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Sharjah Holidays

Discover the richest of emirates and the only one to deservedly hold a UNESCO title.


Sharjah is so much more than splendid beaches, everlasting sunshine and the finest luxury resorts. It's not yet another copy and paste version of U.A.E success and fashionable tourist recreation. In fact it's the only of all emirates to take their rich traditions so seriously as to completely ban alcohol everywhere (including hotels). Explore beyond the resorts to discover why this place is so culturally fascinating and historically rich as to have been declared Arab Capital of Culture by UNESCO.

Introducing Sharjah

A presumably unassuming emirate standing right to the big, attention-seeking Dubai, Sharjah may not be the most well-known part of the U.A.E but it certainly deserves attention. Not only is its thriving capital the third-largest and most populous in the emirates but it's the only one of them to have been recognised by UNESCO and declared "Arab Capital of Culture". With this distinction also comes the obligatory holiday plan of devoting at least a few hours to exploring its rich heritage areas, as well as browsing its historical souqs and museums.

But of course, most people come to Sharjah to experience a quieter, more relaxed alternative to Dubai while being less than 40 minutes away from all of its attractions. In fact combining the cultural wonders of conservative Sharjah with Dubai's fast-paced city glamour makes for an ideal twin-centre holiday escape where you get the best of both worlds: old world charm and Arabic traditions that have been immaculately preserved for centuries plus trendy city life with lively bars, fun entertainment options and buzzing restaurants.

The only downside to Sharjah is that as the most conservative of all emirates it's the only one that remains fully "dry" in the sense that alcohol is not served anywhere (not even in hotels) so if booze is important to the enjoyment of your holiday perhaps any of the other emirates would be more suitable, which is why we strongly recommend this destination be combined with another neighbouring one like Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah to get the best of both worlds in one single multi-centre holiday.

Incredibly rich heritage as Arab Capital of Culture

Sharjah is immensely proud of its heritage and rightly so, as it contains several historical and cultural landmarks for history buffs to peruse at ease. The best starting point for discovering the emirate's heritage treasures is the Heritage District of the capital city (also named Sharjah).

This is where you'll find the impressive Al-Hisn Fort and Museum and not too far from there you'll also find the Sharjah Heritage Museum, the Sharjah Archaeology Museum, the Sharjah Caligraphy Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Sharjah Science Museum.

On the Al Majarrah area stands the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, housing an exquisite collection of Islamic artefacts from around the world in spacious areas and galleries. Many picturesque souqs like the Al Arsah Souq complete the kaleidoscopic picture.

Exciting attractions for all the family and easy access to Dubai

There's definitely much more to Sharjah the historic value and unique cultural assets. Entertainment is also big on this emirate and it being the most conservative of all in terms of dress code and drinking does not mean they don't know how to have fun.

One of the top places to go for a day out include the Eye of the Emirates (a giant observatory wheel much like the one in London), the Majlis of Ibrahim Mohammed al Midfa (great for people-watching and hanging out), the shady Sharjah Natioanl Park, and the Sharjah Desert Park, home to the Arabia Wildlife Centre, The Sharjah Natural History and Botanical Museum and a Children's Farm.

Great attractions for children also include the Sharjah Aquarium, the Sharjah Discovery Centre and Al Qasba with its musical fountain and Kids Fun Zone (the ferris here is also located here). The Al Jazeera Park makes for a fantastic day out for families, with an amusement park, mini zoo and swimming pool.

With many resorts offering free daily shuttle service to Dubai, one of the perks of basing yourself in Sharjah is its proximity to Dubai, making it incredibly convenient to hop to and fro between the two emirates.

Idyllic beach resorts

The beaches in Sharjah are simply beautiful, clean, lovingly maintained, with crystalline waters ideal for a good array of water sports. Whilst the Hamriyah and Al Khan lagoons are popular with windsurfers, jet-skiers and water-skiers, the calmer waters of Al Corniche and Al Khan beaches are ideal for relaxing as no motorised engines are allowed here.

Stretches of beach where you'll find luxury resorts include Coral Beach (part of the Corniche beach) and KhorFakkan beach, a private stretch owned by the Oceanic Hotel and Resort featuring its own marina and charging non-guests for use of their private beach.

Our only piece of advice regarding beaches in Sharjah is to stick to resort's private beaches, or private sections of beaches, as the most conservative of all emirates, strict dress codes apply in public beach areas, especially for women. In a resort you have nothing to worry about and are free to wear bikinis or swimming shorts, although you should always refrain from going topless, but this last rule actually applies to all United Arab Emirates.

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Sharjah Holidays

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Sharjah Light Festival 2017 set to be brighter than ever

Since it began in 2011, the Sharjah Light Festival has been brightening up Arabian nights in the UAE during the month of February. This year, the tradition approaches once more with amazing 3D shows, performances by talented local artists and an exciting parade that will run through some of the city’s most astounding architectures and attractions.

Sharjah's Waterfront City project is expected to boost the emirate's tourism industry

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.

Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort and Spa set to open in October

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.