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Discover Sharjah

Discover Sharjah

The third-largest of the Seven Emirate states, Sharjah is a wonderful destination if you want to alternate your days between luxury restaurants and high-end shopping versus outdoor adventures, hiking and water sports.

With one foot on the Gulf of Oman and the other on the Persian Gulf, and bordered by the rugged Al Hajar mountains, this is the place to come if you love outdoor adventures. It's a heady mixture of ancient culture and modern developments, giving it a fascinating personality that's unlike any other part of the region.

This is a year-round destination that's full of surprises. During the summer months it's perfect for hiking or spending time at the beach, where you'll find some of the best diving sites in the world just off the coast. The relaxed vibe makes it a friendly place to visit too, while the museums and galleries give you a fascinating insight into the culture of the region, its history, and its diverse ecology.

Essential Facts

Time
03:53
Date
05/04/2020
Time Zone
+05:30
Weather
27.08°C
Language
Arabic
Currency
UAE dirham (AED)
Electricity
220/50Hz plug type G
Best Time To Visit
Nov - April

Things To Do

Heritage Area

Heritage Area

A fascinating part of the city that's been preserved and maintained with many historic buildings and reconstructions. Look for the Al Hisn Fort, Literature Square with its House of Poetry, and the Museum of Islamic Civilization.

The Blue Souq

The Blue Souq

A shopper's paradise, this insanely busy souq is home to around 600 shops and is the perfect place to buy quality carpets, gold and silver, or just grab a sweet tea and watch the world go by. A real taste of Old Sharjah, it shows just how important trade was and still is to the Emirate.

Sharjah Desert Park

Sharjah Desert Park

Sharjah has a unique landscape, and this large park covering a square kilometre is home to The Natural History Museum, the Arabian Wildlife Centre, and a children's farm. All three showcase the diverse flora and fauna of the region, and what the Emirate is doing to protect it as the challenges of climate change start to affect the region.

Shopping

Shopping

While the Blue Souq is the place to go for gold and silver jewellery and carpets, there are other hotspots around Sharjah for dedicated shoppers. The Souq al-Arsa in the heart of the Heritage Area is about as authentic as it gets, and is a great spot for local crafts and souvenirs. For a more 21st-century experience, head to the Sharjah Mega mall on Immigration Road, where you'll find over 140 different outlets all vying for your trade. It lives up to its name as it's one of the largest malls in the world.

The region is famous for its deliciously sweet dates, and if you want to buy the best then head to Khlas Malaki Dates on Corniche Road. Not only are they a delicious snack, but they make a great souvenir too.

Food and Drink

Food and Drink

No matter where you go in Sharjah, you'll find stalls and small cafes selling Shawarma. This local favourite is found across the region, and is meat cut into thin strips and roasted slowly on a spit. It's then combined with roasted vegetables and served in pita bread. Look out for khuboos, an Arabian flatbread that comes with a variety of different fillings.

 

There are plenty of very good restaurants throughout the city, with the majority focused in and around the Heritage Area or close to the main shopping centres. Seafood is popular and very fresh, and overall the food is hearty, delicious, and lightly spiced.

Things To Know


Visa Requirements

 
  • You will need a visa to enter Sharjah. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days, and you will need to transfer a copy of your passport and the other required documents to your hotel before arrival. Your hotel will then sort out your visa for you. You'll need to supply a copy of your sponsor's passport and your own, confirmation of travel insurance and flight bookings, a bank approval letter, passport photos and the fee.
 

Other facilities

 
  • Medical facilities are excellent, but you will need to ensure you have insurance to cover the cost of treatments.
  • ATMs and banks are also plentiful, although you may need to factor in any additional fees your bank may charge to use ATMs for cash withdrawals. In the souqs it's advisable to have cash to hand, as some traders won't accept cards.
 

Getting Around

 
  • Apart from hiring a car, the easiest way to get around the city is to use the bus network. There are seven local services and three express routes, as well as the Dubai RTA service to Dubai. There are plenty of taxis available from licenced operators - look for reflective green plates that identify metered taxis.