Sharjah City Guide

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Sharjah is the third largest of the United Arab Emirates and was dubbed the Cultural Capital of the Arab World by UNESCO in 1998. The so-called Heritage District has its highlight in the Sharjah Fort Museum, which explores some of the rich history and culture of the Emirate. The Heritage District is also home to the popular Islamic Museum, where there are precious handwritten letters from the prophet Muhammad and handwritten copies of the Quran from his time. It is a must see for anyone interested in world faiths. Most of the sights in the Heritage District have separate visiting hours for men and women. One of the favorite pastimes in Sharjah is shopping, and the Blue Souq is a sprawling complex featuring over 600 stores selling everything imaginable. There are shops selling crafts from Afghanistan and Tibet and boutiques selling the latest designs from Armani and Gucci. Sharjah hosts several national festivals every year but the most fun is the Date Festival held during the summer to celebrate the date season. Other festivals celebrate by offering camel rides, henna hand painting, and excellent Arabic food.