Sharjah: The cultural capital

By admin Saturday, 08 September 2012 8:00 PM

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Sharjah: The cultural capital


Sharjah - the third largest emirate, is the only one whose territory is flanked by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. In 1998, UNESCO named it The Cultural Capital of the Arab World due to its rich legacy of arts, heritage and culture. You can relax and enjoy the sunny days, wander through traditional markets or visit modern shopping centers, go on numerous heritage sites, museums, admire majestic mosques, stroll along the lagoon and admire the natural beauty of the Arabian deserts, mountains and seas.

It is the perfect place for those who want to combine low-cost vacation on the shores of the Arabian Gulf with the ability to shop close by in Dubai. Sharjah, which means "rising sun" is about 5,000 years old and appears on the 2nd BC map by Greek geographer Ptolemy and in 1490 AD it is mentioned in the notes of the   famous Arab navigator Ahmad ibn Majid.

The city has over 20 museums nine of which are international, art galleries, as well as the new center of arts and entertainment Al Qasba, and many traditional markets. The Meredzha History Museum, National Heritage Museum, art, archaeological and scientific as well as the Planetarium, the Museum of Islam, which represents Arab manuscripts, pottery and other artifacts. The Museum of Art exhibits contemporary paintings, historical documents and maps. Towering skyscrapers jostle with expansive buildings designed as per Islamic architecture.

It recently opened a new park Al Majaz Waterfront, which is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Sharjah, attracting visitors to its musical fountain and gourmet restaurants and venues for diverse events.

Three major upcoming new projects include the Al Hafya Educational Reserve Centre, an enclosure for mountain dwelling animals covering an area of 800m in 4 m the first-of-its-kind exhibition centre that will remain open throughout the year showcasing predator birds and animals, and a purpose-built recreational water park project for families.

The Wasit Reserve Rehabilitation project, which was converted from a landfill into a reserve, contains dozens of protected birds including the grey swan has returned to the reserve after a hiatus of ten years.

The Al Sabha district, for instance, will be shaped into a key ecological zone through maintaining its existing environmental life. The Maliha region has also been identified as a potential tourist attraction. In addition, a water park, which is being developed in cooperation with a local development company, will evolve into an entertainment and tourism centre for family and children featuring water slides up to a height of 30 metres.