Butterfly House, Al Noor Island

15 things to see and do

Al Noor Island

The car-free island of Al Noor offers a mix of experiences for the entire family – it is home to the architecturally stunning Butterfly House, the Literature Pavilion and contemporary sculptures by some of the world’s most famous artists. A 3.5 km-long boardwalk snakes through landscaped gardens, while light installations bring the island to life at night. Café and huge children’s playground.

  • Hours: Saturday to Wednesday 9am - 11pm | Thursday and Friday 9am – 12 midnight. Butterfly House: Daily 9am – 6pm
  • Where: On Khalid Lagoon, across the water from Al Majaz Island. Access the island via a pedestrian bridge behind the Al Noor Mosque.
  • Website: www.alnoorisland.ae/
  • email: info@alnoorisland.ae
Al Moor Mosque

Al Noor Mosque

Overlooking Khalid Lagoon, Al Noor’s cascade of domes and two soaring minarets dominate the skyline of Sharjah. Its design is rooted in the traditional Ottoman style, and its interior is spectacular, with calligraphic inscriptions from the Holy Qur’an and intricately decorated domes, arches and pillars. It is one of the few mosques in the country open to non-Muslim visitors.

Aerial view of the Al Majaz Waterfront

Al Majaz Waterfront

The Al Majaz Waterfront is one of Sharjah’s most popular destinations. Overlooking the enchanting musical Sharjah Fountain, there’s something special for every member of the family, from mini golf and the mini splash park to the 750m jogging track and traditional alba boat rides. Restaurants and cafés offer tastes from around the world.

 

Al Qasba

Al Qasba

A buzzing spot for casual dining and panoramic views. Crossed by pedestrian bridges, this car-free canal-side complex is packed with cafés, restaurants and shops. Families will love the musical fountain (shows from 5pm) and the Kids Fun House, while art lovers can visit themed exhibitions at the Maraya Art Centre. There are also abra (traditional boat) rides, eco-friendly electric water karts and bikes for hire.

  • Hours: Daily 8.30am – 11pm. Best visited in the evenings.
  • Where: Located in the Al Majaz area, the kilometre-long canal connects Khalid Lagoon and Al Khan Lagoon.
  • Website: www.alqasba.ae
  • email: info@alqasba.ae

 

Sharjah Art Museum

Art Museum

One of the largest arts museums in the United Arab Emirates, the Sharjah Art Museum has 72 galleries spread over three floors. The collections explore the history of the region through masterpieces by important local and Arab artists. The large permanent collection of contemporary works is accompanied by temporary exhibitions, workshops and cultural events. Gift shop and café on the premises. Admission is free.

  • Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8am - 8pm | Friday 4pm - 8pm
  • Where: In Sharjah’s art area, Al-Shuwaihean. Tucked in behind the bazaar, close to Al Boorj Avenue and the waterfront.
  • Website: www.sharjahartmuseum.ae

 

 

A tunnel inside the Sharjah Aquarium

Aquarium & Maritime Museum

The Sharjah Aquarium features 20 tanks that recreate different aquatic environments, from coral reefs and rock pools to lagoons and mangroves with a 150 species of marine life on display. The ticket includes entry to the Sharjah Maritime Museum next door. Feeds and talks are scheduled throughout the day. Children will love the touchscreens and interactive displays.

  • Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8am - 8pm | Friday 4pm - 10pm | Sunday Closed
  • Where: Sharjah Aquarium is located in the Al Khan Old area.
  • Website: www.sharjahmuseums.ae
  • email: info@smd.gov.ae

 

Central Market

Central Market (Blue Souk)

Delve into a maze of more than 600 shops at one of the largest souks in the UAE, and discover a dazzling array wares – electronics, handicrafts, intricately woven carpets, and antique jewellery. Popularly known as the Blue Souk, thanks to its beautiful blue tiles, the two-storey market is the most photographed building in Sharjah.

