When is the best time to visit Sharjah?
Blazing sunshine and blue skies are very much the norm in Sharjah, which has a dry, desert climate with short clement winters and very little rain. Between May and September, temperatures can climb to 35 degrees Celsius or more, usually peaking in late July and August when most people crank up the air conditioning and avoid being outside for long periods. Even when it's frosty in the UK between December and February, in Sharjah it is t-shirt weather with temperatures hovering around a very pleasant 23 degrees Celsius.
The best time to visit
Sharjah is the ideal winter sun destination. Either side of the hot season is the best time to visit the emirate, with November and March having pleasant temperatures for both sunbathing and sightseeing. In the intense summer heat of June, July and August, outdoor activities such as desert safaris can be tough-going so if you plan to explore outside your hotel it's best to avoid travelling then. From October to April the sun is generally less fierce and temperatures are much milder. If you decide to go to Sharjah in the winter, you may find that it's cool outside after dark, but a light jumper or cardigan will keep you from feeling the chill.
Public holidays and religious festivals
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the festivals of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha are observed in Sharjah when many businesses including tours, attractions and restaurants are closed. During Ramadan, most locals fast during the daylight hours and businesses tend to open later, while restaurants are usually only open after sundown. Hotels and resorts usually function as normal but sightseeing and safari opportunities may be limited during this period. The dates of Ramadan change every year so it's a good idea to check before you book a holiday.
The feast at the end of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, and the four-day annual celebration of Eid Al Adha, held between October and November, are public holidays in Sharjah when there is reduced infrastructure. But both festivals can be very illuminating times to visit the UAE for travellers interested in experiencing local culture and customs. Sharjah City's corniche comes alive with festivities, and families come out to enjoy the public holiday together.
Sharjah is a particularly conservative emirate with a modest dress code and no alcohol served anywhere. The emirate's beach resorts often have their own sweeps of sand where usual swimwear such as bikinis and trunks are the norm. But away from the hotels, beach wear is considered inappropriate attire and this includes shorts for both men and women. If you are going for a stroll along the corniche, shopping at the mall or sightseeing in the heritage area it's a good idea to respect local cultural traditions by wearing attire below the knee and covering your shoulders.
Though most indoor places are air conditioned, it's generally very hot in the UAE so consider packing clothing in light breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen. In winter, around December to February, temperatures can drop dramatically at night in the desert and along the coast, so bring a cardigan, jumper or light jacket if you plan to be outdoors after dark.
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The conception for the Waterfront City project in the UAE's Sharjah was recently unveiled at the Cityscape Global conference. With a host of features from a water theme park to shopping malls, luxury hotels and restaurants the project is expected to generate a lot of interest in Sharjah among holidaymakers in the coming years.
The Sheraton Sharjah Beach Hotel Resort and Spa is scheduled to open to guests next month in the United Arab Emirates. The luxury hotel has 349 guest rooms and suites, and a range of facilities including two infinity pools, Shine Spa for Sheraton, a Sheraton Fitness Centre, Kids Club and several gourmet restaurants.
Action Hotels has opened the Premier Inn Sharjah in the Middle East. The luxury hotel was originally scheduled to open last year but it was delayed due to power issues. It officially opened to guests last week in the heart of Sharjah, with 168 guest rooms and facilities including a gym, a restaurants and a coffee shop.