Sharjah is home to acclaimed art galleries, buzzy waterfront areas and a sophisticated outlook; as creativity and excitement flow through the emirate.
At the same time, the emirate stays true to its Islamic heritage, with a traditional, gracious and welcoming vibe.
Nestled between two lagoons, the emirate is a global metropolis of modern business and vibrant culture. UNESCO declared Sharjah a Culture Capital of the Arab World in 1998 for its efforts to maintain and promote Arab traditions.
The city shares its heritage with over 20 museums and galleries, local architecture and culture-packed leisure activities. Sharjah is a prime tourism destination with 106 hotels and hotel apartments, a variety of casual dining restaurants and indescribable experiences that take its guests through its rich and vibrant history.
Below are a few must visit places in Sharjah:
• Al Noor Island
Al Noor Island is home to an architecturally stunning Butterfly House, serene Literature Pavilion and contemporary sculptures by some of the world’s most famous artists. A 3.5 km-long boardwalk snakes through landscaped gardens, while light installations bring the island to life at night.
• Al Qasba
Crossed by pedestrian bridges, this car-free canal-side complex is packed with cafés, restaurants and shops.
Families will love the musical fountain, kids’ fun zone and indoor soft play centre, while art fans should check out the latest exhibition at the Maraya Art Centre. There are also abra (traditional boat) rides, eco-friendly electric water karts and bikes for hire. The Maraya Art Centre and Masrah Al Qasba Theatre host a variety of cultural events throughout the year.
• Sharjah Heritage Museum
The museum is dedicated to highlighting Sharjah’s authentic heritage and the rich culture of Emirati people and Sharjah residents over the past decades. It emphasizes the value of the deep rooted Arabic customs and traditions which are a legacy from the ancestors and a source of pride and joy to the coming generations.
There are six galleries covering the landscape, lifestyle, celebrations, livelihoods, traditional knowledge and oral traditions of the emirate.
• Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization holds thousands of rare and important Islamic artifacts. Here you can admire the timeless achievements of Islamic civilization and its universality, learn about aspects of Islamic faith, science, discoveries and culture, and cherish the beauty of Islamic art.
• Heart of Sharjah
Once the hub of Sharjah’s merchant trade, the original city centre has been reborn as a vibrant heritage and arts district. You can easily spend a whole day exploring the art spaces and museums housed in the traditional barjeel (wind tower) building.
The emirate of Sharjah is well-known for its rich, cultural heritage – an identity that has been recognized a number of times as shown by the winning of the Cultural Capital of the Arab World 1998 and Islamic Culture Capital 2014 awards. It is a vibrant city with an exciting food and arts scene, a heritage area that is the largest restoration project in the region along with various commercial centres and over 22 museums.