The world is finally opening up again and travellers are all set to indulge in unique and diverse experiences. Post-Covid travel trends include a hassle-free vacation where people will prefer a nearby destination that offers a wholesome, family experience. Sharjah is an ideal getaway, with diverse regions and landscapes, not to mention pocket-friendly and only a few hours flight time from India.
The third largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sharjah is divided into three regions: Sharjah City, Central Region and East Coast, each offering visitors something new and different to explore.
Read on to know what each region has to offer to help you plan your perfect itinerary!
Enjoy Family Fun in Sharjah City
From casual dining, cafe and leisure options to cultural programs and events, development in this city is focused around family and children. As a result, parents always have several options for things to do with kids in Sharjah.
• Al Majaz Waterfront: This waterside destination features mini golf, a splash park, a mini-train and several attractions made for children. A hit attraction for everyone, the Sharjah fountain periodically features an awe-inspiring light and sound display.
• Al Montazah: Situated on Flag Island in Khalid Lagoon, Sharjah’s iconic Al Montazah is the venue for a fun family day out as it hosts two exciting parks themed around ancient heroic legends.
• Al Noor Island: The car-free island is known for its tropical biosphere filled with floating butterflies. Al Noor Island also hosts several art installations, including the world-famous OVO structure.
• Al Qasba: Just a short drive from the Sharjah corniche, Al Qasba offers a wealth of activities for children and adults alike with restaurants, cultural events and art and design museums. Parents often pick Al Qasba to unwind at a cafe while their children enjoy the musical fountain, frolic at the kids’ fun zone and indoor soft play centre, or choose from the many fun activities for kids.
• Heart of Sharjah: Heritage loving families can easily spend a whole day exploring the art spaces and museums housed in traditional barjeel (wind tower) buildings in this potential UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore the Desert Landscape of The Central Region
Less than an hour’s drive from the city, Sharjah’s Central Region is a landscape of desert sand and rocky mountains full of history and adventure.
• Al Dhaid: Buy locally-produced pottery and carpets or chase the taste of farm fresh dates in Al Dhaid, known for its date palm plantations irrigated by water from the nearby Hajar Mountains via centuries-old falaj channels.
• Al Badayer: A hidden oasis on the Sharjah map, Al Badayer is a popular destination among 4×4 enthusiasts. Conquer impressive dunes on quad-bikes, experience the thrill of dune-bashing and desert driving or relax while camping under open skies, travellers of all ages can enjoy this destination.
• Mleiha: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mleiha is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the UAE. You can explore the archaeological sites or venture into the sand dunes with a desert safari or trek to Camel Rock for an expansive view of the desert.
Relish the Scenic Backdrop of The East Coast
From thriving nature reserves to clear beach waters, Sharjah’s east coast is a scenic area for action and adventure.
• Dibba Al Hisn: With a picturesque marina, this town gets its name from the landmark hisn or “fort” in English. Activities here include taking a tour of the old Dibba Al-Hisn fort, cruising along the coast on a fishing boat or dhow and visiting local mosques and fresh produce markets.
• Khorfakkan: This beach town is one of the most visited Sharjah tourist places for leisure and adventure. Spend the day by getting closer to the shimmering waters by sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, and end it by getting pampered at the Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort and Spa.
• Kalba: One of the most popular destinations for ecotourism in the UAE, Kalba is home to a thriving ecosystem of rare animals and birds. With plenty of scenic spots and glittering waters, the reserve is also a popular spot for picnics.
The emirate of Sharjah is well-known for its rich, cultural heritage – an identity that has been recognized a number of times as shown by the winning of the Cultural Capital of the Arab World 1998 and Islamic Culture Capital 2014 awards. It is a vibrant city with an exciting food and arts scene, a heritage area that is the largest restoration project in the region along with various commercial centres and over 22 museums.