A guide to the hidden gems of the emirate’s sustainable destinations tapping everything from eco-tourism to adventure and culture
Discover the many facets of Sharjah – the ultimate destination that caters to every type of traveler. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and heritage, embark on ecotourism adventures, indulge in world-class hospitality, enjoy exciting sports and outdoor activities, explore the thriving arts and entertainment scene, take the family on unforgettable outings, or marvel at the stunning wildlife and nature reserves. From the bustling city center to the scenic East Coast, Sharjah offers endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation. No matter what your preference is, the Emirate has something for everyone.
Eco-tourism at the Heart of it All
For those seeking a more sustainable and eco-conscious travel experience, this emirate has even more to offer. Eco-tourism and sustainable travel practices are a key aspect of the experience here, with opportunities to explore the area’s natural wonders in a responsible way. Whether it’s hiking through the stunning mountains, exploring Sharjah’s incredibly diverse wildlife, taking a guided tour of local protected areas, or enjoying locally sourced and organic cuisine, there are plenty of options to satisfy your wanderlust while also minimizing your impact on the environment.
Landscapes & Biodiversity
From beaches and mangroves to nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries, Sharjah has something for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Kalba Beach is a secluded and pristine beach located in the eastern region of Sharjah, known for its clear waters, soft sand, and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. Al Noor Island is a unique destination that blends art, nature, and technology with several gardens, including a butterfly garden, a sensory garden, and a sculpture garden. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Wasit Wetland Reserve and learn about the importance of wetlands in preserving biodiversity. Sharjah Safari is a nature reserve that’s home to several species of animals, including Arabian oryx, gazelles, and cheetahs. Visitors can take a safari tour of the reserve and learn about the importance of conservation and preservation of wildlife.
Culture & Heritage
Sharjah is a treasure trove of cultural and heritage destinations, offering visitors a chance to learn about the history and traditions of the region, with a wide array of museums and destinations that cater to all interests, including the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization which is a must-visit destination for those interested in Islamic art and culture, the Sharjah Heritage Museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Sharjah, featuring exhibits on the traditional Bedouin lifestyle, including crafts, music, and dance, and the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, which has a long and rich history in the Islamic world.
Visitors can also enjoy other culture and heritage destinations such as House of Wisdom and iconic mosques as well as historic forts and towers. Some of the not-to-be-missed locations in the emirate include the Heart of Sharjah. Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn), Mleiha Archaeological Centre, Sharjah Classic Car Museum, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah Discovery Centre, and Sharjah Natural History and Botanical Museum.
Adventure & Sports
From sandy dunes to crystal clear waters, Sharjah offers an array of adrenaline rousing sports activities for adventure seekers on multiple terrains — land, coastal, or lake waters, and even in air. Dive into the depths of Khorfakkan’s coral reefs, paddle through mangroves on a kayak, or go deep-sea fishing on the eastern coast of the emirate. The UIM F1H20 World Championship is yet another annual gathering event for water sports enthusiasts to visit Sharjah.
Visitors can also experience exciting air sports such as parasailing, mountain trekking, skydiving, zip lining, and ropes courses at Sky Adventures of Shurooq. Horse enthusiasts can indulge in equestrian and racing activities at Sharjah Equestrian & Racing Club. Thrill-seekers can delve into sand sports such as dune bashing, sandboarding, and quad biking at the popular Mleiha dunes, adding a unique experience to their adventure itinerary.
Family & Children
Sharjah boasts a variety of family-friendly destinations that provide a remarkable selection of activities and entertainment options suitable for all ages. These include the Al Majaz Waterfront, Sharjah Aquarium, Sharjah Discovery Centre, Rain Room, Al Montazah Parks, and numerous other locations where families can delight in spending quality time together.
Shopping and sustainable shopping
Offering a diverse range of shopping destinations that cater to every taste and budget, Sharjah is a shopper’s paradise where visitors can choose between traditional souks or modern malls, each providing a unique shopping experience. The Central Souq is a traditional market, and a famous landmark known for its Islamic architecture and noticeable blue tiles. Souq Al Arsah, one of the oldest markets in the UAE, provides a glimpse into Sharjah’s rich cultural heritage, with traditional products such as textiles, pottery, and spices.
Sharjah’s sustainable shopping options cater to conscious shoppers who prioritise environmentally friendly practices. Sharjah Farmers’ Market, Manbat, features a range of locally grown, organic produce and artisanal goods, all sourced from nearby farms that prioritise sustainable agricultural practices. The market also offers a selection of handmade crafts and natural skincare products, all made by local artisans.
Sharjah is a destination that offers something for every kind of traveler. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, adventure seeker, nature lover, or just looking for a fun family vacation, Sharjah has it all. With its focus on sustainability, the emirate is paving the way for responsible tourism practices that preserve natural resources and promote economic growth. So, if you’re planning a trip to the UAE, make sure to add Sharjah to your list of must-visit destinations.