Sharjah benefits from a hot desert climate with very hot summers and warm winters, and so is suitable for visiting all year round. Many annual festivals take place all year long. Mid-May to mid-August is the date season, and this is celebrated in the Date Festival, which is held at the Fruit and Vegetable Market for the duration of the harvest period. Around December there are F1 boat races held around the artificial island in the Al Buhaira Corniche as part of the Sharjah Water Festival and it’s a wonderful family-friendly event. The Sharjah Light Festival, celebrating the beauty of the city’s grand monuments and heritage, takes place in February.
Looking out over the azure waters of the Persian Gulf, the city of Sharjah is an oasis of a modern metropolis amidst the stark beauty of the desert. It is the seat of the emirate of Sharjah, and a location rich with culture and history as well as a sophisticated metropolitan charm. The city’s heritage area has a wealth of historic buildings and restorations. Al Hisn Fort is a fascinating museum dealing with the social history of Sharjah. The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation offers a fabulous collection of art and artefacts pertaining to the faith. The Sharjah Archaeology Museum should not be missed, as it examines the changing environments that the region’s inhabitants have known from prehistoric times to the present day. Sharjah offers a bounty of museums, over 20 in all, dealing with science, the arts, natural history, archaeology, heritage and Islamic art and culture. A wonderful way to absorb the ambience of Sharjah is to visit the souks and bazaars. With wonderful handicrafts, jewellery, textiles, carpets and clothing, you will be spoilt for choice. The Blue Souq is an enthralling, albeit slightly chaotic shopping hub hosting around 600 shops. It’s a great place to buy gifts and traditional items, and there are huge discounts to be had if you are prepared to haggle. To learn about the wonders of the desert, a visit to Sharjah Desert Park is essential. Here you can find a Natural History Museum, an Arabian Wildlife Centre with more than 100 animal species, and a Children’s Farm. Finally, at Al-Qasba and the Eye of the Emirates you can enjoy the finest Arab world culture, entertainment and leisure attractions.
It is easy and convenient to get around in Sharjah, thanks to the excellent public bus service run by the Sharjah Public Transport Corporation (SPTC). This has over a hundred buses making some 250 trips throughout the city on a daily basis. There is a range of tariffs on these routes. Additionally, there are metered taxi services available for travel within Sharjah and beyond. Taxi plates are a reflective green colour, making them easy to spot at night.
Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) is just 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Sharjah city. A shuttle bus service connects the airport with Sharjah city centre and runs approximately every 30 minutes. The price is set, but very reasonable. There are also taxis available, with fares being open to a certain amount of negotiation.