Top-rated Tourist Destinations in Sharjah (Part-I)
Sharjah, the Cultural Capital of the Arab World, boasts numerous sightseeing opportunities for museum and art lovers. With intriguing museums, traditional souks, family entertainment and shopping malls, the city has a lot to offer to its visitors. Below is a compilation of a few of the top-rated tourist destinations in Sharjah and a visit to each of them can turn your vacation into an unforgettable experience.
Central Market (Blue Souk)
Located near Khaled Lagoon, the Blue Souk or Central Market is the primary shopping hub of Sharjah. It is the biggest market area in the city presenting a unique shopping experience. An ideal example of Islamic design, the market has over six hundred charming shops from where you can buy anything to everything.
The place is popular among locals and tourists alike and is a must visit for shopping lovers. You will find two sections connected via tunnels – one is dedicated to electronics, goods and gifts and the other to jewelry, gold and gems. Just browsing through the shops and seeing the various traditional handicrafts and antiques is enough to give you a wonderful feeling.
A quaint fishing village, Kalba is United Arab Emirates’ most southerly village with a lively fish market on the seashore. This is a fascinating place for a stroll and has quite a few tourist attractions in its surroundings. The fully renovated House of Sheikh Saeed bin Hamad Al-Qassimi is where you can see the displays of the traditional furniture and musical instruments.
Constructed as a fort nearly 200 years ago, the Al-Hisn Museum is another place worthy of a visit. Heading south of the village will get you to Khor Kalba Conservation Reserve which contains a beautiful mangrove forest. This is a paradise for bird-watchers and you can enjoy watching the rare kingfishers and reef herons.
Sharjah Arts Museum
Inaugurated in 1997, this is the largest and one of the most popular museums in the United Arab Emirates. This state-of-the-art facility features permanent collections as well as temporary exhibits. Here, you can see some of the valuable artworks from the collections of the famous ruler of Sharjah – Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi.
Spread over three floors, there are 72 galleries in all that focus on the works by artists who contributed in painting the Arab world. The Ali Darwish gallery houses paintings dedicated to the city’s natural environment, culture and architecture while the contemporary section houses more than 300 works by local and foreign artists. So if you happen to be an art-lover, you wouldn’t want to miss a trip here.
Sharjah Heritage Area
Defining the city’s colorful heritage, the place is a combination of several museums including Souk Al Arsah, Sharjah Heritage Museum, Hisn Fort, Al Hisn Sharjah and Al Midfaa House. Souk Al Arsah is a big open courtyard souk that includes a large number of shops featuring wooden handicrafts, traditional garments, jewelery and beauty products. Bait Al Naboodah, now converted into Sharjah Heritage Museum, comprises of 16 rooms with each room reflecting a unique aspect of Emirati culture.
At Al Midfaa House, you get to watch exhibits covering the culture and literature of the region. Another interesting place within the Heritage Area is the Al Hisn Fort that showcases the city’s rich history through themed displays in each of its rooms.
The city of Sharjah brims with fabulous tourist spots and each with its own unique charisma can keep visitors of all ages occupied for hours. All of the above places offer a wonderful experience and should not be missed out during your tour of the city. The list doesn’t end here and will feature some more top-rated tourist destinations of Sharjah in the following update.