The largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, Sharjah stretches along the Persian Gulf coast just north of Dubai. While the city merges into Dubai, its more relaxed, culture-centered atmosphere sets it apart, making it ideal for travelers seeking a quieter tempo with plenty of museums and historical sights.The Basics
Clustered around the beautiful Khalid Lagoon, Sharjah’s biggest attraction is its Heritage Area, a restored quarter of museums and historical buildings that gives visitors an authentic taste of the old city. Drawcards include the 19th-century Al Hisn Fort, the world-class Sharjah Heritage Museum, and Sharjah Islamic Museum. Having explored here, visitors can widen their sightseeing to Sharjah’s other landmarks, checking out everything from its King Faisal and Al Noor mosques to souks, waterfront parks, the Eye of the Emirates ferris wheel, and other themed museums.
Many travelers visit Sharjah from Dubai on private or group tours that include a guide and convenient round-trip transport. Book a half-day Sharjah highlights tour, longer trips with more time at Sharjah’s museums, or a combination day trip that includes the emirate of Ajman. Other options include Dubai-and-Sharjah sightseeing combos and hassle-free ticket-and-transport deals to the Sharjah Islamic Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Sharjah will appeal to UAE history and culture buffs.
- Book an organized city tour to avoid walking long distances or waiting for cabs in the Emirati sun.
- Take sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat for when you’re outdoors.
The easiest way to get to Sharjah from Dubai is to take a cab or drive: Follow the E11/Sheikh Zayed Road north through Dubai directly into Sharjah. Alternatively, catch a bus to Sharjah from Dubai’s Jumeirah Royal Meridien or Al Ghubaiba station—it’s about an hour’s journey.When to Get There
There’s no best time to visit Sharjah, although it’s wise to check its museums’ opening hours before traveling. Most Heritage Area museums and sights are open from 4pm to 8pm on Friday and 8am to 8pm Saturday through Monday. Sharjah’s parks are open daily and busiest on Fridays, while the Eye of the Emirates operates from 10am to 10pm every day.
Other Attractions in Sharjah
Once you’ve taken in Sharjah’s must-sees, the city has plenty more by way of attractions. Admire the vintage automobiles at the Sharjah Classic Car Museum, head into the desert to explore Mleiha’s Bronze Age tombs, or visit one of the city’s lagoonside parks, such as Al Montazah or Al Majaz, to play minigolf, race go-karts, watch musical fountains, or ride the Eye of the Emirates ferris wheel.