of Umm Al Quwain mangrove. Visitors can practice kayaking or stand up paddle boarding in a safe space before heading out on a tour inside the UAQ mangroves with a professional instructor accompanying them. Visitors can take in the scenery and fresh air while honing their skills in these thrilling water sports. Tours are done as a group and are great social opportunities for solo travellers and the mangroves themselves are home to lots of wildlife that can be spotted through the trees as you make your way peacefully past.

The Blue Souk

This shopping centre is easily Sharjah’s most famous and the complex is made up of six structures, each adorned in blue tiling and containing more than 600 shops in total. Also known as The Central Market, this mega-mall is set beside the Khalid pond on the corniche. Shop for trendy clothes, memorabilia and souvenirs, and extravagant items that are more representative of Sharjah’s lavish sister Dubai, like kitchen utensils decorated with pearls. Within the mall there is also an exhibition filled with classical relics from around the world including intricately patterned tiles from past eras and old fashioned gems.

Khalid Lagoon

Khalid Lagoon is a spectacularly vast lagoon who’s 1.7 million square hectares of water must be seen to be believed. Found on the corniche, Khalid Lagoon sits close to Blue Souk but has a distinct tranquillity far from the busy shopping centre. The wellspring in the middle is the third tallest in the world as the planes of water have statures of 100m. The wellspring can be viewed from Sharjah’s principal historic points, and presentations are held daily for those looking to learn more. Khalid Lagoon also has a running and cycling track so more active visitors can explore the scenery at their leisure.

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour

Sharjah hop-on hop-off bus tour invites visitors to discover the major sights of this cultural kingdom at their own pace. Lively souqs and ancient mosques await, and world-class museums precede Al Qasab, a popular entertainment district set along Sharjah’s scenic canal and featuring a Ferris wheel and musical fountain. Impressive galleries, The Museum of Islamic Civilisation, and Sharjah aquarium can all be toured, and the Ottomon-inspired Al Noor Mosque is a spectacular feat of architecture. Markets, mega malls, beach resorts, and spas are also stop-off points and this bus requires no advance booking.

Places to go and things to do in Sharjah

5km Mangrove Tour

5km Mangrove Tour


Sharjah is home to the clear waters of Umm Al Quwain mangrove. Visitors can practice kayaking or stand up paddle boarding in a safe space before heading out on a tour inside the UAQ mangroves with a professional instructor accompanying them. Visitors can take in the scenery and fresh air while honing their skills in these thrilling water sports. Tours are done as a group and are great social opportunities for solo travellers and the mangroves themselves are home to lots of wildlife that can be spotted through the trees as you make your way peacefully past.

Read More
The Blue Souk

The Blue Souk


This shopping centre is easily Sharjah’s most famous and the complex is made up of six structures, each adorned in blue tiling and containing more than 600 shops in total. Also known as The Central Market, this mega-mall is set beside the Khalid pond on the corniche. Shop for trendy clothes, memorabilia and souvenirs, and extravagant items that are more representative of Sharjah’s lavish sister Dubai, like kitchen utensils decorated with pearls. Within the mall there is also an exhibition filled with classical relics from around the world including intricately patterned tiles from past eras and old fashioned gems.

Read More
Khalid Lagoon

Khalid Lagoon


Khalid Lagoon is a spectacularly vast lagoon who’s 1.7 million square hectares of water must be seen to be believed. Found on the corniche, Khalid Lagoon sits close to Blue Souk but has a distinct tranquillity far from the busy shopping centre. The wellspring in the middle is the third tallest in the world as the planes of water have statures of 100m. The wellspring can be viewed from Sharjah’s principal historic points, and presentations are held daily for those looking to learn more. Khalid Lagoon also has a running and cycling track so more active visitors can explore the scenery at their leisure.

Read More
Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour


Sharjah hop-on hop-off bus tour invites visitors to discover the major sights of this cultural kingdom at their own pace. Lively souqs and ancient mosques await, and world-class museums precede Al Qasab, a popular entertainment district set along Sharjah’s scenic canal and featuring a Ferris wheel and musical fountain. Impressive galleries, The Museum of Islamic Civilisation, and Sharjah aquarium can all be toured, and the Ottomon-inspired Al Noor Mosque is a spectacular feat of architecture. Markets, mega malls, beach resorts, and spas are also stop-off points and this bus requires no advance booking.

Read More
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