Sharjah’s unique appeal lies in its celebration of heritage and traditional Emirati culture. Today, the emirate has made clever use of its landscapes and history to offer a wide variety of activities and attractions that meld together the historical and the contemporary.
Below are our top 8 picks, which you should not miss when in Sharjah:
Rain Room: After being launched in London then visiting New York, Los Angeles and Shanghai, the Rain Room, an immersive art installation created by Random International is now permanently housed at the Sharjah Art Foundation. When visitors enter the Rain Room, they are directed to navigate intuitively and carefully through the dark underground space in order to protect themselves from a downpour of rain. As they continue to walk through the art space, which uses 1,200 liters of self-cleaning, recycled water, their movements trigger motion sensors that pauses the rainfall when detecting movement.
The tickets for Rain Room are sold online and at the venue. Timings are Saturday-Thursday, 9 am-9 pm and Friday, 4 pm-11 pm.
Eye of Emirates: One of Sharjah’s most instantly recognizable landmarks situated at Al Montazah Park, provides tourists supreme panoramas over the city’s major attractions and famous markets such as the Central Souq, Al JubailSouq, Al Majaz Waterfront, Khalid Lagoon, The Flag Island, Al Noor Island and Al Noor Mosque.
Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences: The center aims at developing and promoting education about astronomy and space sciences in the Arab World in general and the UAE in particular in order to be a destination for science, research, heritage, education and tourism for students and university students, researchers and families of all ages.
Al Majaz Waterfront: A perfect family destination with a huge range of world-inspired cuisines, the Al Majaz Waterfront has changed the face of dining and leisure in the emirate. There are old favourites interspersed with more unusual hangouts for visitors who would like to try new flavours in the world-class restaurants and cafes. Sit in any of the appealing waterfront restaurants and enjoy the lagoon view and the Sharjah Fountain show. In addition, the Al Majaz Waterfront offers a sculpture park and children’s park as well as a recycled tyre jogging track and mini golf.
Al Qasba: A more sophisticated foodie vibe can be found at Al Qasba which has become a premier tourism, cultural, business, and entertainment landmark. Reminiscent of a Venetian canal, Al Qasba’s unique architectural design includes pedestrian bridges across the canal and boats to take visitors onto the adjoining Khalid and Al Khan lagoons. Visitors will find many independent restaurants supported by well-known culinary franchises. Here Lebanese cuisine rubs shoulders with American brands and cafes, encouraging you to enjoy relaxing by the water.
Al Noor Mosque: With its stunning location, overlooking Khalid Lagoon, Al Noor is one of Sharjah’s most beautiful mosques and was the first to welcome non-Muslim visitors. Designed in classic Ottoman style, Al Noor’s cascade of domes and two soaring minarets embellish the skyline of Sharjah. The interior is just as spectacular, with calligraphic inscriptions from the Holy Qur’an and intricately decorated domes, arches and pillars. Visits to the mosque are free of charge and guided tours are hosted every Monday with private tours available by appointment.
Al Noor Island: Surrounded by azure waters just off the coast from Sharjah’s bustling downtown, Al Noor Island offers visitors the perfect antidote to the city with multiple attractions that meld nature, art and entertainment in 45,470 sq. metres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Amid stunning art and sculpture, a plant-covered butterfly haven houses around 500 captivating exotic butterflies while the Literature Pavilion provides book lovers with a serene spot to relax and read. The island also hosts a spacious children’s playground, a pontoon and boat docking area that allows easy access for visitors to and from Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasba and The Heart of Sharjah.
Sharjah Classic Cars Museum: This museum is an ideal destination for classic cars lovers. It draws tourists and visitors from all around the world. It is a one of a kind museum in the region, as it displays more than 100 vintage classic cars of different brands dating back to the 20th century, in addition to classic motorcycles and bicycles. The oldest car showcased in the museum dates back to 1915. Here, visitors will be able to get an up close look at classic car models and their specifications including Rolls Royce, Ford, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Bentley and many others.