Five Fun Activities to Enjoy in Sharjah

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

Sharjah, the only ‘dry’ state of the Emirates is often overlooked in favour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, however, if you seek abundant activities and adventurous pursuits, you can’t choose a better Emirate. Offering everything from dune buggy adventures to evening desert safaris and even paragliding expeditions over golden desert sands, it’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature, oh, and indulge in a spot of retail therapy in lagoon-side Blue Souk!

Dune Buggy Adventure

Deserts of the UAE are vast, with undulating dunes and rich ochre sands stretching as far as the naked eye can see. One of the best ways to experience this arid wilderness is in an off-road dune buggy. Most of these activities take place around 45 minutes’ drive from Sharjah City near Mleiha in a region known as Fossil Rock. The landscape is exactly as the name suggests - a dense area of desert punctuated by natural rock formations filled with marine fossils. Once strapped into your two-person buggy, you can tackle shifting waves of sand with friends, challenging each other as you speed through the desert. It’s a fun, thrilling adventure which will bring out your competitive spirit. If you prefer to take it a little slower, you can observe archaeological sites and nature reserves of the surrounding area on your travels.

Evening Desert Safari and BBQ

You can combine a whole host of activities into one day in Sharjah. If you’ve spent the morning browsing gold souks and the afternoon relaxing by the pool at The Act Hotel, this all-encompassing activity is a perfect end to the day. An evening desert safari with Adventure Emirates includes a fascinating guided visit to Mleiha Archaeological Centre where you’ll unveil secrets and rich history of the Bedouin culture. This is followed by a 4 x 4 desert drive which is both exhilarating and nerve-racking. Afterwards, you venture to a sunset lounge at Fossil Rock Mountain to dine on delicious Arabian style barbecue as the sun sets over saffron coloured sands. Conclude the evening with a short mountain trek to stargaze using a professional telescope and view constellations and distant planets beneath clear desert skies.

Mountain Bike Tour

Believe it or not, Sharjah is a superb place for mountain biking. This scenic Emirate has myriad purpose-built trails and unmarked mountain routes which can be traversed on two wheels by all ages. With myriad opportunities for all skill levels available, you can choose to ride along rugged highland passes, or simply drift past date palm plantations on a leisurely bike ride. In the wadis to the east near Hajar Mountain range, there’s challenging terrain for seasoned enthusiasts and, if you want to cycle in more than one Emirate during your trip, neighbouring Ras-al-Khaimah has a network of trails recently developed by local mountain biking communities.

Desert Paragliding

Take to the skies to see beautiful Sharjah from an elevated perspective. You’ll be whisked away from your meeting point to one of Mleiha’s towering peaks. It is here you’ll begin your paragliding adventure. The activity lasts around 20 minutes in total and you have 2 options to choose from – paragliding or paramotor down. If you’re unsure as to the difference, paragliding is free-flying and lightweight and paramotor is operated with a foot and wheel launch which adjusts the speed via an attached cage motor. Whichever you choose, once in the air, you’ll soar like a bird, with a professional instructor on hand to navigate the skies and ensure you land comfortably. You can also film your flight as you glide over the desert scape, capturing breath-taking views over Sharjah as you go. 

Shop in the Blue Souk

On the shores of Khalid Lagoon, Central Market, otherwise known as the Blue Souk, tempts you with its glittering wares. The exterior is a stunning example of Islamic architecture with vivid blue tiles embellished on the entrance walls and the interior is huge with over 600 shops to browse over two jam-packed floors. The souk’s interior is interlinked with bridges, leading you to ground floor shops specialising in jewellery, precious stones and clothing. Upstairs, you’ll discover colourful crafts and curios from across the Emirates. Whether you’re shopping for a traditional hand-woven Persian carpet for your new home or want a local craftsman to bring your personal jewellery design to life, you can do it all in the Blue Souk. Once you’ve concluded your retail expedition, venture along Al-Arouba Street to Eye of the Emirates ferris wheel. This monumental Sharjah landmark provides photo-worthy panoramas over the city’s main attractions including Khalid Lagoon, Al Majaz waterfront and Al Noor Island. Afterwards, Arjwan Restaurant one of Sharjah’s top restaurants awaits. Serving traditional Middle Eastern food, diners can sample innovative dishes such as Shish Tawook, Lebanese mezza and camel milk, raspberry and rose water ice cream. 

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