The heart of Sharjah

By | Category: Travel destinations

The Blue Souq, Sharjah

Many people have travelled to Dubai on holiday; some have been to Abu Dhabi but how many have been to Sharjah, the third largest of the seven emirates that make up the UAE? Yet more people go there than go to, for example, Sri Lanka, the Seychelles, Fiji or Barbados.
What are you missing and why should you go there?
Widely viewed as a family destination, Sharjah, has a combination of beach and desert as everyone imagines a Gulf state might have. But it also has rich soil and lush vegetation in some oases. And a rocky coastline in parts. And high mountains. It has over twenty museums, has been the Cultural Capital of the Arab World and in 2014 it will be the Capital of Islamic Culture.
Combined with that is the project named “Heart of Sharjah.” This is a plan to transform the old historic part of the city into a cultural and entertainment quarter. Some historical buildings will be tastefully converted into hotels, galleries and markets. Some will just be restored. On such a scale, this project will take some time to complete – 2025 is the completion date – but when finished could prove to be a huge visitor draw.
Make sure you visit the Sharjah Heritage Museum whilst you are there. In one easy location, you will leave better understanding the traditions and culture that underline this country. And make time as well for a more unusual museum, the Calligraphy Museum, which is unique in the Arab world. Calligraphy possesses an important tradition in Arab culture and this is the place to see it at first hand, some examples being so striking as to be considered art in their own right.
For younger visitors the Al Jazeera Fun Park is a necessary stop. This thirty year old attraction has swimming pools and amusement parks and sits on its own island. And it has its own equivalent of the London Eye. Then there is shopping. Of all the markets, try the Blue Souk where clothing is to be found on the ground floor and above can be found jewellery, souvenirs and silver.
To get to Sharjah, the easiest way is a flight to Dubai as there are many direct flights. From there it is under 20 kilometres to Sharjah. As yet there is no direct service linking the UK to Sharjah.
For more information visit the website

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