Why book a family holiday to Sharjah?
Sharjah for families
From fountain shows and a giant ferris wheel to wildlife centres and water parks, Sharjah has some great family-friendly attractions. In fact, it is one of the best destinations for children in the UAE, with a wholesome family atmosphere along the corniches and in the restaurants.
As the cultural capital of the UAE, the emirate is also a great place for families to experience the real Arabia around its traditional souks and palaces converted into museums. Sharjah has dozens of museums and many of them are supremely kid-friendly. Chief among them is the Sharjah Desert Park and Arabian Wildlife Centre, which encompasses natural enclosures for native animals, the Natural History and Botanical Museum, as well as a children's farm.
Sharjah's modern beach hotels and resorts are almost all suitable for family travellers, where kids clubs and splash pools are the rule rather than the exception. Most hotels have private sections of sand along the calm shoreline with shallow water perfect for paddling.
Sharjah has a really nice selection of classic family attractions similar to those you might find in modern sun-and-sand destinations around the world. Al Montazah Amusement and Water Park on Flag Island is a kids' wonderland with funfair rides and water slides galore. Al Jazeera Park, on an island in Sharjah City's Khalid Lagoon, is another spot where families can enjoy themed rides, a small zoo, plus train and boat rides.
Not far from Sharjah City centre, Adventureland is an exciting jungle adventure theme park with lots of kiddies rides, rollercoasters, trains, climbing walls, dodgems and play areas that will keep the family amused for hours on end. Like all good seaside destinations, Sharjah also has its own excellent aquarium where you can see sharks, eels and rays, as well as a colourful spectrum of other underwater creatures.
A pleasant family atmosphere pervades the corniches that loop around the edges of Sharjah City and its suburbs' lagoons. Al Majaz Park beside Khalid Lagoon is a green oasis that's worth visiting both during the day and after sundown. Kids can have fun in the water at the Al Majaz Splash Park and run around in the play area, and families can hire bikes and trikes to explore the area. The park is also a great place for strolling in the early evening where you can watch a pretty fountain sound and light show and dine at the family-friendly eateries nearby.
On a narrow palm-lined waterway between Al Khan and Khalid lagoons, Al Qasba is an entertainment hotspot with shops and eateries that's ideal for families in particular. Its unmissable Eye of the Emirates observation wheel offers aerial views of Sharjah's corniche, lagoons and landscape, with the skyscrapers of Dubai visible on the horizon. Alongside the Kids Fun Zone, funfair rides and musical fountain, you can board a boat tour of Sharjah from here or hire fun water carts.
For families who want to learn more about the country's rich culture and history, Sharjah City has more than its fair share of museums located in and around the dedicated Arts and Heritage Areas. You can explore some of these sights on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. For a fantastic family day out a short drive from Sharjah City and its bordering resorts, the Discovery Centre is the only interactive, hands-on children's museum in the UAE, with seven themed areas focused on making science and technology entertaining and exciting for young kids.
There are some fun organised tours for families to explore the natural environment in Sharjah too. Children love the novelty of taking a camel ride through the desert or a gentle dune-bashing safari to Fossil Rock. There are also cruises in traditional abra boats offered on Khalid lagoon with great views of the city, especially when it lights up at sundown.
For a holiday centred on the beach in serene natural surroundings, Sharjah's east coast enclave of Khor Fakkan ticks all the boxes. It's separated from the rest of Sharjah by the high Hajar mountains, but the spacious Oceanic Hotel and Resort is perfectly self-contained. Perched above one of the best beaches in the UAE, the hotel has its own piece of paradise with sunloungers and shades set out along the sand. There's a dive and watersports centre for families who want to enjoy some activities in the warm water. The large swimming pools beside the beach and excellent modern facilities make it ideal for fun family holidays and aquatic adventures.
Sandwiched between Dubai and Sharjah City, the seafront lagoons and beaches of Al Khan and Al Mamzar, with modern hotels and facilities, are a great location for an active family beach break in the emirate. Al Khan's new resort developments such as Sharjah Beach Hotel overlook the seafront Al Khan beach perfect for splashing about in the water and enjoying family bucket and spade days. Sharjah Aquarium is close by and Al Qasba is just a short hop away.
In the Al Corniche beach area on the other side of the city close to the border with Ajman, the family-orientated Coral Beach Resort has its own private sweep of sand at the end of the beach and makes a peaceful base for relaxing as a family. Closer to the city centre, the child-friendly Radisson Blu Resort also has wide beachfront grounds, including four pools. It runs a free shuttle down town and to Dubai making it simple for families to explore the local area and Sharjah's famous neighbour.
Family holidays in Sharjah
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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.
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.