Sharjah is a cosmopolitan city of UAE that is located on the Arabian Gulf and is popularly known as the country’s cultural capital. In 1998, it was bestowed with the title of “Cultural Capital of the Arab World” by UNESCO. The Heritage Area of the city has some splendid museums and monuments from the erstwhile era that depict the architecture of those times.
It is also a very popular city due to the sport of cricket, as it hosted some memorable matches during the 80s and 90s. Also the city is well-connected to and from various cities worldwide by Air Arabia flights and other reliable carriers. However, there is a lot more to Sharjah than cricket, as there are a lot of sightseeing places in and near the city. Here we take a look at some of them:
Sharjah Heritage Area
Sharjah Heritage Area – Off the Corniche Street, the Sharjah Heritage Area can be a visitor’s delight, as it has multiple museums that showcase the rich culture of the city and UAE. The Calligraphy Museum is dedicated to Arab art and exhibits many different types of products associated with it. The Sharjah Heritage Museum has exhibits and artifacts that depict the traditional Emirati way of life. Bait-al-Naboodah is a traditional home that was once owned by the Al-Shamsi family.
All these buildings are built along traditional lines and go on to show the kind of living that was enjoyed by people during the pre-oil era. The area also offers a peek into some of the traditional souks or markets that can be compared to flea markets. The Souk-al-Arsah is a market in an open courtyard that features many different shops selling traditional jewelry, garments, wooden, and silver handicrafts apart from a lot of beauty products.
- Al-Qasba – For a family, visiting Al Qasba on Corniche Street is quite a pleasurable experience. The place goes buzzing after sunset and kids can have a delightful time at this place. There are indoor and outdoor entertainment parks for kids with facilities like go-carting, rides, and soft play zones. A lot of restaurants and cafes are also present here so that one can enjoy an evening with family and friends. Boat rides are highly desired over here, as one can see the city skyline by heading into the bay through the canal.
- Al-Noor Mosque – The Al-Noor mosque was built in 2005 on the lines of Ottoman architecture and features pointed minarets, which are typical of the style. People desirous of delving into Emirati customs, traditions, and history can learn a lot by visiting it. It is, perhaps, the only mosque in the city that is open for non-muslims. Take a guided tour of the mosque and check out its fantastic interiors.
- Sharjah Aquarium – The Sharjah Aquarium and Maritime Museum is an initiative to stress on the importance of sea towards the development of the city. The aquarium is an attraction for kids of all ages, as many different types of marine species like sea rays and reef sharks can be spotted here. The Maritime Museum features a lot of exhibits related to the sea and has items like pearls, wooden dhows, and fishing equipment. One of the oldest pearls collected by man is also exhibited in this museum.
- Sharjah Fort – The 200-years old Sharjah Fort is situated in the Heritage District and must be visited on a trip to the city. It was erected as a defensive measure during the period, whereas later it also served as the residence of the Sharjah royal family. The rooms inside the fort highlight the importance of the city to the Gulf’s business network and also provide a history of its rich past. By climbing atop its sprawling roof, a visitor can get an amazing view of the sea and the complete district.
- Kalba – This quiet fishing village is about 110 kilometers from Sharjah and is a superb destination for all nature lovers. The fish and the local produce market of the area can be an eye catcher for any visitor. There is also the 200-year old Al-Hisn Museum and the fully repaired house of Sheikh Saeed bin Hamad al-Qassimi that features many traditional items along with local musical instruments.
Khor Kalba Conservative Reserve
The Khor Kalba Conservative Reserve is also situated here. It is a mangrove forest that you can explore by taking a boat ride. Many types of exquisite birds can be seen here, including the booted warblers, reef herons, etc. During the bird migration seasons, a visit at this reserve is quite rewarding, as rare breeds like white-collared kingfishers can easily be spotted at the time.
- Flag Island – The Flag Island is a chosen destination for any family traveling with kids. It is because the island has a theme park that features a roller coaster ride along with a water park in the area. There is also a 60-meter high observation wheel here and a ride on it will be quite enjoyable especially after the sunset. One can see the skyline of Sharjah clearly from the top and the illuminated buildings of the city can look quite ravishing. Flag Island can be the perfect destination for any child, as ample activities can be expected here.
- Khor Fakkan – It is the second largest town of the East coast and features a long beach with exquisite white sand. There is also a popular diving spot called Shark Island, and adventure sports lovers will definitely like the place. The picturesque Rifaisa Dam can also be seen here, as it is situated just within the mountains and presents a fantastic view to the visitors.
Over the years, Sharjah has been a chosen destination for many travelers due to the variety of choices that it offers. Non-stop connectivity by Air Arabia and other flight carriers to the city has also helped in increasing tourism. For bookings, Cleartrip.com and Cleartrip.ae is an unmatched choice.