Start your morning by the creek, which is home to the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. Housed in a beautiful old souk, this museum showcases an impressive collection of art and artefacts from all over the Islamic world.
Stroll along the Corniche to the Heart of Sharjah district. The oldest part of the city, with its tangle of narrow lanes and sand-coloured buildings, has been reborn as a buzzing arts and heritage district. Stop for lunch at one of the kiosks that line the Corniche and visit the Discovery Centre in Majlis Al Naboodah, which details the ongoing restoration project that is due for completion in 2025.
Spend the afternoon exploring the charming Heart of Sharjah district. Savour the historic architecture of Bait Al Naboodah, built in 1845 for a prominent pearl trader, and Majlis Al Midfa, renowned for its distinctive round barjeel (wind tower). Shop for souvenirs in Souk Al Shanasiyah, a beautifully renovated souk that is also home to cafés and restaurants, and Souk Saqr, where you can buy everything from spices and perfumes to traditional Arabic clothing. History buffs should not miss the Sharjah Fort Museum, housed in a photogenic fort (hisn) built in 1823.
Continue on to Souk Al Arsa in the centre of the heritage district, where you can wander along alleys lined with shops selling antiques and souvenirs. Stop at Al Arsah Coffee Shop, an atmospheric old-style café serving Arabic coffee and Sulaimani chai (spiced black tea), and be sure to pop into Sharjah Heritage Museum, a fascinating museum that explores all aspects of Emirati culture
Make your way over to the nearby Al Majaz Waterfront, either on foot or by taxi. This popular waterfront district has plenty of family-friendly activities, including mini-golf and dhow boat cruises, but the star attraction is the Sharjah Fountain, with its spectacular sound and light show every 30 minutes from 6.30pm. For dinner, there’s no shortage of great restaurants including authentic Emirati fare at Al Fanar, perfect pizzas at Pizzaro and Lebanese street food at Zaroob.