The Arab world’s cultural capital, a major commercial hub and a growing 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. Thinking of making a trip? Here’s an itinerary to help you get started.
Best time to visit: October to April is the best time to visit Sharjah.
Visa and immigration: If you’re an Indian passport holder having US Visitor Visa/ Green card travelling to Sharjah, you are eligible for visa on arrival, while tourist visa for others with ordinary passport needs to be arranged by a sponsor in UAE.
How to reach
By Air: Sharjah International Airport is the nearest airport, located 13km away from south-east of Sharjah. IndiGo operates 28 weekly, non-stop flights between Sharjah and Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram.
Getting around: Buses and taxis are the most common and convenient means of transportation in Sharjah.
Overlooking the Al Majaz Waterfront, the view isn’t the only point of conversation at El Manza. Its authentic Moroccan fare, coupled with the stylish décor, makes it a hot favourite among locals. Here, choose from the many seafood options in its ‘Special Menu’ or opt for one of the famous couscous delicacies.
In Arabic, the name of the restaurant translates to ‘window’, for its intention is to introduce the guests to authentic Lebanese cuisine. Expect a mix of traditional and modern dishes on the menu—from mezze platters to charcoal-grilled specialities.
At any point, if you begin to miss the Indian flavours, remember you’re never too far away. Gazebo brings the recipes from the royal kitchens of Lucknow and Hyderabad to Sharjah. So, whether it is delicious seekh kebabs or dum phukt biryani, the restaurant keeps you covered (while making your mouth water).
Head here for the perfect fix of a no-frills, easy on the pocket Arabian meal. Start with the lentil soup, dig into a bowl of hummus, pair it with grilled quails or lamb chops, and nosh on a plate of shawarma. Doesn’t get any better!
A mix of American, English and Lebanese dishes, listed on the menu of this café and bakery are just delicious. Think indulgent breakfast spreads, sweet and savoury crepes, and several healthy options including gluten-free bread and pasta.
Tip: Shopping in Sharjah is tax-free, so be sure to make the most of it.
Souk Al-Markazi: A shopper’s paradise, the Souk Al-Markazi or Blue Souk is Sharjah’s iconic shopping hub that caters to every need. Two buildings, interconnected by bridges, together makes its grand complex, which houses over 600 shops selling everything from jewellery and perfumes to rugs and pashminas. The best part: you can bargain at any souk to strike a good deal.
Souk Al-Arsah: Located in the heritage area, Souk Al-Arsah or Courtyard Souk is one of the oldest marketplaces in the city. Visit this for antique handicrafts, wooden Arabic bridal and pearl chests, copper coffee pots, medicinal herbs, and many such curious.
Sahara Centre: Among the largest shopping complexes in the city, Sahara Centre on Al Nahda Street offers a range of shopping outlets, restaurants and entertainment hubs. It also houses an exclusive gaming zone called Adventureland and a popular multiplex.
Other famous shopping hubs in the city include Sharjah City Centre, Al Shaab Village, Mega Mall, among others.
Ramada Hotel & Suites Conveniently located nearby both Sharjah and Dubai international airports, Ramada is the ideal choice for business and leisure travel. Its 343 rooms and suites come equipped with world-class amenities, along with access to the plush fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and complimentary shuttle service to Al Mamzar beach.
Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa Featuring its private beach, this seaside retreat offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf from the comfort of your room. In-house F&B options are many, ranging from the Middle-Eastern ‘Arjwan’ to the seafood speciality ‘Marasea’. Make sure to spoil yourself at the Sheraton's Shine Spa, spread across two floors in the property.
Hilton Watch the city come to life at night from the floor-to-ceiling windows of your room, enjoy live music at the Al Dallah Lounge, or soak in the sun with a drink at the Pool Terrace; at the Hilton Sharjah, there’s no dull moment. Pick between one of its three room categories which come with free wifi, a spacious work area and an LCD TV.
Radisson Blu Resort The 15-storey Radisson Blu property offers five types of chic rooms and suites, in addition to 20 poolside cabanas. For a memorable romantic dinner, make sure to request a meal at the private beach, with gentle waves for company.
Copthorne Hotel You’re in the heart of the action when you stay with the Copthorne. Wake up to the breathtaking views of Khalid Lagoon from your luxurious room, head to the nearby malls for your shopping loot, and take a short drive to the museums—getting around this centrally-located hotel is a breeze.
Sharjah Aquarium: 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.
Eye of the Emirates Wheel: 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.
Interestingly, Sharjah is home to many speciality 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, 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, being 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.