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The smaller sister of mighty Dubai, the city of Sharjah is frequently regarded as the Arts Capital of the United Arab Emirates. Sharjah's very chic and modern outlook while not comparable to the glitz and glamour of its neighbour, boasts the very essence of the Arabian Heritage. The city houses not only some of the country's iconic attractions making it well worth a visit but also offers that perfect insight into the rich, extravagant culture and heritage of the Arab world. So if you are an art-lover or even if you are seeking to unravel everything that goes into making this country of superlatives, this is the city that you need to pay a visit. With captivating museums, extravagant souks, mesmerizingly beautiful heritage sites, over-the-top theme parks and rejuvenating sea coasts on both the east and the west, Sharjah is sure to complete your insightful and invigorating holiday. And for that added something extra that you will only get to explore in this beautiful city is an insight into the wildlife of the country.
Begin your journey with a visit to Sharjah's Central Market popularly known as the Blue Souq owing to the buildings stunning blue exterior. This attraction has long stood as Sharjah's landmarked attraction that has continued to attract tourists for decades. The Blue Souq exhibits an extensive collection of gold and other jewelries, some of them displaying the classic Yemeni and Emirati designs, while other floors showcase a fascinating collection of carpets, antiques, housewares and other souvenirs that are iconic to the Arab and the Turkish world.
Two of the city's must-see museums include the Sharjah Museum and the Islamic Museum. Head to the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization for a thorough insight into the culture of the Arab World and Islamic ancestry. The museum showcases a stunning collection of handicrafts made from clay, brass, silver and gold that is sure to leave you fascinated by its intricacy and detail. Exhibits from the early Abbasid and Omayyad eras that include ancient manuscripts have also been a source of attraction for tourists from across the globe. The Sharjah Museum, on the other hand displays an extensive collection of rare maps, paintings and other significant artefacts detailing the lifestyle of the rulers of the country.Other attractions that will be of special interest to the history-lovers are the Sharjah Archaeology Museum and Sharjah's Heritage Area that feature a collection of various museums and souvenir shops.
Sharjah's Natural History Museum and Desert Park will be of special interest to the younger generation seeking to unravel the exquisite wildlife of the Arabian Desert. The museum is divided into different segments with some depicting the desert's unique flora and fauna and the animal's natural habitats, while others offer an engaging audio and visual representations of various natural processes. Of particular interest will be the beehive showcasing the natural process of honey formation that can be seen via a transparent tube. And for those not getting enough of the thrill witnessed from exploring the exotic wildlife at this park, head to the famed Arabian Wildlife center. This is one of those rare attractions that feature some of the most exquisite Arabian wildlife with some also otherwise believed to have been extinct. Different segments have been dedicated to mammals, reptiles and insects for a thorough and closer look.
Some of the leading airlines offering low airfares for flights to Sharjah city from the UK are Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and British Airways.
There are no direct flights heading to Sharjah from London as of the latest flight records. Direct flights to the nearby city of Dubai are available which is approximately 20km from Sharjah city.
Average flight time for non-stop flights to Sharjah from London is 9hours 5minutes.
Sharjah International Airport is located at a distance of approximately 15.6km from Sharjah city center.
Sharjah International Airport offers easy, reliable and convenient modes of ground transportation. Airport Taxis are available on a 24 hour basis for the comfort and convenience of the arriving passengers. Taxis are in good condition, are air-conditioned and have fixed meters to ensure that tourists are not overcharged.
Coach services are also available to and from the airport. These offer transport to not only the city of Sharjah but to all the major surrounding cities of the UAE. Coaches are air-conditioned and are in a good condition so as to guarantee comfort during the journey. Local buses being operated within Sharjah city leave every 15 minutes so it is unlikely to miss one. Shuttle buses run every 30 minutes from the airport and offer one of the most economical means of reaching the city.
Various Car Rental company counters are also available at Sharjah International Airport. This is a more convenient option if you are planning on staying in the city for a longer period.
Sharjah city offers a number of convenient transport options of getting around. Hailing a taxi is easy and offers one of the most convenient modes of travelling. Taxis can be hailed either on the road or from the nearby taxi stands or can also be booked prior via a telephone call to the company or through your hotel. Taxi plates will be turned green to signal a vacant vehicle for passenger's convenience. Public and express buses are also being operated in the city by the Sharjah Transport Authority. Al Jubail bus station is the central bus station of the city that also operates transport services to other emirates.
Sharjah offers a range of accommodation options to cater to the varied tastes and budget of the arriving guests. There are a number of luxurious hotels, suites and resorts for those looking to splurge on an extravagant stay. Among this list of high end hotels also includes some of the leading international chain of hotels known for their high-end living and top-notch services. The facilities offered by all these indulgent include health and fitness centers, spa, free Wi-Fi, indoor and outdoor pools and a 24-hour front-desk service. Sharjah boasting an extended coastline on both the east and the west also houses a number of indulgent, high-end beach resorts. Most of Sharjah's accommodation options are located at close proximity to the city's major attractions such as the Central Market. Suite hotel apartments can be found at only a few minutes' drive from Sharjah Airport.
Mid-ranged and budget hotels offered include a number of plaza hotels and motels. These usually offer extended facilities with comfortable living at great value for money.
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