Travel Guide
Sharjah Travel Guide
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Culture of Sharjah

Sharjah is known as the cultural hub of UAE. UNESCO has termed the city as the cultural capital of the country for its innumerable cultural museums, architectures, cultural findings through excavations, and more. A bit more conservative than the neighboring cosmopolitan emirate of Dubai, Sharjah takes pride in adhering to its cultural rules and regulations. The city has distinctively contributed in humanity and Islamic culture through its

Symbolizing architectural brilliance, cultural treasure of UAE, and the intellectual growth in the Bedouins from the ancient era; Sharjah is renowned all across the world for its role as a patron of true cultural values, fine arts and obeying conventional Islamic laws. Sharjah helps in harmonizing the gap between the traditional cultural roots and the contemporary development of the modern world. His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has always stressed a lot on maintaining the sanctity of the rich traditional values and adding the modern dash to the flavor of the city’s lifestyle.

Boasting of the best of art and cultural events in the Middle east, Sharjah is continuously working towards preserving the Arabian cultural heritage. The city has been actively promoting the Arabian culture and Islamic religion through various government funded ways and has retained its title of being the cultural capital of the UAE.

Sharjah uses the Emirati currency called Dirhams (Dhs). Considered mainly to be a business hub, Sharjah’s main populations includes businessmen. The emirate is the third most populous and also the third largest emirate of UAE. Overlooking the Persian Gulf, marine trade too is carried out in full swing in the city. If we look into the past history of Sharjah, it won’t take an Einstein to make out that it has always been one of the wealthiest emirates forever. The primary reason being the fact that the activities such as trading, farming, hunting, fishing and pearl farming yielded great results for the emirate and the small population made it easier to accumulate wealth. Of course, the population scenario has drastically changed in modern times.

The economy of Sharjah is quite diversified and the amazing cultural city alone contributes to over 7.4% of the total GDP of the United Arab Emirates. The government is currently taking measures to diversify the emirate’s economy further to ensure long-term sustainability and promote growth. The city is the head quarter of famous Air Arabia airlines, the first ever low cost airline of UAE operating between Middle East, Europe and Asia. The city also has a prominent free trade zone of the UAE, popularly known as the SAIF zone (Sharjah Airport International Free zone).The measures of promoting industrialization in a big way has resulted in Sharjah becoming a commercial hub, and thereby giving a boost to its economy.

History of Dubai

Ruled by the Sultans, the emirate of Sharjah is comprised of various minor towns of Kalba, Dibba Al-Hisn and Khor Fakkan. The entire emirate is a constitutional monarchy and has been ruled by Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi since 1972. The fate of this large emirate changed when the Mubarak oil field was discovered on its land in the early 1970s. Before the fortune changing discovery, the emirate mainly relied upon the farming, hunting, fishing, pearling, and sea faring.

The history of Sharjah dates back to over 5000 years. Even then it was one of the wealthiest establishments. The establishment of Sharjah was declared independent in the early 17th century when the Qawasim clan decided to occupy and settle themselves in the area. The historical evidence also tells that in the 1800s a special General Maritime Treaty with Britain treaty was signed with the sole clause to keep the Ottoman Turks out from Sharjah. Currently the city of Sharjah shares trade relations with 126 countries across the world and is also playing a lead role in the global investment scenario. The current actions have resulted in the vibrant growth of the commercial sector.

Specialized zones for industrial units are also established close to the airport and the sea ports to fuel growth and the cost of industrial development in the city is almost 35% lower than the other parts of the UAE. Today, after continuous efforts in boosting various sectors, Sharjah has made its presence felt in the tourism, logistics, education and the hydrocarbons sector across the Middle east and other parts of the world.

Sharjah has some of the most interesting facts and figures to show when it comes to the past, present and futuristic vision of the emirates of UAE. The first being the fact that Sharjah is the first ever emirate to develop an airport in the entire Gulf region. The ruling family of the emirate’s current ruler Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi has been ruling since 1600AD. The first evidence of the human life in UAE was discovered in Sharjah’s Jebel Fayah dating back to around 85000BC.

  • Sharjah is the only emirate that shares its borders with all the remaining emirates of UAE and therefore, is known as the ‘neighborly place’.
  • The meaning behind the name ‘Sharjah’ is the rising sun in Arabic language.
  • Much before the likes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it was Sharjah which established the very first airport of the gulf region, now known as the Sharjah international airport.
  • As a recognition to its unprecedented efforts towards restoring the Arabian culture and traditions, UNESCO has named Sharjah as the cultural capital of UAE.
  • Sharjah was the first ever emirate to start providing education to women in the year 1942. The first ever municipality, library and school was established in Sharjah itself.
  • Although UAE is the third biggest emirate of UAE, it occupies a total area of only 3% of the country. the entire emirate of Sharjah comes within 90 square miles.
  • The city is well known in the middle east for its advance healthcare and state of art emergency services. Sharjah runs a billion-dollar healthcare industry.

