About Sharjah: Know the Emirate’s History, Popularity, Attractions, Hidden Gems

About Sharjah

Sharjah is the third-largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Sharjah emirate. The city is part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area and is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. Sharjah has a history that spans thousands of years, with evidence of human settlement dating back to the prehistoric era. In the early 18th century, the Qawasim clan (Huwayla tribe) established itself in Sharjah. In 1820, Sheikh Sultan I signed the General Maritime Treaty with Britain, accepting protection and setting the stage for the city’s growth. The city has been shaped by its Arabic and Islamic heritage, and it has maintained its reputation as the cultural capital of the Middle East. In 1998, the city was awarded the title “Cultural Capital of the Arab World” by UNESCO. The city has become the leading center of education, with many fine universities and higher education institutions established at Sharjah University.

Popular Tourism in Sharjah:

Tourism in Sharjah began to develop in the late 20th century, with the UAE government investing heavily in infrastructure and cultural institutions. Sharjah’s tourism infrastructure has seen significant development in recent years. The city is served by the Sharjah International Airport and is easily accessible from Dubai. In line with the UAE’s sustainability goals, Sharjah has introduced ecotourism projects and initiatives to preserve its natural and cultural heritage.

Some of these initiatives include the Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre and the Wasit Wetland Centre. Sharjah is a major centre for family-friendly environments and activities. The city has many green parks, apartment complexes, and a large community of Arabs from all over the Arab world, making it an effective cultural meeting point. It is a must-visit destination for those looking for an authentic Arabian experience. From November to April, it experiences a peak tourist season with cool and dry weather, making it perfect for outdoor events.

Top Attractions in Sharjah:

1. Al Noor Island:

Al Noor Island is a beautiful and peaceful place in Sharjah, UAE. It is located in Sharjah’s Khalid Lagoon. It is known for its tropical biosphere, which is filled with floating butterflies. There’s a cafe where you can have a meal by the lagoon, and you can also stargaze with powerful telescopes. It has modern art sculptures, such as the Rock Crystal, Amethyst, and Stone Tree fossil rocks. Al Noor Island hosts special promotions, events, art exhibitions, cultural activities, and new attractions. It’s a great place to connect with nature and create special memories with your loved ones.

2. Blue Souk:

Blue Souk, also known as Central Market, Old Gold Souk, Twin Souk, or simply Souk, is an indoor shopping center in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. It is a popular tourist destination. The Blue Souk is famous for its iconic blue tile-trimmed facade, which makes it one of the most photographed buildings in Sharjah. The market offers a variety of products, including clothing, accessories, souvenirs, local handicrafts, spices, herbs, and cosmetics.

3. Al Montazah Parks:

Al Montazah Parks in Sharjah is a popular family destination. It offers many entertainment options, including an amusement park and a water park. The park combines two exciting parks: the Island of Legends and Pearls Kingdom. The Island of Legends has some thrilling rides, including the Loch Ness Spin Boat, a Viking journey through the North Pole, and the Fun Castle. The park also has manicured lawns, picnic areas, and a variety of food stalls. Pearls Kingdom is a water park that offers a range of pools and slides. The park offers free parking, making it a convenient and affordable
option for families looking for a fun day out.

4. Sharjah Fort:

Sharjah Fort, also known as Al Hisn,is located in the center of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. It is a popular tourist attraction. It was originally built in 1820 by the then Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi. The fort is made of rock, coral, and adobe. It was partially demolished in 1970 but was later restored and completed in 1997. The restoration process, which took place from 1996 to 1997, aimed to preserve this historical site. The fort has three towers: Burj Al-Kess, Burj Al Mahlusa, and Burj Mishref Square. It is managed by Sharjah Museums and is open to the public. The fort holds great historical significance as it reflects the traditional architecture and heritage of the region.

5. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization:

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, is the first museum of its kind in the UAE. It was opened in 2008 and has over 5,000 artifacts, including calligraphy, carvings, ceramics, coins, glass, manuscripts, metalwork, and scientific instruments. The museum is a significant cultural and touristic landmark, showcasing the great Islamic civilization from the 7th to the 20th centuries AD. It comprises seven galleries with a permanent collection organized to highlight various aspects of Islamic culture and history, such as the Abu Bakr Gallery of Islamic Faith, which introduces the principles of Islam and the Holy Qur’an. The museum provides insight into Islamic religion, art, science, and
technology, making it a must-visit for those interested in the rich heritage of the Islamic world.

6. Sharjah Aquarium:

Sharjah Aquarium is an educational center and tourist attraction located in Sharjah, UAE. It is the first and largest government educational center in the UAE, covering an area of 6500 m2, with two floors having 21 aquariums filled with 1.8 million liters of water. The aquarium showcases almost 100 species of marine creatures, including clownfish, seahorses, moray eels, sea rays, reef sharks, and local fish species. Sharjah Aquarium is part of the Sharjah Museums Authority’s social responsibility initiative “Because We Care,” which organizes an annual marine environment clean-up campaign. Entry fees for the aquarium are charged, and there is a joint ticket available for Sharjah Aquarium and Sharjah Maritime Museum.

These attractions make Sharjah a popular destination for visitors seeking a combination of cultural, historical, and entertainment experiences. The city’s strategic initiatives, such as creating tourism destinations, waterparks, and bringing in international hotel brands, have made it more attractive to tourists. Sharjah is a must-visit destination worth considering for those looking for a more affordable and less crowded alternative to other popular tourist destinations in the United Arab Emirates. Sharjah continues to attract visitors from around the world.

Malls in Sharjah, UAE

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