Tourist’s guide to Sharjah – the main attractions

Sharjah attractions are often compared to the pearls of the Arabian Peninsula. Sharjah is a small, but modern and comfortable city, spread on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Despite the fact that Dubai is not far away, many travelers prefer to stay there. The main reason is that in Sharjah surprisingly there is enough space for historical sights (which is quite a rarity for the UAE), and for huge shopping centers, and for snow-white beaches.

Attractions in Sharjah

Unlike modern Dubai, there are simple, concise buildings, as well as museums and many cultural centers. There are more than 600 mosques alone. In Sharjah, there are many interesting places where you can go on your own and there is something to see.

When traveling to Sharjah, it is worth considering that this is a rather “dry” city, where it is forbidden to drink alcohol, there are no hookahs and you must wear closed clothes.

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Historically, Sharjah is one of the richest cities in the already not poor country, in which there are many interesting places. Often this city is called the main treasury of the United Arab Emirates. What is it worth to see on your own in Sharjah?

Al Noor Mosque

Al Nur Mosque (translated from Arabic as “prostration”) is perhaps the most famous attraction of the Emirate of Sharjah. This is a beautiful and picturesque building of white marble, built in the image of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Like the ancient Turkish temple, Al Nur Mosque has 34 domes and is open to tourists. It was built in 2005, and is named after the son of Emir Sharjah, Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Sultan al-Qasimi. During the construction of the attraction, the most modern technologies and materials were used.

Al Nur Mosque

The interior of the Muslim temple is also striking in its beauty and luxury: the walls are faced with natural stone and painted by local artists. In the mosque, there are traditionally 2 prayer halls: male (for 1800 people) and female (for 400 believers).

Night mosque Al Nur

At night, the snow-white building becomes even more spectacular: the backlight turns on, and the mosque acquires a sparkling golden hue. By the way, next to the attraction in the evening there is a light fountain, which is also worth a look.

Al Nur Mosque is open to all comers: not only Muslims, but also followers of other religions can come here. When visiting the temple yourself, you should remember the following rules: you can’t eat, drink, hold hands, talk loudly and wear open clothes in the mosque.

At Al Noor Mosque

Al Nur Mosque is one of the attractions that are worth seeing in Sharjah in the first place.

  • Location:  Al Mamzar Corniche St, Sharjah.
  • Opening hours: Monday from 10.00 to 12.00 (for tourists and tourist groups), the rest of the time – services.
  • Features: you must wear dark, covered clothing.

Archeology Center Mleiha

Mleha is a small town in the emirate of Sharjah, recognized by historians as the oldest archaeological site in the United Arab Emirates. The very first artifacts were found not so long ago: in the 90s, when they laid the water supply. Today at this place is the center of archeology Mlech. The tourist site is not yet very popular, as it was opened only in 2016. However, the authorities plan to make it a center of tourism and archeology.

Archeology Center Mleiha

The Archeology Center of Mlech is a huge complex that includes many buildings. Firstly, this is the main building of the museum, in which all artifacts are located: ceramic products, jewelry, tools. Secondly, it is a huge fort in which archaeologists have found several ancient tombs and many treasures. Thirdly, these are ordinary residential buildings: many of them are historical monuments, and it will be simply interesting to walk around the town.

Artifacts in the museum building

It is also worth looking at the valley of caves and the cemetery of camels on your own. For a fee, you can visit real excavations: chat with archaeologists and dig.

  • Location:  Mleiha City, Sharjah, UAE.
  • Opening hours: Thursday – Friday from 9.00 to 21.00, other days – from 9.00 to 19.00.
  • Ticket price: adults – 15 dirhams, adolescents (12-16 years old) – 5, children under 12 years old – free of charge.

Car Museum (Sharjah Classic Car Museum)

What else to see in Sharjah (UAE)? The first thing that many will say is a car museum. This is a huge exhibition hall, which collected cars from different eras and countries. In total, about 100 rare cars and about 50 old motorcycles are on display. The two “oldest” models are the Dodge and Ford Model T, released in 1916. The most “new” cars left the assembly line in the 60s of the 20th century.

Cars at Sharjah Classic Car Museum

During the tour, the guide will not only talk about the creation of cars, but also demonstrate how various car parts function. However, the exhibition hall is far from the only place where you can independently see rare vehicles. It is worth going behind the museum building, and you will see a huge amount of broken, worn and wrecked cars. All of them were also released in the 20th century, but simply have not yet been restored.

Sharjah Car Museum
  • Location:  Sharjah-Al Dhaid Road, Sharjah.
  • Opening hours: on Friday – from 16.00 to 20.00, on other days – from 8.00 to 20.00.
  • Cost: for adults – 5 dirhams, for children – free of charge.

Arabian Wildlife Center

The Arabian Wildlife Center is the only place in the UAE where you can independently see the animals of the Arabian Peninsula. This is a huge zoo located near Sharjah Airport, 38 km from the city.

At the Arabian Wildlife Center

The inhabitants of the center live in spacious enclosures, and you can watch them through huge panoramic windows. A big plus of the center is that tourists should not walk under the scorching sun, but can look at animals from cool rooms.