Weather of Dubai

Summer in Sharjah:

Sharjah, like the other emirates of UAE, has a typical hot desert climate. Around 40% of the area is covered with shrubs, Lakelands and rivers. The yearly temperature of the city varies from 13-degree minimum to a maximum of 42 degrees.

Rains in Sharjah:

Starting December, Sharjah experiences heavy rainfall with temperatures dropping much to the pleasure of the locals. However, January is the wettest month of the emirate with the maximum rainfall. However, the temperature doesn’t drastically fall to make it cool and sustains a steady range of around 20 to 30 degrees.

Winter in Sharjah:

If you’re in Sharjah during the winters, you’re going to enjoy a comfortably pleasant weather with an average temperature between 25 to 30 degrees. The season primarily starts from November itself and goes till mid-march. The precipitation in Sharjah is minimal and that too is limited to the first few months of the year. Although, primarily the day time weather of Sharjah like its counterparts is hot, the nights are comparatively cool and pleasant.

Sharjah is easily reachable by air through the Sharjah international airport and is well connected to all the major airports around the world. Besides the Sharjah airport, since the emirate is surrounded by all the six emirates on its sides, tourists can easily use road transportation to reach the city. For example, Sharjah can be reached from Dubai by bus or cab within just an hour of driving. If you’re coming to Sharjah from Dubai by bus, then you can take the tickets from the Diera City Centre or Al Gubaiba Bus Station for a minimal cost of 7AED and travel to Sharjah.

Even if you reach Sharjah airport, there are various buses operating at 10-minute difference to take you to the city. The national low cost air carriers- Air Arabia also runs shuttle services to and from Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. As a matter of fact, many tourists find it a lot cheaper to reach Sharjah instead of Dubai due to the cheap air fares. They usually arrive at Sharjah, enjoy the city sightseeing and then leave for Dubai via road.

To all the passengers requiring a Visa to enter Sharjah, Rayna tours assist you with all faster and hassle- free visa processing. Our exclusively designed 3 step visa process ensure you stand a better chance of approval and your application is processed super-fast. Sharjah visa regulations are lenient and are easily available within 3-4 working days. Citizens of the Arabic Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC) do not require visas to enter the UAE. AGCC expatriate residents who meet the requirements can get a non-renewable 30-day visa on arrival.

Citizens of the following countries are granted a visit visa on arrival in the UAE-Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA, Vatican City, Japan, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Czech, Hungary, Latvia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria.

Unfortunately, there are a number of nationalities that will not allow their holders to obtain a Transit Visa at Sharjah International Airport. Holders of the following nationalities may not be granted a Transit Visa- Yemeni, Iraqi, Afghani, Somali, and Egyptian Palestinian travel documents. For Bangladeshi and Kenyan nationals, they may only apply for the Transit Visa upon arrival at the Immigration desk at Sharjah International Airport. Immigration does not allow pre-application for these two nationalities.

The entire country of UAE is full of emirates that are extremely picturesque and loved by tourists. Sharjah specially proves as a center point because of its attached border to all the emirates. Fondly known as the neighborly emirate, Sharjah touches the borders of all the emirates and therefore, every great place of UAE is just a stone’s throw away from Sharjah. Whether it is the crowned jewel of Dubai or the sea luxury of Ras Al Khaimah, every good destination of UAE is just hours away from Sharjah.

Dubai (39kms)- The best known emirate of UAE, Dubai is a stone’s throw away from the city and is a must visit. The city of world records, super malls, and luxuries Dubai witness millions of tourists every year. Not even an hour away from Sharjah, various one day tours are available that take you through all the best attractions of the city in a day and bring you back to the city.

Abu Dhabi (183kms)- The capital city of UAE, Abu Dhabi is hardly an hour and half away from Sharjah and is in every sense a must visit. The relaxed city has amazing attractions including the world’s biggest handloom carpet and the ultimate adventure of the Ferrari world. The city has everything, from the best of thrills and adventure to the relaxed corniche to sit with a coffee mug in hand while enjoying people watching.

Ras Al Khaimah (85kms)- Boasting of some of the best beaches in the entire country, Ras Al Khaimah is the favorite weekend getaway for the locals of the neighboring emirates. The emirate is famous for its luxurious spas and resorts offering impeccable standards of luxury and hospitality.

Sharjah is an internationally acclaimed emirate with millions of tourists visiting the city every year, therefore, finding options for world cuisine isn’t a difficult thing. However, the best available cuisine in the city is the Emirati cuisine. The city follows strict Islamic laws and therefore, there are several prohibitions on drinking alcohol.

