The Emirate of Sharjah is the third largest of seven emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates. It is the only emirate to have land on the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf Coast. Sharjah is a well-known heritage area and home to several mosques, souks, museums and desert parks. In 1998, UNESCO named Sharjah as Cultural Capital of the Arab World.
Less frantic than neighbouring Dubai approximately 40 kilometres away, Sharjah offers a true glimpse into the rich heritage of the Emirates. A great place to begin is at Sharjah Fort Museum. It dominates the heritage district and offers visitors a unique glimpse into the social history of the Emirate. Another unmissable attraction is the Sharjah Archaeology Museum displaying a vast array of artefacts and historical information. Nearby, browse the oldest souk in the country, Souq al-Arsah. It’s the ideal place to sample mint tea and a sweet pastry in a colourful, bustling environment. Alternatively, Blue Souq is a vibrant shopping centre with over 600 stores to explore. Many visitors venture here to invest in carpets, rugs, textiles and gifts. Outside the city, Sharjah Desert Park offers a variety of pastimes to enjoy. Discover the Natural History Museum, Arabian Wildlife Centre and Children’s Farm all in one park. Alternatively, remain in Sharjah, take a walk by the canal and admire the striking architecture of the mosques, try jet skiing in the Khalid Lagoon or enjoy a meal in one of Sharjah’s fine dining restaurants.
Sharjah airport is 15 kilometres from Sharjah City. Frequent shuttle buses connect the airport with the centre. Visitors arriving at Dubai International Airport can utilise the inter-emirate shuttle buses available. There is a public bus route running to and from Sharjah to Dubai taking around one hour. Public transport in Sharjah itself is lacking. Most of the city highlights can be accessed on foot, however, for outlying areas, visitors should consider hiring a car or travelling by taxi.
Human settlement in the Emirate of Sharjah is thought to have existed for over 120,000 years. Fascinating archaeological finds are consistent with humanity's journey from Africa to the rest of the world. Sharjah is home to many expatriates, with the cost of living cheaper than neighbouring Dubai. Visitors choose Sharjah due to its variety of museums, rich heritage and unique placement within the diverse Emirates region.