Sharjah

Central Sharjah

Sharjah (الشارقة) is the capital of Sharjah emirate and the third largest city in the United Arab Emirates.

Understand

Sharjah is the third largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Oman. Sharjah is next to Dubai and is effectively a suburb of it, with commuter traffic creating rush hour traffic jams. Expatriates generally live in Sharjah and work in Dubai because cost of living is cheaper in Sharjah, but better jobs are in Dubai.

The emirate is considerably larger than Dubai, with coastline on both west and east coasts of the peninsula, and with exclaves of Kalba, Khor Fakkan, and Dibba Al Hisn. The road to the east coast goes through rugged Al Hajar mountains. Public buildings in the Emirate were all designed by the present Shaikh (a qualified architect), a nice visual change from the usual fare of skyscrapers in other Emirates.

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism website has sections on business, heritage, leisure, education, and coast.

Talk

As in the rest of the UAE, Arabic is the official language, with most residents actually speaking other languages entirely - particularly Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog. English is widely spoken in shops, souqs, and hotels.

Get in

For visa requirements to visit Sharjah, see the United Arab Emirates page.

By air

Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) is around 15 kilometres from Sharjah city. It is the home of the low cost carrier Air Arabia which has connections with various Middle East and Indian Subcontinent cities.

Getting to/from the airport

There is a shuttle bus connecting the airport with Sharjah centre (Rolla) running every 30 min (Dhs. 5). Public bus route 111 (Dhs. 10) runs hourly from the airport via Al Qusais Bus station to the Metro's Rashidiya station in Dubai.

Dubai International Airport (DXB), in the neighbouring emirate of Dubai, has many more international connections and will be the more popular gateway to Sharjah.

Getting to/from the airport

To go to Dubai International Airport by taxi will set you back at around Dhs. 100. You can travel by public bus to or from Dubai International Airport by using Dubai's local bus service and the inter-Emirate bus service.

By bus

Bus travel to Dubai is possible via an inter-emirate bus service run by the Government of Dubai Road and Transport Authority. Most buses leave from the Al Jubail (Al Jabal) bus station next to the Sharjah Fish market and the Sharjah Fruit and Vegetable market, nearby to the Central Souk. A bus from Sharjah to Dubai can take about 1 h and costs Dhs. 5. Timetables can be found at the RTA website.

By taxi

Taxis can travel from Dubai to Sharjah and vice versa without any restrictions.

Get around

Public buses are by Sharjah Transport, There are seven local and three express routes. Dubai's RTA also offers express commuter bus service. Licensed taxi companies are Sharjah, Emirates, Citi, Union, and Advantage. Taxi plates are reflective green, helps spot them at night. Flag fall is Dhs. 3, then Dhs. 1 every 650 m. There is a surcharge of Dhs. 20 to go into Dubai.

See

Al Hisn fort
Blue Souk

Do

Buy

Eat

The ubiquitous shawarma is sold all over Sharjah and makes a very cheap and hearty meal. Khuboos made of wheat also a cheap food available at very cheap

Drink

Sharjah is a "dry emirate" which means sale or possession of alcohol within Sharjah is almost entirely forbidden. There are three exceptions:

Also, it is legal to transport alcohol through Sharjah if your final destination permits it (such as from Dubai to Fujairah). Some police may not be familiar with this rule though.

Sleep

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Generally speaking, Sharjah is a safe place. Women are usually stared at in certain parts of the city, so bring a male relative or friend to be safe.

Medical services

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, November 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.