Sharjah is also home to various food festivals offering a variety from all over the world. No matter whether you’re a foodie or not, it is impossible to discuss Sharjah and not talk about the Emirati food. While Emirati is the traditional cuisine of the emirate, Lebanese and Arabic food is largely termed as the local food. Non vegetarian food is everywhere and it is actually difficult to find vegetarian food in these cuisine (until you’re ready to have Indian cuisine that has an enormous variety of vegetarian and vegan food).

With tourists who don’t shy away from meat treats, food scene in Sharjah is mouthwatering and simply irresistible. traditional food items like Harees, kebabs, shawarma are enough to make you a lifelong fan. Kebabs are the most loved food of the emirate and you can find it everywhere, from the best of fine dines to the street fast food stalls. The variety in food is endless and so are the restaurants serving them. A cup of a fragrant coffee is a must at every meeting. You won’t find instant coffee machines or expressos in Sharjah because making coffee is considered to be an art.

Sharjah being a traditional emirate with strict Islamic laws, drinking is strictly prohibited at public places. Even the possession of liquor is against the laws of Sharjah let alone consume it if you do not have a valid liquor license. The tourists are not allowed to even pass the liquor through the emirate.

Sharjah is an internationally acclaimed emirate with millions of tourists visiting the city every year, therefore, finding options for world cuisine isn’t a difficult thing. However, the best available cuisine in the city is the Emirati cuisine. The city follows strict Islamic laws and therefore, there are several prohibitions on drinking alcohol.

Sharjah is also home to various food festivals offering a variety from all over the world. No matter whether you’re a foodie or not, it is impossible to discuss Sharjah and not talk about the Emirati food. While Emirati is the traditional cuisine of the emirate, Lebanese and Arabic food is largely termed as the local food. Non vegetarian food is everywhere and it is actually difficult to find vegetarian food in these cuisine (until you’re ready to have Indian cuisine that has an enormous variety of vegetarian and vegan food).

With tourists who don’t shy away from meat treats, food scene in Sharjah is mouthwatering and simply irresistible. traditional food items like Harees, kebabs, shawarma are enough to make you a lifelong fan. Kebabs are the most loved food of the emirate and you can find it everywhere, from the best of fine dines to the street fast food stalls. The variety in food is endless and so are the restaurants serving them. A cup of a fragrant coffee is a must at every meeting. You won’t find instant coffee machines or expressos in Sharjah because making coffee is considered to be an art.

Sharjah being a traditional emirate with strict Islamic laws, drinking is strictly prohibited at public places. Even the possession of liquor is against the laws of Sharjah let alone consume it if you do not have a valid liquor license. The tourists are not allowed to even pass the liquor through the emirate.

Sharjah hosts a lot of cultural events on a global scale witnessed by audiences from all around the world. Artists from all over the globe come here and perform. Festivals truly depict the colors of this emirate and many of the travelers visit the city for these national and international festivals happening all around the year. These cultural events add to the global popularity and distinctive presence of Sharjah across the world. One of the most important festivals of the city is the Sharjah light festival. An extraordinary event designed to highlight the most distinguished and iconic landmarks of the emirate, the festival is a 9-day extravaganza of exceptional lights and captivating music to enthrall the visitors.

Another major event in the city is the Sharjah International Show jumping championship. Comes January of every year and the best of Olympic medalists and brightest show jumping stars of the country contest for a share of a grand prize fund. The next big event is the World Trade Week, an annual one-week series of trade-related meetings, exhibitions, seminars and happenings that celebrate and encourage the significance of trade to the justifiable growth of the local, regional and worldwide economy.

An annual carnival, the Sharjah heritage days highlights many traditional events and ideas that rejoices the ethnic heritage of the people of UAE, and emphasizes on the beauty of the old terminologies. With an aim to spread the awareness of these vocabularies to the new age generation, the festival proves to be a great platform for the young ones to learn about the traditional habits and values that form the basis of the society. While you’re there, Rayna travels will help you stay informed on every happening event in the city, and if you want, we’ll help you be a part of it too.

The city being more on the conservative side, do not experience a vibrant and westernized nightlife but surely have places where you can enjoy exciting night parties without booze. With Sharjah being the only dry state in the UAE, the city sleeps early and wakes up early too. Since the options for night life are scarce, the existence of nightclubs, bars and discos is almost nil. If you want to enjoy a vibrant nightlife with drinks, dance and bars, go to Dubai. A stone’s throw away from the emirate of Sharjah, Dubai can be a perfect break for the party hungry crowd. But as far as the conventional Sharjah is concerned, there’s no chance.

