Far from the glitz of bustling cities and madding crowds, the emirate of Sharjah adopts a more modest approach in showcasing its splendid heritage and cultural richness, while remaining deeply rooted in its identity and traditions. It has recently added some outstanding tourism projects and world-class hospitality ventures to its repertoire.
A clear vision and well-thought-out strategies drive Sharjah’s tourism industry, as recent additions to its touristic offerings enhance its appeal as an ideal family vacation spot.
Art lovers on a visit to Sharjah will be thrilled to discover that the Sharjah Art Foundation holds year-round exhibitions besides showcasing a substantial permanent collection that represents one of the region’s most important art collections. The ‘Rain Room’ is a permanent installation created by Germany-based Random International for the Foundation, located in Al Majarrah. Its responsive environment allows visitors to walk through a downpour of continuous rain without getting wet. The art installation explores how mankind’s relationship with nature is increasingly facilitated by intangible technologies.
While that’s not all, Sharjah is also home to over 20 state-of-the-art museums that allow visitors to explore the rich history of the emirate, which dates back more than 6,000 years. Classic and contemporary masterpieces depicting both the traditional and modern way of life of the Arabs are on display at these museums located in different parts of the city. In fact, the UAE’s first art museum is the Sharjah Art Museum, which features arts and crafts made over the past centuries.
Alluring tourist spots
After feasting their eyes on some of the most exquisite pieces of art and crafts at Sharjah’s famed museums, visitors can head to Al Qasba, a canal-side complex packed with cafés, restaurants and shops, best suited for casual dining amidst panoramic views. Al Majaz Waterfront is another spot thronged by tourists, thanks to its breathtaking landscapes, and a lively fun-filled atmosphere. It is famous for its spectacular dancing fountain that lights up the night sky wonderfully. Meanwhile, the tranquil Al Noor Island offers travellers some respite, allowing them to disconnect and rewind at their own pace. A must visit with the family is the Butterfly House that has more than 500 jewel-coloured butterflies.
Mleiha for desert adventures
Mleiha, an archaeologically-rich destination that carefully embodies history, nature and culture, has now become an established tourist hub that offers an array of family-oriented events and exceptional experiences that allow visitors to explore the secrets of the Mleiha desert in a fun, interactive way.
The natural retreat of Kalba
A fishing village located 120 km east of Sharjah city, Kalba is home to historic buildings and mangroves that shelter a wide array of rare birds. Keeping binoculars handy when visiting Kalba is a must, as visitors get to spot some extremely rare species of birds such as the Arabian-Collared Kingfisher and the Sykes’s Warbler, as well as endangered turtles. Visitors can also kayak through the mangroves.