Sharjah’s cruise potential is overshadowed by nearby Dubai, but it’s the Arab world’s Cultural Capital and an important center for Islamic education. Sharjah’s Heritage District boasts the Sharjah Fort Museum. Restored by the current Sheikh, it contains many exhibits portraying the Emirate’s social history. The Heritage District also contains the Islamic Museum where visitors can learn about the faith, view handwritten Qur’ans, see letters from the Prophet himself, and enjoy artifacts from Mecca. The museum also contains a rich display of Arab handicrafts. Visitors to the city should be sure of times these sites are open and set aside for women only.
Travelers should not miss the impressive “Eye of the Emirates,” the tallest (60-meter) observatory wheel on several continents. The Eye is part of Sharjah’s new cultural and entertainment hub. Built in The Netherlands, the Eye features 42 air-conditioned gondolas that hold eight people. Passengers get a panoramic view of the area, including Sharjah and Dubai.
Sharjah is a desert city, and it can get very hot, but from November to April, the weather is almost perfect. Temperatures range from 18° to 30°C (64° to 86°F). The Emirate has plentiful beautiful beaches to enjoy sunbathing, beach combing, and water sports. Women should dress modestly on Sharjah’s beaches.