Sharjah is one of the three vibrant metropolises of the United Arab Emirates. Along with Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the capital of the Emirate of Sharjah forms one of the cultural centers of the country. Remarkable is the high number of mosques, which fascinate travellers from all over the world and every religion with fabulously beautiful architecture.
In central Sharjah alone and in the immediate outskirts of the city there are more than 300 of them. There is hardly any other metropolis in the Arab world where you can learn so much about the Arab-Islamic world in such a short time as in the museums and cultural sites of this city. Sharjah easily manages the balancing act between historical heritage and ultra-modern life. Less
One of the most beautiful mosques
A shopper's paradise
Golden stretches of beach to relax on
The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is located in the historic old city of Sharjah. Over 5,000 exhibits explain and present the cultural and artistic achievements of the Islamic communities. During a tour, faith in Islam naturally plays a major role. However, apart from historical artefacts, it is the insights into Arab Islamic sciences that will help you understand the religion and life in this religious community. The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization houses one of the most important exhibitions in the Arab world. The imposing and beautiful building overlooks the Majarrah Waterfront: after a visit, you can really relax in the outdoor area overlooking the sea and review the many impressions.
It is the largest mosque in the entire Emirate of Sharjah: The Central Mosque of Sharjah - also called King Faisal Mosque - extends over more than 120,000 square feet. The two huge minarets and the enormous dome can already be seen from a distance. But not only because of the huge size, the mosque stands out from the tens of hundreds of Islamic houses of prayer in the metropolis: The central mosque was built in an ultra-modern architectural style that is only slightly reminiscent of a traditional building style. Despite its young age (built in 1984), the mosque is the centerpiece of the historic souk. Even as a non-Muslim you will enjoy this spectacular building, which outshines the entire area with its park with its colossal appearance.
The snow-white facade of the an-Nur Mosque points the way to one of the most beautiful Islamic houses of prayer in the UAE. In 2003, the an-Nur Mosque was built of plaster, marble and fibreglass on the Al-Khaleed Lagoon. The architectural style is particularly noteworthy: if the Central Mosque stands out with its modern architectural style, the an-Nur Mosque is reminiscent of an Ottoman-Turkish style. This is no coincidence: the architects based their construction on the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Be sure to stop by this exceptionally coherent and pretty structure: it is one of the few mosques that are freely accessible to non-Muslims. If you get the chance, the Sharjah Festival of Lights awaits you every year in early February, when the an-Nur Mosque is spectacularly lit up.
Don't be confused: the "Central Souq" is known by many names. Its official name is Al Markazi Souq. Since it is home to some of the most exciting gold and jewelry shops, locals also refer to it as the "Gold Souq." Still others derive the name from the eye-catching facades decorated with turquoise and blue mosaic stones, giving rise to the name "Blue Souq". Just a stone's throw away from the Central Mosque, the massive and oversized indoor market is located in a prime and central location in Sharjah. The young building is attributed to neo-Arab architecture. Traditional but newly interpreted decors adorn an ultra-modern market hall, which is more like a post-modern shopping centre. Here you will shop for every imaginable thing - fabrics, jewellery, souvenirs, clothes, food and fancy luxuries. A true shopper's paradise on your Sharjah holiday.
Al Noor Island is one of the most exciting projects in Sharjah: the man-made island is located in the middle of the Al Khaleed Lagoon. Here you will experience a fairytale-like place that is a cultural mixture of amusement park and recreation area. Walk along a 2 mile long wooden walkway through breathtaking landscapes that are artfully set off by colourful light installations. Sculptures and works by some of the world's most famous artists adorn Al Noor Island. As soon as it gets dark, thousands of lights dance across the island, taking you into a world of fantasy. Children can play to their hearts' content on playgrounds, while you relax with a coffee in the well-air-conditioned Literature Pavilion. Finally, another highlight awaits you - a huge butterfly house, home to over 500 exotic species.
If you want to relax on your Sharjah holiday after long shopping trips in the souqs or after visiting the breathtaking mosques, Al Mamzar Beach is the place to be. Al Mamzar is the coastal area in front of the Sharjah skyline. Several golden stretches of beach form a soothing and refreshing recreational area to escape the city hustle and bustle and hot temperatures. Enjoy regional and international specialties at the various restaurants and cafes, or take in the surroundings with an outdoor picnic. Do you like more action? Then conquer the waves of the Persian Gulf with water sports. Wide stretches of Al Mamzar Beach are lined with towering palm trees, offering you a shady spot at any time. Less