But not having the facility of alcohol doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in Sharjah. Defining a new way of nightlife other than just boozing and crazy dancing, Sharjah has other options such as the old boat cruise at the Khalid Lagoon. Take this cruise at night and you’ll witness some of the most incredible sights of the city. This old fashioned way of enjoying the night comes a s a refreshing change. Night time Big bus tour also can help you enjoy the beautiful skyline of Sharjah in an exclusive way. The city has some of the best choices for sumptuous fine dine options for an exquisite time with family and friends.

There are various souks and super shopping malls such as City center, Ansar mall, Mega mall, and Sahara shopping center among others to shop to your heart’s content. The Sahara shopping mall is visible even from Dubai outskirts. Featuring plethora of shopping malls, amazing cultural souqs, and boutique shops, Sharjah is loved by shopaholics. Of course, not at par with its counterpart and the world shopping hub Dubai, but Sharjah too has impeccable options for a shopper. One of the best takeaways from Sharjah would be the famous Middle Eastern dates and almonds. Other than that the famous central souq (fondly known as the Blue souq) offers plethora of carpet varieties, rare antiques that make for a perfect personal collection and souvenir options.

Sharjah organizes special shopping festivals as well. Annually, all major malls and stores give unbeatable discounts on their merchandise at the various shopping festivals specially during the holy month of Ramadan. The summer festival of Sharjah is a perfect fun ten weeks for both locals and tourists alike. Running parallely to the neighboring emirate’s Dubai Shopping festival, this ten-week long affair include appealing discounts on items, with amazing raffles and grand entertainment shows as well.

There are many interesting souqs scattered all over the emirate offering amazing varieties of products much to the delight of every tourist. Souqs like Blue Souk, Souk Al Arsah, Old Bazaar, Iranian Bazaar, Al Majarrah Souk, The Central Market and Sharjah Gold Center etc. are some of the best known and tourist visited souks of Sharjah. The traditional souqs are preserved and renovated carefully in order to preserve their traditional charm along with offering the comforts of modern life.

Arts museum- Displaying some of the best works of the Arabian artists renowned all over the world, this art museum is truly one of a kind.

Central market- the largest market of Sharjah has immense variety of produce majorly centered towards the demands of the tourists. This gigantic market has over 600 shops

Museum of Islamic civilization- opened in the year 2008, the museum boasts of over 5000 artifacts that depict the origin and transformation of the Islamic civilization neatly and in a state of the art museum house.

Natural history museum and desert park- a perfect venue to offer a chance for the visitors and the locals to learn the incredible flora and fauna of the massive Arabian desert.

Maritime museum- opened in early 2003, the museum is the best place to explore traditional wooden seafaring dhows used for fishing, trading and pearling process.

Archeology museum- The archeology museum is the best way to understand and learn how the ancient tribal people adapted to the no comfort environment, how they built their houses, jewelry and weaponry.

Heritage area- It is a dedicated effort to preserve and beautifully present the traditional customs and culture of Arabian history. It boasts of a collection of artefacts, exhibits and information, all displayed in six thematic galleries

Al Qasba- A premier tourist attraction, it is the most visited entertainment attraction of Sharjah. It boasts of eye of the emirates wheels and Al Qasba musical fountain.

Kalba- extremely famous for its mangrove pastiches, incredible creek beauty, Kalba enclave of Sharjah is worth every bit your time and visit.

There’s no better way to admire the cultural beauty and heritage of Sharjah than your local companion Rayna tours. We create customized packages to ensure you get the best of the city’s attractions depending upon your pocket size, and itinerary. No matter what you choose, we promise that your comfort will be our utmost priority. Rayna tours gives you the best of Sharjah across all pocket and time range. No matter if it is a 24-hour layover or a week long indulging vacation, whatever be your itinerary, we have a perfect package for you. Our exclusive tours cover the entire city and beyond in perfect luxury. We take you through all the attractions of the emirate like a local. From the off beaten paths to the hidden gems, we promise to take you everywhere on an incredible trip.

Unlike the run of the mill operators we don’t give you only the pre-designed packages but allow you the benefit of complete customization as per your itinerary. Even if you’re in Sharjah for only on a 24-hour stay, we ensure you get to see the best of the city even in that limited layover duration. From your stay, your food preferences, your sightseeing, and your comfort, we take care of everything so that you enjoy a memorable time with your loved ones. Our guests swear by our hospitality and extreme care that we take to ensure each one of our tourists have a memorable time in Sharjah.

The best time to visit the beautiful city of Sharjah is during the months of November to May. This is the time when the climate is relatively cooler and evenings are pleasant. However, carrying heavy winter clothing is of no use.

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