Sharjah is the Land of the Rising Sun

Yes, you probably thought that Japan was the Land of the Rising Sun, but the small country of Sharjah is part of the United Arab Emirates, and its name, in Arabic, means “rising sun”.

One thing is certain, Sharjah certainly does get a lot more sun than does Japan, and it is a good place to visit if you want to experience a unique Arabian lifestyle.

Sharjah is not nearly as well known as its near neighbours Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  However, it is the third largest of the emirates, and it is an ideal destination for travellers who want to explore and experience the rich heritage, arts and culture of Arabia.

This country is considered by many to be the Arab world’s top cultural destination, possibly because it is home to over 20 museums, many art galleries and beautifully restored heritage areas.

One of the best of these museums is the Sharjah Natural History Museum and Desert Park  which provides visitors with a chance to learn about the flora and fauna of the Arabian desert.

Bait Al Serkal is a restored heritage building and former hospital in the Al Shuwaihiyeen area which houses both the Sharjah Art Museum and the Sharjah Art Centre.  Here there are permanent art works on display plus more temporary exhibitions.     

For shopping try the Blue Souk which is a great spot to pick up local and traditional handicrafts, gold, spices and exquisite carpets amongst the vast array of goods for sale at the 600 stalls.  Shopping here is tax free, so retail prices tend to be reasonable for both brand name goods and especially for curios and handicrafts sold in the souks. Prices are fixed in the malls and the department stores but bargaining is a long-established tradition in the souks.

The east coast has impressively steep mountains and beautiful bays, lined with golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters and is a perfect break away from it all during your visit to the Emirate.

Sharjah also boasts attractive green parks where anyone can enjoy a stroll and escape from the busy city. Sports lovers will be spoilt for choice with just about every activity available.

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