Secrets of Sharjah

As darkness falls in the Emirate of Sharjah, the busy streets are replaced by stillness and silence. Sharjah, the much more conservative and lesser known neighbor of Dubai is one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates. The old city is rich in history and culture, and its unpretentious nature is full of character. This must be why UNESCO declared  it as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World in 1998.
But beneath its traditional layers, Sharjah appeals in its own humbling way.

My favorite destination in Sharjah is the vibrant Al Qasba. It has become the city’s premiere tourist attraction and a symbol of modernism in an old world. Al Qasba offers a variety of events and attractions for everyone, from restaurants to theaters, musical performances, conferences, and children’s events.  It also boasts unique architectural designs of buildings and bridges. Two of its signature landmarks are the man-made canal and the towering ferris wheel aka the Eye of the Emirates Wheel. I loved walking along the pedestrian bridge over the canal and watching the lighted boats glide along.

sharjah al qasba

the eyemosque

Keep in Mind

Sharjah is a very conservative city and takes its decency laws seriously. Some places are stricter than others but you wouldn’t know the specifications unless you ask locals so I suggest dressing modestly anywhere. That means no exposed knees, backs, arms. It is also the only emirate that is ‘dry’, meaning no alcohol is available within Sharjah.


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Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created JetsettingJen as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.