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The Middle East is known the world over for its sprawling deserts, oil bounties, dates and palm trees, but there is an incredible amount of culture and heritage lurking in quaint corners everywhere. One such not-so-quaint corner which has been awarded the title of Cultural Capital of the UAE by UNESCO is Sharjah. Though Sharjah is often regarded as a suburb of Dubai, Sharjah refuses to be any less when it comes to culture. While Dubai boasts of high-end hotels and the world’s tallest buildings, Sharjah revels in its tradition and historicity. The travel from Sharjah to Dubai is preferably done in a taxi or car, and it takes less than half an hour to commute between the two emirates.
Sharjah is the go-to place for art and history aficionados as you will find plenty of museums to quench your curiosity. Here is our list of places to visit in Sharjah:
A must-see for art lovers and budding artists, the Sharjah Art Museum is the largest art museum in the UAE. It has 72 different galleries spread across three floors. Many of the paintings you will come by are done by foreign artists who visited the Middle East in the 18th century. They also include works of travellers and artists who were fascinated by the Oriental culture and wishing to render it in ink and colours on paper. These 18th-century paintings will give travel writers a good idea about the etiquettes and decorum, the dressing style and court manners that were prevalent in the Arab world at that time.
Part of Sharjah’s Natural History Museum, Sharjah’s Desert Park is a dazzling learning experience for children and adults alike. The Sharjah Zoo and Desert Park showcases diverse flora and fauna. You will learn about desert habitats and endangered species, and get to look at the diversity of Arabic wildlife.
Never seen a shark in your life? We don’t blame you; but here’s your chance! At Sharjah Aquarium, which encompasses 1.8 million litres of water, you will get an opportunity to observe reef sharks, sea rays, sea horses, moray eels, clownfish and more. This aquarium is teeming with exotic and vibrantly colourful sea life and is a feast for your eyes. Climb into a traditional Arabic boat known as a ‘dhow’ and watch through the glass as a ferocious shark or a gentle jellyfish swims by.
The shopping centres of the Arab world are known as Souks, and in Sharjah, you will find different Souks to enjoy. For a peep into the daily life of Sharjah, you could simply head to the Fish Souk or the Fruit and Vegetable Souk, where you will see people haggling over fish and food produce. Come here to capture candid photos of people in traditional attire and atmosphere. Head to the Blue Souk, also known as City Market, to purchase gold, antiques and more. Look out for delicate blue-tile designing at the entrance.
Sharjah is a beautiful city and emirate, with rich cultural symbolism. Check with DAMAC Maison concierge to arrange tours for our visitors to experience the area. Choose the Sharjah City Tour to explore the University of Sharjah, the Quran roundabout in centre of the Cultural Square, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, the famous Blue Souk and all the other important destinations.
t: +971 44449091 (International)