In addition, there is a botanical garden, a children’s farm and avifauna near the center of wildlife. You can visit all these places yourself for free – this is already included in the ticket price.

Arabian Wildlife Center
  • Address:  Al Dhaid Rd | E88, Sharjah Airport Road at interchange 9, Sharjah.
  • Opening hours: Sunday – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday (9.00-18.00), Friday (14.00-18.00), Saturday (11.00-18.00).
  • Cost: 14 dirhams – for adults, 3 – for teens, for children – admission is free.

Dancing Fountains of Al Majaz Waterfront

Al Majar Park – the place where the famous dancing fountains are located. You can see the attraction by sitting on the promenade, in one of the many cafes, or in a hotel nearby. In addition to bright fountains, the park has many sculptures, a golf course, a mosque and several venues, where concerts are periodically arranged.

Dancing Fountains of Al Majar

Dancing fountains have 5 show programs. The most famous and unusual is Ebru. This is an unusual performance created using the water marble technique by show designer Garib Au. Every day they show all 5 shows (though they always show them in a different order).

  • Location:  Al Majaz Park, UAE.
  • Hours: The performance starts daily at 20.00 and goes every half hour.

Quay Buhaira Corniche

The seafront of Buhaira Corniche is one of the favorite vacation spots for both locals and tourists. It offers an impressive panoramic view of Sharjah: tall skyscrapers, a Ferris wheel and cozy restaurants. Experienced travelers are advised to take a walk here in the evening, after a sultry day. At this time, all the buildings are beautifully illuminated, and palm trees complement this picture.

Quay Buhaira Corniche

Locals recommend renting a bike – so you can see the city on your own. If you came here during the day, then you can sit on the grass and relax. The promenade is a great place to start the trip: almost all the attractions are nearby.

Where to find:  Bukhara St, Sharjah, UAE.

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Museum of Islamic Civilization

If it seems that you have already visited everything and don’t know what else you can see in Sharjah, go to the Museum of Islamic Civilization.

Museum of Islamic Civilization

Here are all the exhibits affecting the culture of the East. These are ancient works of art, and banknotes of different eras, and ancient household items. The building is divided into 6 parts. The first is the Abu Bakr Gallery. Here you can see the Quran and independently look at the most outstanding models of Islamic architecture buildings. This part will be especially important and interesting for Muslims – it tells about the role of the Hajj in the life of believers and the five pillars of Islam.

The second part is the Al-Haifam Gallery. Here you can independently see how science has developed in Muslim countries, and get acquainted with various household items. The third section of the museum is a collection of ceramics, clothes, wooden products and jewelry from different eras. In the fourth hall you can see all the artifacts dating from the 13-19 centuries. The fifth part of the attraction is dedicated to the 20th century and the influence of European culture on Muslims. In the sixth section are gold and silver coins of different eras.

Museum exhibits

In addition, various exhibitions and creative meetings are often held at the center of Islamic civilization.

  • Location:  Corniche St, Sharjah, UAE.
  • Opening hours: Friday – 16.00 – 20.00, other days – 8.00 – 20.00.
  • Cost: 10 dirhams.

Sharjah Aquarium

One of the most spectacular attractions of Sharjah is a huge city aquarium located on the shores of the UAE Bay. It is an amazing structure in many respects.

Sharjah Aquarium

Firstly, more than 250 species of inhabitants of the Indian Sea and the Persian Gulf live here, including various species of fish, seahorses, shrimps and turtles. There are even moray eels and sea sharks. Secondly, for a fee you can independently feed the fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium. Thirdly, on each screen there is a special display on which you can find out interesting facts about each inhabitant of the sea.

Near the aquarium there is a playground and a souvenir shop.

  • Location:  Al Meena St, Sharjah, UAE.
  • Opening hours: Friday – 16.00 – 21.00, Saturday – 8.00 – 21.00, other days – 8.00 – 20.00.
  • Cost: adult – 25 dirhams, children’s – 15 dirhams.

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Maritime Museum

Like many cities with access to the sea, Sharjah has lived thanks to water since ancient times: people fish, build ships, and trade. Archaeologists have found so many marine artifacts that in 2009 a museum was created. This is a grandiose building with many halls. Among the interesting exhibits, it is worth noting a lot of ship models, various types of shells (they were often used as dishes) and a recreated ship cabin with goods that were transported to other parts of the world (spices, fabrics, gold).

Maritime Museum, Sharjah
Museum exhibits

At the Maritime Museum, one can also see how pearl catchers collected real Arabian pearls: how shells were identified, the precious mineral was weighed and jewelry made from it. The exhibition presents a number of devices for catching pearls.

  • Location: Hisn Avenue, Sharjah, UAE.
  • Opening hours: Friday – 16.20 – 20.00, other days – 8.00 – 20.00.
  • Cost: The entrance ticket from the aquarium is valid.

Prices on the page are for August 2018.

There is definitely something to see in this city – the sights of Sharjah will not leave anyone indifferent, they will surprise even experienced travelers.

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