The Arab world’s cultural capital, a major commercial hub, and a budding centre for health and education—Sharjah dons many hats. It might be the only dry emirate, but its pages of history are brimming with tales of rich heritage, which the modern metropolis still manages to hold on to. Thinking of making a trip? Here’s an itinerary to help you get started:
For culture aficionados, Sharjah has plenty on its plate. Start your tour with a visit to the stunning Al Noor Mosque, located beside the Khaled lagoon on Buhaira Corniche. It’s Turkish Ottoman architectural style is known to be influenced from Turkey’s iconic Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Al Noor is also the first mosque in Sharjah which opened its doors to non-Muslims, allowing them to learn about the nuances of Islam through a guided tour.
For a deeper look at the world of Islam, make your way to Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation. Opened in 2008, the building houses over five thousand historical Islamic civilisation artifacts that delve into faith, science, discovery and art. A group of early Islamic coins, the ‘Sitara’ or the exemplary curtain for the door of the Ka’aba in Mecca, and reconstructions of some of the first astrolabes developed by Islamic scientists are the key elements to watch out for at the museum.
Sharjah has a lot to offer for a family holiday too. Make your way to Al Majaz Waterfront—a mega tourist destination that boasts a multimedia fountain show, an 18-hole golf course, a water park, and a designated creative centre for kids called Alwan. Peek into the hidden world of the deep sea at Sharjah Aquarium, where you can watch blacktip reef sharks, eagle rays and jellyfish in action. For spectacular views of the city’s skyline, and even the Gulf coast stretching all the way to Dubai, hop on board the Eye of the Emirates Wheel, which takes you 60m high in the sky.
Tip: Shopping in Sharjah is tax free, so be sure to make the most of it.
Other famous shopping hubs in the city include Sharjah City Centre, Al Shaab Village, Mega Mall, among others.
Interestingly, Sharjah is home to many specialty museums. Auto enthusiasts must visit the Sharjah Classic Cars Museum which displays more than 100 classic cars manufactured in the early 20th century, including the 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman owned by the ruler of Sharjah. Al Mahatta Museum is dedicated to the history of flight in the UAE, Sharjah Maritime Museum showcases the rich marine heritage of the region, whereas the Emirati lifestyle, habits and crafts are highlighted at the Sharjah Heritage Museum. Perhaps the reason why the city was awarded the title of ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World’ by UNESCO in 1998.
|Sharjah - United Arab Emirates||SHJ|