Although historically the most important city in the area, with the rise of Dubai in the 1980s, Sharjah became overshadowed and has since become the residential area for many of Dubai's workers. The cost of living and rents in Sharjah are much lower than those in Dubai.
Sharjah's 17 museums make it Unesco's Cultural Capital of the Arab World.
What to see in Sharjah
All the important landmarks in the city can be seen in one morning:
- Heritage Area: In this area, you will find several historical buildings restored to their original condition. Located in the central square is the Souk Al Arsah Market and, in its surroundings, the Fort Al-Hisn and the Traditional Emirate Handicraft Center.
- Souq Al Arsah: this small market is one of the most charming in the country. It is thought to have been the very first market in the city.
- Fort Al-Hisn: Built in 1820, this fort was originally the residence of the leaders of the emirate. It now houses a small museum.
- Central Souq: The central market is made up of two large warehouses connected by a bridge. Here, you can buy gold, antiques, and rugs from Iran and other neighboring countries.
- Promenade: Officially called Corniche this waterfront area has its charms although it is not advisable to visit it in the midday heat.
- Al Noor Mosque: Although Sharjah has an abundance of mosques, Al Noor is our favorite, especially at night. It is located on the Corniche.
If you want more, you can visit the Souk Al Majarrah, the Archaeological Museum, and the Sharjah Art Museum.
Sharjah Desert Park
Although it sometimes included in "what to see" lists, "Desert Park" is located 17 miles from Sharjah and constitutes a trip in itself. More than 300,000 people visit it every year.
The Desert Park consists of several museums: Sharjah Natural History Museum, Sharjah Botanical Museum, and the Arabian Wildlife Centre.
The most important part of the Desert Park is the Arabian Wildlife Centre, where you can see reptiles, rodents, birds, mammals, and all kinds of animals that inhabit the United Arab Emirates.
How to get to Sharjah from Dubái
To reach Sharjah fro Dubai, there are various options:
- Book a tour: It's the best way to see all the places of interest in the city without worrying. You can reserve a trip to Sharjah from Dubai here.
- Book a taxi for half a day: The price of a taxi for 6 hours is about 400 AED (US$ 108.90). It is a relatively inexpensive option for groups of more than two people.
- By public bus: Buses depart from several stations in Dubai every few minutes and are priced at 7 dirhams per journey. It is the cheapest option and buses will take you to the city center.
- Rent a car: Renting a car is a very economical option and allows you to visit other places such as Abu Dhabi.