Bordering Dubai and leading into Umm Al Quwain and Ajman, sits Sharjah, the often misrepresented emirate. Westerners typically pass up Sharjah, as it’s a dry emirate, meaning no alcohol anywhere, and it’s conservative. Not to mention the traffic, which can be just awful. However, Sharjah has a lot to offer if you can put the above aside and take a chance on visiting…especially pristine white beaches with super soft sand. I’ve got the run-down for you on everything to do while in Sharjah. Call this your planning guide.
January– Spring Shopping Festival with amazing offers, children’s activities and cultural exhibitions
February– Sharjah Light Festival brings a light and music spectacular to architecture around the city
April– Sharjah Heritage Days is a two week celebration of Sharjah’s cultural heritage with re-enactments, displays and parading bands
June/July– Sharjah Summer Promotions summer’s hugely popular shopping festival
July/August– Ramadan Fair is a complete family entertainment event (Expo Center)
October– MidEast Watch & Jewelry Show The finest watches and jewelry for any aficionado (Expo Center)
November– International Automobile Show is the place to be for any car buff (Expo Center)
Horse Racing and Show Jumping season begins (www.serc.ae)
December– UAE National Day celebrations can be found all across Sharjah and the UAE
Sharjah Water Festival has world-class shows featuring F1H20 Powerboat WorldChampionship (Al Majaz Park)
Sharjah Hisn– located in the Heritage area, the fort was once the home to the ruling Al Qasimi family.
Archaeology Museum– evidence back to the first modern humans
Museum of Islamic Civilization– world-class, interactive museum
Natural History Museum– Sharjah’s natural history
Al Eslah School Museum– Restored to its appearance in 1935, the emirate’s first classroom
Kalba Fort– located in Kalba, East Coast
Majlis Al Midfaa– The first wind tower of its kind in the UAE, offering a cool retreat before AC
Mahatta Museum– The UAE’s first airport site
Maritime Museum– Discover Sharjah’s rich maritime heritage
Sharjah Calligraphy Museum
Classic Cars Museum near Near Sharjah International Airport
Animal Sanctuary & Petting Farm– also a kennel for boarding, this place is a gentle haven for all sorts of animals.
Arabian Wildlife Center & Children’s Farm– located in Sharjah Desert Park on Sharjah-Al Dhaid Road, this place is full of animals to get up close and personal
Discovery Center– an fun-filled interactive science attraction near Sharjah International Airport
Paintball- fully floodlit paintball park
Kalba Creek (Khor Kalba)- home to endangered birds and turtles as well as the oldest Arabian mangrove. In Kalba, East Coast
Various places also offer small amusement parks, bowling, movies, water sports, golf, horseback riding, ice skating and shopping. If you’re looking for a place to stay, see my review of the Coral Beach Resort in Sharjah. You could spend hours or days just exploring Sharjah, a hidden gem in the UAE.
*Lead photo courtesy of David Butcher Photography