Sharjah is home to many of the UAE’s expats, who are an easy commute from their work city, Dubai. This, however, might give an unbalanced perception of Sharjah’s appeal. It offers many attractions and leisure activities in its own right.
Sharjah is the third largest city in the UAE and one of the 7 Emirates. It is also the only Emirate to border on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
It is a little less westernized than Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with more of an emphasis on the arts, heritage, and nature. This is no bar or club culture, though its Bay Zone contains a number of beach resorts to relax and enjoy water sports.
Shopping is popular in Sharjah with both locals and tourists. The Blue Souk is one of its best malls, comprising 6 buildings decorated with blue tiles. Over 600 shops stock everything from household goods and expensive jewelry to antique Persian carpets.
One of the must-see locations in Sharjah is Khalid Lagoon, not far from the Blue Souk. It contains the third tallest fountain in the world, its glittering waters reaching up to 100 meters. The lush, green Al Jazeera Park sits on an island in the center – the perfect spot for family picnics.
Sharjah possesses another island – Al Noor Island, where you can see over 500 exotic species of East Asian butterfly at The Butterfly House. There are also art installations, landscaped gardens, and a Literature Pavilion for book fanatics.
Al Qasba is a premier tourist attraction where you can admire the excellent Eye of the Emirates. This 60-meter-high Ferris wheel offers stunning views of the city skyline.