Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates and is the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The emirate also owns three coastal enclaves, which are Dibā — jointly owned with Fujairah and the sultanate of Oman — Khawr Fakkān and Kālba.
Sharjah has undergone extensive modernisation throughout the years, with new buildings, a deepwater port, the expansion of industries and an international airport, Sharjah International Airport.
Sharjah – Things to do
Sharjah is home to a whole host of places of interest and things to do, with specific areas devoted to the arts and cultural heritage. There are also museums dedicated to archaeology and science. It all makes a stay in Sharjah as much a learning experience as a leisure one.
Sharjah Archaeology Museum
Located in the heart of Sharjah, this is a modern, interactive archaeological museum tracing the history of Sharjah from ancient times. Humans are believed to have lived in the emirate for more than 125 000 years.
Among some of the objects on display are a golden bridle which was found with the remains of a horse in Mleiha. This artefact is one of the highlights of the collection. One of the other nice finds in the collection has been an ivory comb in an alabaster bowl. Both were found in a cemetery in Tell Abraq.
Sharjah Arts Area
This area just off the Corniche and on the north side of Burj Avenue (Bank Road), the Souk Al Bahar, comprises five architecturally acclaimed heritage buildings and a mosque dating back to the end of the eighteenth century. Here you will find Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah Art Centre, Sharjah Art Galleries, Emirates Fine Arts Society and the Very Special Art Centre.
The Sharjah Art Museum is a three-storey museum and features a permanent collection of modern and contemporary Arab art, with work by some of the Middle East’s most famous artists, such as Faiq Hassan and Bashir Sinwar. Throughout the year, the museum also hosts local and international exhibitions.
The Sharjah Art Centre is housed in the beautifully renovated three-storey Bait Al Sarkal that used to be the house of the British Commissioner for the coast of Oman and was later turned into the missionary hospital, where many prominent Sharjah residents were born. Now the Art Centre offers classes for all ages and abilities, conducted by qualified art teachers.
Sharjah Heritage Area
On the opposite side of Burj Avenue is the Heritage area, devoted to local markets, meeting places and small museums. This beautifully renovated district is a shining example of Sharjah’s commitment to heritage and culture.
The Sharjah Heritage Museum
This museum is located in the Bait Al Naboodah, a two-storey family house, built around a shaded courtyard. The various rooms have displays of traditional furniture and household items as well as children’s games, jewellery and costumes.
Sharjah Science Museum
Situated in Halwan, the science museum has 50 excellent interactive exhibits covering physics, chemistry, biology and astronomy. You can even take part in some hands-on experiments. The museum is the visitor’s chance to admire some of the most creative achievements in science and technology.
Sharjah Centre for Astronomy & Space Sciences
Located in Majaz near Sharjah bridge, the Planetarium specializes in astronomy and celestial navigation. The planetarium dome has space for more than 200 visitors, and its MegaStar project can display more than 10 million celestial bodies. The centre is open for groups by appointment only. Admission is free.
Business in Sharjah
Sharjah is a convenient location for business since it offers various free zones. These zones enjoy special economic conditions that favour the business which operate in them. These include exemption from taxation and other perks.
Some of the most notable zones are the Sharjah Media City, tailored towards startups working in the media and technology industries, and the Hamriyah Free Zone, which is geared toward maritime companies but offers sub-zones for companies in construction, oil, steel and other industries.
Getting to and from Sharjah International Airport is relatively quick. The airport is a mere 20 minutes and 13 miles away by car.