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Sharjah Culture

House of Wisdom

As part of Sharjah’s newest award, UNESCO World Book Capital of 2019, celebrations, the emirate opened a new library; The House of Wisdom, a high-tech library and culture centre is set to be a catalyst for a new cultural quarter in the emirate, featuring more than 100,000 books. The two-storey library is situated alongside the “The Scroll”, a new piece of public art by British sculptor Gerry Judah, outside University City on the Sharjah International Airport Road. The building sits amid landscaped gardens and feature a large, cantilevered “floating” roof, with a 15-metre-wide overhang that provides shade during the day, while moveable aluminium screens will be deployed in the afternoon to filter the low evening sun. The House of Wisdom is key in a reimagining of the role of libraries in community life of the future, not just archives for books and literature but a social hub for learning, supported by innovation and technology with facilities including thousands of physical and digital books, exhibition spaces, a Fabrication Lab, Print-on-demand book stations, Discussion halls and much more.

Cultural Square

The Cultural Square features a 14-metre high pedestal with a sculpture of the Holy Quran. It is the centerpiece of the roundabout in the square, representing the spiritual heart of the city. The sculpture, which was designed by Spanish sculptor Marinas Rubias, is encircled by a number of stately buildings in typical Islamic architecture. These Sharjah buildings are of prominence in UAE history, particularly the Ruler’s Office and the Ahmad Bin Hanbal Mosque. Also in the square is the Cultural Palace, a place for concerts and events.

When you’re in Sharjah next, make sure to drive by the cultural square. It is a key highlight of the many tourist places in Sharjah. Since the sculpture is at a roundabout, you can easily drive by it more than once. If you’re thinking of things to do with kids here, they will enjoy going round a few times in your car. The Cultural Square is one of the popular places to visit in Sharjah with children, especially to learn about Islamic art.

Sharjah Archaeology Museum

With a treasure trove of pottery, jewellery and weaponry on display, this Sharjah museum uncovers the daily life of ancient inhabitants in the region, far before modern UAE culture. The most significant discoveries in the country are featured in this museum, including a 2,000-year-old golden bridle from Mleiha, findings from a Stone Age graveyard with the skeletons of 500 nomadic herders and a vast collection of Arabic art. For history buffs, this is one of the most important tourist places in Sharjah.

For things to do with kids, head to the children’s area which features interactive displays, informative exhibits and films. Call ahead of time to plan your trip during the museum’s summer activities for kids. To get to the museum, take a Sharjah bus with a stop on the Sharjah bus route close by. Or, reach there quicker with a Sharjah taxi.

Majlis Al Midfa

Just a 20 minute walk from the Sharjah Corniche and located in the Heart of Sharjah, Majlis Al Midfa is a historic square with the UAE’s only round wind tower. The square holds an important place in UAE history, since it was used for gatherings of the region’s intellectuals and merchants.

The majlis – Arabic for sitting area – is named after the man who started the country’s first ever newspaper in 1927. Ibrahim Bin Mohammed Al Midfa regularly convened a majlis here to discuss poetry, literature and politics. The rounded barjeel, or wind tower in English, is unlike other structures of its kind that are usually square. Wind towers are a symbol of ancient UAE culture, when these constructs were crucial for natural ventilation in hot summer months. Majlis Al Midfa has been incorporated into Sharjah’s unique boutique hotel, Al Bait, and all heritage -lovers should put this on their list of must-visit tourist places in Sharjah.

Khorfakkan Amphitheater and Waterfall

Soak up local culture at the impressive Khorfakkan Amphitheatre. Inspired by Roman architecture, it has rapidly become a celebrated local landmark. The newly-built amphitheater covers over 1700m2 and can accommodate over 3500 spectators. It was designed with a state-of-the-art cooling system, making it the ideal out-door venue for upcoming events. Hungry visitors can also sample delicious dishes at the amphitheater’s restaurant and café.

A magnificent 45m-high waterfall cascades down next to the amphitheater. Although the waterfall is man-made, it was carved out of natural rock and is often illuminated at night. The structure was built with viewing windows at the top, which are sometimes open to the public. From there, visitors can watch water flow down the rock. Both the amphitheater and waterfall face Khorfakkan’s shimmering bay, so visitors can enjoy a wander along the beach before enjoying a spectacular show.

Souq Al Jubail

Located just off the Sharjah corniche, beside an array of fishing boats in the water, Souq Al Jubail stands as a landmark with domes and pillars that are traditional to Islamic architecture. Fish are hauled in from nearby boats, making the souk the quintessential Sharjah fish market. It also serves as the ultimate fruits and vegetables market, featuring local and freshly imported produce at reasonable prices. Souk Al Jubail is, therefore, one of the most ideal places to visit in Sharjah for grocery shopping. If you’re looking for things to do with kids, put this souq on your list of places to visit with the family. Your kids can spend time in the central atrium, while you cross everything off your grocery list.