As we transition to the new calendar, it’s time to start looking forward. Get set to prepare the perfect travel bucket list 2022. And, if you’re looking for ideas, we tell you why Sharjah, the UAE’s third largest emirate, should be added to your 2022 wish list.
Sharjah is home to an endless list of astounding architectural gems and each of its landmarks – from the classic to the contemporary – has its own unique story for visitors to uncover. From the 19th century coral brick Sharjah Fort to the lively and modern Al Majaz Waterfront, read on to know all about Sharjah’s landmarks that are top destinations for learning and leisure.
Al Majaz Waterfront
Situated on the banks of Khalid Lagoon, Al Majaz Waterfront is an iconic leisure destination which boasts breathtaking views and incredible architectural designs that reflect Sharjah’s rich cultural and historical heritage. It’s home to a lush park, cozy cafes and several restaurants as well as a mini golf course, jogging track and kids’ splash park.
The waterfront offers an impressive variety of recreational facilities and welcomes visitors and families of all ages. It’s a local favourite among the places to visit in Sharjah at night. Al Majaz is also a focus for Sharjah’s annual Eid and National Day celebrations, while the open-air amphitheatre hosts major Sharjah events and cultural performances.
The Flag Island boasts the UAE Flag on a 123 meter- high pole, which was named the world’s 7th tallest during the opening on the 2nd of December 2012. The island stands as a symbol of the union of the UAE. The unique design studio located on Flag Island, 1971 Design Space, holds exhibitions and workshops on contemporary design ranging from graphics, furniture and interiors, interactive design and new technologies.
Host to a programme of culturally-engaging live shows and concerts, the amphitheatre at Flag Island accommodates 1000 seats with breath-taking views over the city. There is also a Jones the Grocer restaurant. The contemporary café setting with outdoor seating is a great spot for family brunches or relaxing dinners with a varied and delicious menu.
Al Qasba is the premier family friendly destination that engulfs your senses with art and culture and encourages complete relaxation. It offers a wealth of activities for children and adults alike with restaurants, cultural events and art and design museums. Take advantage of the waterside locale and enjoy a cruise along the canal in an abra or an eco-friendly water kart. The restaurants in Al Qasba offer diverse cuisines, from traditional Middle Eastern to Italian delights and as a center for arts, the venue features exhibitions and events at the Maraya Art Centre and the Masrah Al Qasba Theatre.
Al Noor Mosque
Al Noor Mosque is an iconic landmark along the Sharjah corniche and on the banks of Khalid Lagoon. With cascading domes and two towering minarets, its design is rooted in the traditional Ottoman style. The interior of the mosque is etched with intricate calligraphy of verses from the Holy Quran. As a popular Sharjah tourist destination, the mosque offers Emirati traditional dress for visitors in the entrance area. Before sunset, visit the Al Noor Island which is just across the water to see the famous Butterfly House and contemporary art installations.
More than five years in the making, the largest mosque in Sharjah opened its doors in 2019. An abiding symbol of faith, the structure is well worth visiting for the chance to view its grandeur; surrounded by gardens and water fountains, the domes, minarets and columns have been designed to reflect a unique Islamic architectural style. Home to a large library rich in Islamic works, the mosque is also equipped to welcome non-Muslim visitors and lovers of knowledge from around the world. The collection hall is a unique treasury of books and antiques from different Islamic eras.
House of Wisdom
As part of Sharjah’s newest award, UNESCO World Book Capital of 2019, celebrations, the emirate opened a new library; The House of Wisdom, a high-tech library and culture centre is set to be a catalyst for a new cultural quarter in the emirate, featuring more than 100,000 books. Reinterpreting the library as a social platform for learning supported by innovation and technology, the House of Wisdom represents a new moment for Sharjah as an international cultural capital.
With a wealth of activities, now you know, the question is never “what to do” in Sharjah; it’s when to do it!
The emirate of Sharjah is well-known for its rich, cultural heritage – an identity that has been recognized a number of times as shown by the winning of the Cultural Capital of the Arab World 1998 and Islamic Culture Capital 2014 awards. It is a vibrant city with an exciting food and arts scene, a heritage area that is the largest restoration project in the region along with various commercial centres and over 22 museums.