Sharjah City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on November 4, 2008

Sharjah is the third largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates and has the distinction of being the only emirate that has coastal borders on both the Arabian Gulf (to the west) and the Gulf of Oman (to the East). Because of its geographical location, Sharjah is gifted with uniquely diverse natural features ranging from gorgeous beaches and islands to fertile farmlands and lush green oases. One of these oases, Al Dhaid, has blossomed into a full-fledged city in its own right, and offers a much welcome natural sanctuary only 30 minutes drive from the Sharjah city center.

Residential Places in Sharjah

With the rising prices of real estate in the other emirates–most notably Dubai–many investors have begun setting their sights elsewhere, one of those places being Sharjah. Sharjah has proven to be a viable alternative to the flashier and more popular Dubai, which has been plagued with astronomically high property prices over the last few years. Admittedly, Sharjah has not been totally exempt from the high cost of living that has swept across the rest of the country. However, it is still much cheaper to live here and you should be able to find a suitable place to live in for much less than you would pay if you were in Dubai. A new one bedroom flat would cost you around AED 4000 for example, and in the range of AED 5000 to AED 7000, you will be able to find a good-sized apartment with two rooms.

Looking for Residency

A good place to look around for residences is Al-Buhaira Corniche. The prices of apartments here tend to be on the higher end of the scale–still very affordable mind you–but the area is clean and well-kept, and in close proximity to the commercial and business district. The Al Majaz area is also a good choice, with a park, plenty of good restaurants and all kinds of shops nearby. There is even a lagoon close at hand where you can do some fishing on your days off! Be forewarned though: if you have to drive to work in Dubai, the traffic can be quite exasperating, especially during the midweek peak hours. If you work right in the city however, you will surely appreciate being able to get around quickly everywhere you need to go.

Hospitals and Universities of Sharjah

There are quite a few large hospitals in Sharjah, among them the Al Qassimi Hospital on Wasit Road, which is a government owned hospital, the Al Zahra Private Medical Center, and the Central Private Hospital, which is located at the Clock Tower Roundabout. All three offer a full range of medical and health care services, and the level of medical care is generally excellent.

Education System in Sharjah

Sharjah has always taken pride in its accomplishments in education and culture and the presence of many fine universities and educational institutions in the city attest to this legacy. In fact, the emir of Sharjah, Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi, has developed the suburb of Muwailih into a “University City”.  This provides residents with a centralized location for many of the top learning institutions in the city, among them The American University of Sharjah, The University of Sharjah for Men, The University of Sharjah for Women, Higher College of Technology for Men, Higher College of Technology for Women and the Sharjah Police Academy.

Commercial Places in Sharjah

Sharjah is one of the most conservative emirates in the country and there is a zero alcohol policy in effect all over the city. This means that there are no bars around that you can have a quick drink or two in. Food is another matter entirely, and virtually every type of cuisine you can imagine is available, from the traditional to the international.

Sharjah Delicacies

If you want to get a taste of the local cuisine, check out the Al Fawar Restaurant, the Beirut Restaurant at the Al Fardan Centre, Al Sadaf and the intriguingly named Automatic Restaurant. If you haven’t quite decided what to eat you may want to go to an International restaurant where you can leave the decision to last minute inspiration. The best ones are AI Atlal Restaurant & Coffee Shop at the Sharjah Carlton Hotel, AI Khaimah Lou’Lou’a, La Croiesette and the Rainbow Steakhouse.

Finally if you are not in the mood for a full meal, you may just opt for one of the many coffee shops in the city like the Cafe Amore Al Buhaira Corniche or the Henley Tea Rooms at the Al Fardan Centre.

Service Establishments of Sharjah

Electricity, gas and water supply needs in Sharjah are provided solely by one company, the Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority, which you can contact at PO Box 135. You can also visit their website at http://www.sewa.gov.ae and call them at +971 (6) 5288888 and fax them at +971 (6) 5288000. Etisalat is the sole provider of all telecommunications services in Sharjah, as well as the rest of the UAE. They provide a wide range of services covering basically every telecommunications niche you could imagine including Fax, Telegram, GSM services, Data Services, Telex, Video Conference Service, Payphone Facilities, Messaging Services, Calling Cards, Clip Service, Satellite Transmission, and Internet Services.

You can also opt for a separate Internet package from Emirates Internet, which you can apply for only if you already have a telephone connection. You can reach them at 8005244.

Embassies in Sharjah

For any consular assistance that you may require while you are in Sharjah, you will have to contact the British Embassy in Dubai as there is no consular office in the city. You can reach them at PO Box 65, or you can call them at (971) (4) 309 4444 for general inquiries and at (971) (4) 309 4445 for the commercial section. You can also fax them at the following numbers:  (971) (4) 309 4301 for management related concerns (971) (4) 309 4257 for consular assistance (971) (4) 309 4302 for commercial inquiries (971) (4) 309 4303 for Visa related assistance (971) (4) 309 4225 and for chancery.  Their email address: is [email protected] and you can also visit their website at http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/uae.

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