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Explore the Best Tourist Attractions and Must-Visit Places in Sharjah




Nestled between Dubai and Ajman on the Persian Gulf coast, Sharjah is often overlooked by tourists visiting the glitzy metropolis of Dubai. However, with its rich cultural heritage, Sharjah has rightfully earned the title of the Cultural Capital of the Arab World. The cultural capital of the UAE is conveniently located just 30 minutes from Dubai by car. You can also easily reach Sharjah by catching an airarabia flight, which offers cheaper fares.

From world-class museums and art galleries to ancient mosques and restored heritage houses, Sharjah is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

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The beautifully designed Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization should be on the itinerary of every visitor. Spread over two floors, the museum has rare artefacts and manuscripts that narrate the illustrious history of the Islamic world. Marvel at the exhibits of Islamic art, science, astronomy, pottery as well as ancient coins and astrolabes. Don’t miss the central dome featuring a giant mosaic that glorifies geometry in Islamic art.

  • Sharjah Art Museum

Housing the largest art collection in the UAE, a visit to the Sharjah Art Museum is a must. Wander through galleries displaying Arab and Middle Eastern art spanning different eras and schools of art. Some of the highlights include 19th-century Orientalist paintings, local landscapes by artist Ali Darwish and temporary exhibitions. The ‘Barjeel Collection’ is especially noteworthy as it brings together modern Arab art from various private collections.

  • Sharjah Heritage Area

To soak in the culture and traditions of the Emiratis, head to the Sharjah Heritage Area. Comprising traditional houses turned into museums and age-old souks, this lively neighbourhood will transport you back in time. Browse through the stalls of Souk Al Arsah and pick up local handicrafts and coffee. Take a guided tour of the Sharjah Heritage Museum to peek into the Emirati lifestyle. The Calligraphy Museum here spotlights the much-revered art of Arabic calligraphy.

  • Mleiha Archaeological Centre

History buffs will love a trip to Mleiha Archaeological Centre, about an hour’s drive from Sharjah city. Not only does it have a fascinating museum displaying finds from the Stone and Bronze ages, but the site itself reveals evidence of early humans settling here 130,000 years ago. Book a guided tour to explore the caves, tombs and the remains of settlements dating back thousands of years. Top it off with a magical sunset amidst the desert dunes.

  • Sharjah Desert Park

Sharjah Desert Park

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Both kids and adults will enjoy a visit to the Sharjah Desert Park to observe indigenous plants and animals. Enter the Arabian Wildlife Centre to see big cats like Arabian leopards and wolves up close. Let the children have fun at the petting zoo with goats, camels and more. For a slice of Islamic history, wander through the Botanical Garden which grows plants mentioned in the Holy Quran.

  • Central Souk

You cannot leave Sharjah without visiting the Central Souk, locally known as the Blue Souk due to its iconic blue tiles. Lose yourself in this vibrant bazaar housing over 600 bustling stores under one roof. Shop for pashminas, Turkish carpets, Yemeni silver jewellery and more as you soak in the heady sights and smells. Remember to haggle with a smile for the best deals.

  • Al Noor Island

Escape the hustle-bustle by visiting the verdant Al Noor Island in Khalid Lagoon. Stroll past modern art installations, sculpture gardens and the island’s star attraction – the Butterfly House. Home to over 500 vibrantly coloured butterflies flitting around you, it is truly a magical experience. As the sun goes down, the island transforms into a glittering wonderland with trees and bridges illuminated in myriad hues.

  • Al Noor Mosque

With its graceful Ottoman-style minarets, the Al Noor Mosque is the only one in Sharjah that opens its door to non-Muslims. Take an insightful tour to understand the tenets of Islam and Emirati culture. Admire the intricate architecture and soak in the tranquillity of this sanctuary. The mosque looks picture-perfect at sunset when the minarets are set aglow.

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So leave behind the malls and skyscrapers of Dubai for a day and head east to Sharjah for a tryst with art, history and culture. Its family-friendly attractions, traditional bazaars, pristine beaches and outdoor adventures offer something to everyone. By the time you leave, Sharjah will have won you over with its age-old world charm.

Shabbir Ahmad is a highly accomplished and renowned professional blogger, writer, and SEO expert who has made a name for himself in the digital marketing industry. He has been offering clients from all over the world exceptional services as the founder of Dive in SEO for more than five years.

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