Uncovering Sharjah’s exceptional offering of art, culture, adventure, shopping and food to help you plan your next trip
If you’re looking for something more exciting to do on the next long weekend rather than scrolling through the Netflix menu of series you’ve already binge watched twice or wondering which restaurant to wait at in long queues for a table, do yourself a favour and book a ticket to Sharjah instead!
A short three hour flight and you can find yourself in the heart of the Middle East in this culturally rich Emirate. Equal parts adventure, culture and fun make for the perfect vacation. I went on an incredible journey with Visit Sharjah and discovered everything there is to do in this hidden gem. Here are my top tips to help you plan the perfect trip!
Where to stay
A luxurious oasis in the middle of the city, the Sheraton Beach Resort and Spa is a no-brainer choice. A beautifully landscaped resort with a large pool and a private beach makes for the perfect setting to get away from the urban chaos. The rooms are exceptionally plush as well. I guarantee, you won’t miss home!
Where to eat
If you’re looking for good, authentic Lebanese food that’s elevated with a light, modern touch in a beautiful setting, Shababeek by the Al Qasba waterfront has to be number one on your list. We pretty much sampled the entire menu and I loved it ALL! Be sure to go with an appetite!
Another favourite of mine is Zahr El-Laymoun at Al Majaz Waterfront. Seriously delicious Lebanese mezze in the most picturesque setting. Sit outdoors and count the stars; not calories.
And if you need a break from the Middle Eastern fare or not, you’ve got to do brunch at Jones the Grocer. An all-time favourite, Jones allows you to enjoy a nice slow brunch that can be either very healthy or indulgent. Take breaks between courses to browse around their cheese room where you can sample and buy scores of cheeses, or sift through the many gourmet ingredients, coffee-ware and kitchen gadgets they have for sale. The last time I went, I had the sweet potato toast with smashed avocado and balanced the healthy with the best French toast I’ve ever had. No debate there.
What to do
Al Noor Mosque
You can’t go to Florence and not go to the Duomo, right? Sometimes, the iconic touristy spots are worth their weight of hype. It’s similar for the Al Noor Mosque in Sharjah. It’s pristine white walls welcome you in to an envelope of serenity and holiness, and encourage you to embrace the beautiful culture of the Middle East. A short walk away is the Noor Butterfly Garden which is also worth a visit if you’re travelling with your kids.
My experience at the Rain Room in Sharjah was SO thrilling! Imagine standing in the rain and experiencing its magic, but NOT getting wet! Sounds impossible right?! But this permanent sound and light art installation at Sharjah Art makes this dream a reality! Motion sensors and cameras control your movements and stop the water fall only in the space that you occupy in this rain filled room. Cool, isn’t it? I think it’s cool enough to get you to get on a plane and visit Sharjah NOW!
We spent a whole day at Mleiha exploring the culture and indulging in some thrilling experiences like dune bashing! This will be unforgettable! What an experience!
And then I woke up like this! …after what was an incredible camping experience in the middle of the wilderness of the desert. I was too busy star gazing and cozying up around a bonfire to miss any urban luxuries. Have you been camping before?! It might just be my new thing!
Where to shop
Sharjah boasts of a number of traditional souqs and malls. Rummage through antiques and artefacts in Souq Al Arsa and Souq Al Shanasiyah. And if you’re hungry for a dose of the best international brands, a visit to the Sahara Centre Mall and City Centre, Sharjah is definitely worth your time.