You could say that Sharjah—the lesser-known Emirati capital—lives in the shadows of it’s glossy neighbour, Dubai. However, the low-key city has an abundance of restaurants, museums and concept stores balanced by the fact that the city is also one of the most important cultural heritage sites in the UAE – win win.
MILLE rounds up a quick cheat sheet guide on how to spend 48 hours in the city.
Where to stay
Al Bait is an outstanding five-star hotel that opened earlier this year. The hotel’s decor is super traditional (it feels like you’re nestled up in a local Emirati home). In Al Bait, beautiful canopied beds and large patios are perfect for lounging on those hot Arabian summer nights.
You’ll like it if: you are looking for a sense of home with five-star service
We love: that their gym is open 24h for late night workout sessions.
The Act is another five-star hotel and is easily Sharjah’s most impressive gem. The hotel was designed and decorated by the Draw Link Group – who created sumptuous interiors that surround the theme of theatre, with stage projectors and chandeliers inspired by William Shakespeare’s tragedies such as Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.
You’ll like it if: you are looking for a dramatic view of the skyline – you won’t be disappointed
We love: the beautiful ballroom corridor. We’re already picturing the selfies.
Where to shop
Ashyaa’ concept store
Ashyaa’ curates beautiful and emerging designers from all over the world and stocks an insane collection of cult skincare brands and cosmetics as well as homeware and coffee table books.
You’ll like it if: you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gift.
We love: the simplicity of the store and the clean design.
If you’re looking for some good deals on gold trinkets, bracelets and necklaces – then the Gold Souk is perfect. From traditional pieces to contemporary jewellery designs, this is the to level up your gold game.
You’ll like it: if you are looking for a bargain. You will definitely get the best prices if you are insistent enough.
We love: the old architecture and the beautiful surroundings.
Where to eat
Zahr El Laymoun
Because Lebanese cuisine is always a good idea, you will be spoiled at Zahr Al Laymoun. They have the best selection of hummus and the yummiest fresh tabbouleh. Not to mention – it’s vegan friendly.
You’ll like it if: you want some good old fashioned home cooked food.
We love: the story behind the restaurant and its owners, who have tried to keep Lebanon’s cuisine alive through their delicious recipes.
For those who relish Moroccan cuisine, you will be delighted with their delicious tagines and bread fresh straight out the oven. El Manza get a bonus for the fresh Moroccan tea that’s served all day in traditional silver teapots.
You’ll like it if: you like a breezy terrace for dinner.
We love: their succulent couscous Fassi with chicken and vegetables.
Where to hangout
With its sweeping views and fresh air, Buhaira Cornice is more reminiscent of Hoboken, New Jersey than the UAE. With beautiful views of Khalid’s lake, it’s the perfect spot for an early morning jog.
You’ll like it if: you need a place to relax after a long walk, it’s so peaceful.
We love: how clean and chill the park is.
What to visit
Located in the cornice, Al Noor mosque is the perfect attraction to end your walk or jog. It’s open to the public so there’s no reason not to pay it a visit.
You’ll like it if: you are into architecture, the Ottoman detailing is unbelievable.
We love: the fact they greet early morning visitors with fresh coffee and delicious dates. A kick-ass start to any day.
Sharjah Heritage Museum
There is no better way to discover the history of the region than to pay a visit to the Sharjah Heritage Museum.
You’ll like it if: you are curious about the local history – the museum offers an in-depth study in to the heritage of the region.
We love: the collection of old tools and the history behind them.