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Sharjah

4.3 /5 31 votes

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Best Time: December-February Read More

Ideal duration: 2 days

Nearest Airport: Sharjah International Airport Check Flights

"A journey of raw Arabian culture"

Sharjah Tourism

Earning a title of 'Cultural Capital of the Arab World' by UNESCO in 1998, the city of Sharjah is best known for preserving its culture, tradition and heritage. Its Art Museum is world-renowned while fascinating buildings in the Heritage Area are immersed with Emirati history.

Away from the glitz and glamour of Dubai, the city offers a plethora of entertainment and amusement options including well-maintained museums, beautiful mosques, Souks and numerous parks. National History Museum and Desert Park is one such place where petting animals is the major highlight for kids and the Science Museum is packed with fun facts and exhibits.

Sharjah is also a shopper's paradise selling its famous Arabic rugs, rugs, gold, silver and precious stone jewellery at its markets including Souq Al Arsah on Cornich Road and Blue Souq, one of the major markets of the city with some 600 vibrant shops. Although rooted with Islamic traditions, the city has maintained a good balance between its traditional roots and 21st-century modern aspects.

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Currency in Sharjah

Various types of credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted in Abu Dhabi including Visa, MasterCard, Global Access, Cirrus and Plus System. The exchange rate for international cards is generally quite high. One can get foreign currency and traveller's cheque exchanged at authorized exchange offices, banks and hotels by showing one's passport. Personal cheques, although accepted generally, can be a little troublesome as many places do not accept them. If you are planning to shop in the souks or markets, cash is the perfect option.

Exchanging Money in Sharjah

Abu Dhabi is dotted with offices and banks where currency can be exchanged. Other than banks, one can also find licensed 'Bureau de Change' offices at almost all major malls and shopping districts. The rate offered by these exchange offices is at times better than banks. Saturday to Thursday is the usual working days, from 8:00 - 13:00 and 16:30 to 20:30 and on Fridays. Traveller's cheques and money can also be exchanged at many hotels at standard (non-competitive) rates. One can easily locate ATMs in all shopping complexes, most of the petrol pumps, major supermarkets and the airport.

Shopping in Sharjah

Sharjah is a paradise for shoppers with numerous shopping complexes, upscale malls and traditional markets. Blue Souq or Central Souq is the most renowned among locals as well as tourists. This is the best places to go for authentic handicrafts, oriental carpets, gold jewellery, antiques and souvenirs.

Sharjah Gold Center is the perfect place to cherish and buy the most exclusive gold jewellery. Located at the junction of Al Qasimi and Al Wahda Street, there are a total of 44 stores, which are regarded as the best gold shops in the entire UAE in terms of design, quality and range.

The premium air-conditioned malls of Sharjah are also a big hit among visitors, which offers essentially any luxury, or designer brands one can think of. Sahara Centre, Safeer Mall, Sharjah Mega Mall and Sharjah City Centre are some of the major malls of Sharjah housing myriad of shops of international standards. A Book Mall nestled near Al-Qasba Canal is an ideal place for book lovers comprising of a huge collection of international books.

Nightlife in Sharjah

Being a conservative emirate and the cultural capital of the UAE, drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited and was completely banned in 1985. Sharjah is considered a 'dry' emirate. Even possession and sale of alcohol is a punishable offence. Thus, nightlife in Sharjah is almost non-existing. Few bars and clubs that are present (no alcohol is served) closes at the most by midnight. The closest places to get alcohol is to head to Dubai or head to the Wanderer's Club. However, one can enjoy the stroll along lightened cornices or night cruise at the artificial lake (Khalid lagoon).

History of Sharjah

With its history dating back to more than 6000 years, Sharjah once served as the most significant seaport on the lower coastline of Gulf for several years. Other than trading and fishing, pearling was also a major economy creating an industry for the city.

In 1932, the emirate got its first airport and it was in 1971 that the federation of UAE was formed. Soon Sharjah transformed from small town to a contemporary city with the discovery of oil in 1972. Since then there is no looking back for the emirate.

Language of Sharjah

Arabic is the main language of Sharjah, with English as a second language, which is the main business language. With an inflow of people from other ethnic groups and religions, one will find some people conversing in their native languages. Some of the Arabic words, which can be useful for visitors, are:
  • Hi: Salam
  • Good Morning: Sabah el kheer
  • Welcome: Marhaba
  • Thank you: shukran
  • Goodnight: Tosbeho ala khair
  • Goodbye: Ma salama

Restaurants and Local Food in Sharjah

Sharjah houses numerous high-end restaurants usually attached to the hotels that offer delicious food of various cuisines. However, for a budget traveller, local restaurants won't disappoint. In fact, a trip to Sharjah is incomplete without tasting its special meat and fish dishes cooked in spices and herb and served with freshly baked bread.

Kebab, shawarma, hares and Khuboos are the main delicacies of the city carrying the authentic Arabic flavours. You can visit the many street stalls in the city to try these iconic dishes. Roasted lamb meat is another major dish that is quite famous among tourists from other countries. Umm Ali, a different version of bread pudding is a popular dessert in Sharjah. The best way to end a meal in a city is by having a cup of special Arabica coffee.
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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: After arriving at the Sharjah International Airport, you will drive to one of the many world-class hotels in Sharjah. After a few hours of freshening up, head to the beautiful Central Souk (Blue Souk) in the evening. 

Day 2: This day, you can spend the entire day visiting some of the various cultural centres in Sharjah. Visit the Sharjah Arts Museum, Science Museum and the Archaeology Museum. 

Day 3: The museum crawl will continue today where you will hit the Heritage Area, Natural History Museum and Desert Park and the Museum of Islamic Civilization. 


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Sharjah Reviews

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Anam Shaikh 11 months ago
Sharjah doesn't dazzle with glitz but with sensitivity towards its history and culture. You'll need several hours to explore the heritage and arts areas, the souqs and excellent museums. Blue Souq is an interesting, if slightly chaotic, shopping centre hosting around 600 shops in two wings and is a great place to buy gifts and traditional goods. Jetskiing is very famous around summer time in the Khalid Lagoon. Generally speaking, Sharjah is a very safe place, but stay within dress code, and drink a lot of water.
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