It’s lesser-known than its two more populated UAE counterparts, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but Sharjah is in fact the arts capital of the United Arab Emirates. Rich in museums and galleries, it’s a cultural hotspot, recognised by UNESCO, and has expansive archaeological sites further afield. It also has much to keep children amused, including a butterfly house and the Sharjah Desert Park. The city is situated on the coast, so it makes for a wonderful alternative beach holiday too. Here are our top places to stay in Sharjah.
The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah – A Ghm Hotel
This hotel underwent a complete rebranding in March 2020 and is housed in a group of heritage homes. These buildings have been repurposed from their former roles as private residences, but have been well preserved to retain their character. With its own museum, library cigar lounge and jewellery boutique The Chedi Al Bait is quite unusual. 53 elegant bedrooms are decorated in a contemporary Arabic meets Asian design. There are two restaurants, one offering international fare, with the other specialising in gourmet food served family-style. Both have indoor and outdoor seating. Sip on Turkish coffee at the cafe and enjoy sweet treats at Al Bareed. The hotel also has a spa, providing holistic Middle Eastern treatments.
Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa
The city’s newest beach resort comes under the international Sheraton banner, making it popular with western visitors seeking an international vibe with five-star facilities. It’s also a family-friendly choice, offering babysitting services, a kids’ club, a games room and a dedicated pool for guests with children. The Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa also has 349 bedrooms, a private beach area, another outdoor pool, a gym, a beach grill, a seafood market, a buffet restaurant, a cafe and a cigar lounge. While it is a cosmopolitan hotel, there’s plenty of Arabian influence, not least in the decorative accents. Some rooms have balconies and sea views, while the top room — the Presidential Suite, is a palatial affair with three bedrooms and a private pool.
This uber-trendy hotel places you at the heart of the cultural action in the Al Taawun area of town. The rooms here have an urban-chic style, with plenty of mod cons, such as wireless Bose music players, huge TVs, dining areas (even in the standard category of rooms) and Roger & Gallet bath products. Coffee is served in the lobby bar, while the Al Khan restaurant has live cooking stations and an adventurous menu served day and night, as well as frequent all-you-can-eat seafood banquets. Fresh juices and snacks can be enjoyed by the infinity pool by day and guests have access to the spa and fitness centre.
Kingfisher Retreat Sharjah
Offering something completely different, this resort is in fact set on an island, off the city’s coast. Here, wildlife including turtles, birds and gazelles roam in the Eden-like eco-setting. Guests arrive via a private launch and are accommodated across 20 deluxe tents each with its own private ocean-side pool. Earthy hues encourage the sense of returning to nature, without compromising on comfort. Healthy, organic cuisine is served indoors and out at Al Qurm, or in-room bespoke dining alternatives can be arranged. The Kingfisher Retreat also has a small spa and direct beach access. access.