Ruled by the Al Qasimi family, Sharjah is located on the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf and is one of the seven emirates that form the UAE. The emirate of Sharjah is also bordered by Dubai to the south and Ajman to the north, and these riches have led to the city being named the 1998 Cultural Capital of the Arab World, the 2014 Capital of the Islamic Culture and the 2015 Capital of Arab Tourism. Here are five reasons Sharjah should be your next UAE layover:
1. Sharjah Art Scene
Newly emergent on the international art scene, Sharjah is in the midst of an exciting cultural renaissance. In March, Sharjah is host to one of the Middle East’s most prestigious art events the Sharjah Biennial, presenting innovative art experiences for the UAE community and offering an internationally recognized platform for artists from the region. Sharjah is also home to 22 museums covering a range of interests from the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum to the Museum of Islamic Civilization.
2. Discover Mleiha
Visit Mleiha for an adventure deep into the deserts of Sharjah where you can uncover the secrets of the region’s ancient Bedouin culture. Get your adrenaline rush by exploring the beautiful landscapes of Mleiha on a dune buggy visiting Camel Rock, the Faya Dunes and the Mleiha Desert. Pay a visit to the Mleiha Archaeological Centre where you can learn about life in the region in years gone by as well as take a closer look at the wide variety of artifacts on display.
3. Heart of Sharjah
Heart of Sharjah is a distinctly unique development which follows traditional Sharjah architecture built upon the original foundations of old houses that once belonged to the most esteemed families in the country. Heart of Sharjah seeks to revitalize the heritage district and introduce travelers to its glorious past, transforming restaurants, cafes, art galleries and atmospheric local souqs where travelers can experience the UAE’s cultural and social fabric.
Sharjah hosts internationally acclaimed events all year that appeal to families, thrill seekers and cultural buffs. Events include the Sharjah Formula 1 Powerboat Grand Prix, Ruler’s Cup-Sharjahs’ International Show Jumping Competition, the beautiful Sharjah Light Festival in February and the highly anticipated International Book Fair taking place October 31-November 10.
5. Experience Al Bait Sharjah
Al Bait Sharjah which translates to ‘The Home’ is set to raise the bar for luxury resort accommodations in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE). Located 20 miles from Dubai in the UAE’s most ambitious historical restoration project known as Heart of Sharjah, the resort will be home to 53 luxury guest rooms and suites. The hotel facilities and amenities at the boutique property will include a luxury hammam and spa, and an array of dining offerings spotlighting local and international cuisine. The architecture and design will sensitively reflect Arabic culture, in tune with its surroundings and blending harmoniously with the heritage buildings in the district.