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48 hours in Sharjah

Art, culture, nature, adventure and entertainment – Sharjah has something to offer everyone


A modern city with its roots firmly attached to its heritage, Sharjah's intriguing blend of the past and present creates a unique landscape for discovery and exploration. Whether you're a resident looking to delve deeper into the city's offerings, or visiting solo, as a couple or with children, there is plenty to explore in the UAE's third-largest emirate. Our two-day itinerary showcases Sharjah's all-encompassing offering, allowing you to pick and mix based on your preferences.


Day One

For history buffs: There couldn't be a better way to begin exploring a destination than by diving deep into its past. For a glimpse into Sharjah's historic roots, a trip to the Mleiha Archaeological Centre is a must. Here, archaeologists have been sifting through the sands for close to half a century and have unearthed remains dating back to the Paleolithic period, including a well-preserved Bronze Age tomb, an Iron Age Fort and a Stone Age necropolis.



For art enthusiasts: Home of the Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah Art Foundation is the thriving hub of contemporary art in the emirate. Seasonal exhibitions showcase the work of Arab and international artists, while a vibrant programme of events sees live performances, music, film screenings and panel discussions taking place. The foundation also hosts creative workshops for adults and children.



For nature lovers: The city of Kalba on Sharjah's east coast is known for its natural setting and rich biodiversity. At the Khor Kalba Mangrove Centre, visitors can explore one of the oldest mangrove forests in the UAE, with trees reaching up to eight metres in height. This serene habitat is home to rare birds, including the Arabian-collared kingfisher, and various aquatic creatures, including turtles. Just a short distance from the centre, adventure seekers can enjoy kayaking through the mangroves for an up-close encounter with this fascinating ecosystem.



For family entertainment: The Sharjah Art Foundation is also home to the renowned Rain Room. This surreal installation offers the perfect respite from the hot weather during summer, allowing visitors to experience torrential rain without getting a single drop of water on them. As you walk through the room, sensors track your movement and turn off the water valves, creating a circle of no rainfall around you – unless you move impulsively. Not only does this make for some very memorable photos, but it's also a fantastic way to keep little ones entertained.


Day Two

For history buffs: Sharjah's commitment to preserving its past is perfectly reflected in its Heart of Sharjah project. The former hub of the emirate's merchant trade, the project has breathed new life into the district, with a comprehensive preservation and restoration programme due for completion in 2025. A potential candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, the area is home to art galleries and museums. However, it's the traditional wind tower structures – once the homes of wealthy merchants now being restored to their former glory – that will leave history buffs awe-struck.



For art enthusiasts: Thousands of rare artefacts that hold immense significance in Islamic culture are housed within the stunning Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation. Across seven galleries spread over two levels, exhibits explore various aspects of the Islamic faith, the achievements of Arab scholars, scientists and astronomers as well as Islamic arts and crafts. The structure itself – with its golden dome – is incredibly admirable as it brings to life 1,300 years of history, from the first century through to the 14th century.



For nature lovers: While Al Noor Island is a popular spot among residents and visitors – blending nature, art and architecture – nature lovers will love the Butterfly House, which is one of the island's top attractions. Over 500 butterflies call this sun-drenched sanctuary home, including species such as the tailed jay, emerald swallowtail, pink rose and malachite.



For family entertainment: The largest safari in the world outside of Africa awaits visitors at the emirate's very own Sharjah Safari. It's the ultimate experience that combines nature, adventure and entertainment for guests of all ages. Home to more than 120 species comprising 50,000 animals, the park is designed to mirror the natural environment of native African fauna that roam freely without fences, including lions, elephants, giraffes, black and white rhinoceros, crocodiles, deer, bulls and more.


Where to stay

Modern, stylish and affordable, Centro Sharjah serves as the ideal base to explore the emirate, thanks to close proximity to the city's leisure and business avenues. With 306 rooms and suites meticulously designed to maximise space and efficiency, the hotel ensures that guests enjoy a comfortable stay, with the latest in-room facilities and amenities.


Centro Sharjah features an all-day dining restaurant, c.taste, which serves a wide array of international cuisines, as well as a 24-hour take-away concept, called Distrikt, and 24-hour room service completing the offering. Guests looking to maximise their leisure time can make the most of the gym or the outdoor, temperature-controlled swimming pool, surrounded by lush gardens. For business travellers, the hotel boasts three well-equipped meeting rooms and a business centre, called Link.


To book your stay at Centro Sharjah, visit rotana.com.

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