Image by kevin (iapetus) via Flickr
Sharjah Summer Breaks from AED99 is a startling promise to make in an advertisement (Gulf News today) and one that is guaranteed to pique curiosity from would-be summer breakers.
But that's the deal - Sharjah's going for it and I'd commend an overnighter to the 'Cultural' emirate most highly.
There’s a hell of a lot to see and do in Sharjah, from a wide range of museums, art galleries and restored souq areas through to desert trips taking you to the idyllic Indian Ocean retreat of Khor Fakkan (and its venerable but still fun hotel, The Oceanic) and the important mangrove swamps of Khor Kalba. An overnight in Sharjah would be well worthwhile, IMHO, for many people - particularly the many living in Dubai who've never bothered going next door. These posts about stuff to do around the UAE might help
Don't forget that Sharjah's 'dry', but don't let that put you off, either.
Go crazy this summer and give one of these a bash - there are more on the Sharjah Tourism website, but I've cherry picked the best of 'em here.
Tel: +9716 5657777
The Radisson SAS. This is a pretty nice hotel, actually, with a good pool and beach and does simply fantastic Lebanese food. The Friday buffet’s not unpleasant and I'd recommend the place as easily the best hotel in Sharjah.
Holiday Inn Corniche
Tel: +9716 5599900
This hotel’s on the Buheirah Lagoon, in the city centre near the famous Blue Souq (Souq Al Markazi).
Dhs 255 Single
Dhs 299 double
Tel: +9716 563 7777
On the site of the old Palace Hotel, plonked just on the edge of the bustling Al Arouba souq area, this business hotel always struck me as a slightly odd place. Never been in it.
Dhs 200 double
Tel: +9716 5741111
The Marbella has been there for donkey’s and is next to the Holiday Inn. It’s all chalets and has always seemed pleasant enough to me. I do recommend a visit to the website, which is highly nostalgic and will take you back to 1970s retro brochure design and first generation website design.
Dhs 199 junior suite
Sharjah Carlton Hotel
Tel: +9716 5283711
This is one of the older properties in Sharjah and used to look pretty imposing back in the 1980s. It just looks old now, but is not unpleasant, has a lovely beach and is near the old fishing village of Al Khan and Sharjah’s aquarium, which is well worth a visit. Its website describes it as situated on the lush Arabian sea and so, I guess, it is.
Dhs 199 single
Dhs 225 double
Oceanic Hotel, Khor Fakkan
Tel: +9716 238 5111
This is, again, an older hotel with distinctive round porthole windows and is absolutely fine to stay in, has a lovely beach and pool and is ideal for exploring the East Coast of the Emirates.
Dhs 99 single
Dhs 199 double
Personally, I'd go for the Oceanic for sheer value and the East Coast and the Radisson for facilities.
BTW, I got the pricings above from the most helpful Mohammed at the Tourism call centre - 800 SHJ to you!
Thanks to Rob, whose comment on the original post (which I scrubbed) alerted me to the fact that Sharjah Tourism's website had been updated and my whinge about it's lack of content had been addressed even as I was whingeing!