  • Hours: Saturday to Thursday 10am – 10pm |  Friday 5pm – 10.30pm 
  • Where: Between King Faisal Road and Khalid Lagoon, near Al Ittihad Square.

 

 

Classic Car Museum

Classic Car Museum

With more than 100 cars on display, ranging from a 1915 Dodge to a 1974 MG Midget, this museum is an ideal destination for lovers of classic cars. Don’t miss the 1969 Mercedes 600 Pullman Limousine, custom-made for Sharjah’s ruler and one of only 2 000 in the world. There’s an interactive area for children, with puzzles and a driving simulator.

  • Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8am – 8pm | Friday 4pm – 8pm
  • Where: On Airport Road – between the 4th and 5th intersections, next to Sharjah International Airport and opposite the Sharjah Discovery Centre
  • Website: www.sharjahmuseums.ae
  • email: info@smd.gov.ae

 

Discovery Centre

Discovery Centre

Designed for children aged three to 12, the centre is divided into themed areas, including Water World, Sports World, Build Town and a TV studio. There are science and design experiments, climbing walls, mini electric cars and storytelling sessions. Allow a few hours for everyone to enjoy the interactive displays and activities. There’s an on-site café where adults can hang out.

  • Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8am - 8pm | Friday 4pm - 8pm
  • Where: On Sharjah airport road between interchanges 4 and 5, opposite Sharjah Classic Cars Museum and the Sharjah International Airport.
  • Website: www.sharjahmuseums.ae
  • email: info@sma.gov.ae

 

 

Sharjah Fort, or Al Hisn

Fort

Built from coral stones from the Arabian Gulf in 1823 and fortified by three towers, Al Hisn fort has served as a seat of government, a royal residence, a prison and is now a beautifully restored museum. A row of cannons welcomes visitors, with 12 galleries offering insights into the modern history of Sharjah and its ruling family.

 

Heritage Area, Sharjah / Wikimedia Commons

Heritage District (Heart of Sharjah)

Once the hub of Sharjah’s merchant trade, the original city centre has been reborn as a vibrant heritage and arts district. Spend time visiting the art spaces and museums housed in traditional barjeel (wind tower) buildings. The Heritage Museum, in a restored 18th century pearl merchant’s house, explores all aspects of Emirati culture, from religious traditions to living in the desert.

 

 

Interior of the Islamic Museum of Civilization

Museum of Islamic Civilization

Admire the beauty of more than 5000 historical artifacts in seven galleries, with exhibitions covering aspects of the Islamic faith, an historical overview of arts and crafts, as well as the achievements of Arab scientists and astronomers.

 

Rain Room

Rain Room

Visitors can enjoy a downpour – without getting wet. Using a complex system of motion sensors, the ‘rain’ falls around you, not on you. The installation, created by Random International, uses 1,200 litres of water, which is continuously recycled and cleaned. Each visit lasts 15 minutes.

 

Sharjah Science Museum

Science Museum

Exploring science has never been so much fun. Visit the museum with your children and family, and enjoy a wonderful experience in a safe, motivational and educational atmosphere. Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to experience enjoyable interactive scientific experiments.

  • Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8am - 8pm | Friday 4pm – 8pm
  • Where: Next to the Sharjah Archaeology Museum and Sharjah Media Corporation in Al-Abar area.
  • Website: www.sharjahmuseums.ae
  • email: info@sma.gov.ae

 

The fish market at Al Jubail

Souq Al Jubail

This thriving and bustling market is a must-visit destination for foodies and photographers alike. Designed in traditional Islamic style with arches and domes, Souq Al Jubail has sections for fish (more than 100 species for sale), fruit and vegetables, dates and meat. Don’t miss the auction of the day’s catch, held twice daily around 6am and 4pm.

  • Hours: Daily from 6am til late | Friday Closed between 11.30am to 2pm
  • Where: Between Corniche Road and Sharjah Creek, near the Central Souk.