Sharjah – the hidden treasure of the Arab Emirates

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Written By Berry Mathew

When we think about a trip to the UAE, the first thing that comes to mind are the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Indeed, these are stunning cities with a huge selection of entertainment, beautiful views and their particular advantages, which attract tourists so much. But the Arab Emirates does not end at these two places. 28 kilometers from Dubai there is the city which is called Sharjah, a real cultural treasure of the Emirates. In this article we will tell you why it is worth paying attention to this city and not missing it while visiting the UAE.

Let’s start from the beginning. It’s not the secret that the UAE is a very hot and dry country. Unaccustomed tourists experience a hard time at first, especially if they decide to travel by public transport. Therefore, it is advisable to think about your own comfort from the first minute and organize a car rental at Sharjah airport upon arrival in the city. If you’re looking for a reliable and seamless rental experience, you can also easily pre-book through UAEDriving ahead of your journey. This ensures not only comfort but also peace of mind as you travel. With a rented car, you will be free to move around, provide yourself and your companions with comfortable conditions and will even be able to go to neighboring cities. We remind you that Dubai is 28 kilometers away! It’s nothing with the hired car.

Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates by area. Since 1998, the city has been recognized as the cultural capital of the country, because the abundance of unique museums, galleries and theaters can compete with more than one European city. 

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Before describing in detail the local treasures, it is very important to mention the fact that it is completely forbidden to drink alcohol in Sharjah. This is an absolutely “dry” emirate with no alcohol, no hookah cafes and prohibited revealing clothing. That is why a car is very useful for tourists, so that after a calm and cultural day in Sharjah you can get to Dubai and have fun in the evening (but remember about the safety rules when driving!)

A trip to Sharjah can be classified as a calm and contemplative beach holiday, because it is filled with historical monuments, marvelous beaches on the Persian Gulf coast and breathtaking views. The city is clean and quite green unlike more industrial Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This place is definitely for connoisseurs of real Arabic flavor and for those who are interested in museums, exhibition centers, Oriental bazaars and theaters.

So, let’s walk through the main sights of the city. Sharjah is home to the King Faisal Mosque, one of the largest in the Middle East. Although only Muslims are allowed to enter there, it’s worth taking a look at this masterpiece at least from the outside. The construction took 10 years and 120 million dollars from the ruler’s treasury.

Architecture is the highlight of this city. Sharjah visitors are struck by the contrast in building architecture compared to cities in other emirates. In Dubai or Abu Dhabi the buildings are designed in a Western style with all the hotels and business offices shining in the sun. Sharjah’s architecture is mainly oriental.

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It is impossible not to walk through the old district of Meredja, where you can find interesting houses restored using original materials. In the list of places worth visiting, be sure to include the watchtowers along the coast of the Gulf of Al-Khan, as well as the monument to the Holy Quran, which is made in the form of a large statue of the book.

In the local national park there is a miniature model of Sharjah, where you can steer boats or remote-controlled cars, ride a bike along special routes, among which there is even a “tunnel of fear”. 

Speaking of sports, cricket, windsurfing and diving are popular in Sharjah. Fans of extreme sports will be pleased with a jeep safari with a furious race through the desert and an exotic overnight stay in a Bedouin village. 

In general, if your image of vacation in the Emirates is associated with the atmosphere of fairy tales about Sinbad and Scheherazade, this city is exactly for you!