Here are a few of the major attractions that residents can explore during the long weekend.
Although Dubai and Abu Dhabi provide an abundance of attractions for residents and tourists, there are lesser-known treasures in other emirates waiting to be explored during the long weekend for the Islamic New Year. With the holiday falling on July 21, families staying in the UAE can indulge in the wonders of Sharjah and Fujairah.
Sharjah, known for its varied topography encompassing mountains, lush valleys, and serene coastlines, offers breathtaking natural beauty alongside iconic architectural landmarks, a wealth of museums, and renowned art galleries.
Sharjah Desert Park
The Sharjah Desert Park presents a fascinating edutainment spot, comprising three distinct sections: The Natural History Museum, Arabian Wildlife Centre, and Children's Farm. It provides visitors with an engaging opportunity to explore the plant and animal life in the UAE while enjoying entertaining explanations of natural phenomena. Situated on Al Dhaid Road, about 28 km from the city, this highly recommended museum is an ideal destination, especially for nature enthusiasts.
Situated on Sharjah's waterfront, Al Qasba is a commercial complex that harmoniously blends entertainment and elegance. Boasting an array of indoor and outdoor activities, the complex features top-notch dining establishments, theaters, abra rides, a Kids Fun Zone, and the mesmerizing Al Qasba Musical Fountain. With its diverse attractions, Al Qasba becomes the ultimate destination for families seeking relaxation and memorable moments spent together.
Sharjah Aquarium presents an enriching experience, inviting visitors to discover a vast variety of marine creatures. Boasting 20 spacious tanks, it showcases an extensive selection of oceanic life while emphasizing the importance of preserving marine ecosystems.
Within the aquarium's captivating setting, visitors can marvel at more than 250 species of aquatic life, including vibrant fish, majestic reef sharks, elegant eels, and captivating seahorses. Furthermore, the aquarium offers an immersive encounter with smaller marine organisms like coral reefs, mangroves, lagoons, and pools, providing a comprehensive understanding of the underwater world's intricacies.
Museum of Islamic Civilisation
Nestled within an enchanting souq, the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation invites visitors to embark on a journey through the splendid heritage of Arab and Islamic culture. Spanning two floors, the museum's displays offer profound insights into various aspects, such as rituals, artifacts, and textiles.
On the ground floor, the galleries present a diverse range of perspectives on Islamic faith. These encompass the remarkable scientific achievements in fields like astronomy and mathematics, as well as the significance and practices associated with the Haj pilgrimage.
Fujairah stands as the UAE's seventh-largest city, situated on the Gulf of Oman and serving as the sole capital city on the east coast. Amidst the modern cityscape, Fujairah's historical architecture stands proud, providing visitors with an opportunity to delve into and admire its rich heritage, which remains unaffected by towering contemporary skyscrapers. The city boasts several ancient mosques and monuments, further adding to its cultural significance.
Fujairah Fort and village
Fujairah Fort, acknowledged as the oldest fort in the UAE, served dual purposes as both a defensive stronghold and a residential abode for the ruling family. Being the only stone structure along the Fujairah coastline for many centuries, it holds great historical importance in the region. Erected in 1670, the fort was constructed using mud-bricks and features three main sections, numerous halls, a square tower, and two round towers.
Snoopy Island has emerged as a highly desirable location for a range of water-based activities, recreational endeavors, and music festivals. The island derives its name from a distinctive rock formation that strikingly resembles the beloved cartoon character, Snoopy, lying on its back. Among the favored water activities, snorkeling and diving are prominent. The surrounding waters boast exquisite reefs teeming with abundant marine life, providing occasional sightings of turtles and small sharks.
Al Bidyah Mosque
Al Bidyah Mosque, also known as the Ottoman Mosque, holds the unique distinction of being the UAE's oldest mosque. Its name is derived from the town that once surrounded this sacred site. In close proximity to the mosque, there are several other archaeological sites, including four watchtowers, stone walls, the foundations of ancient buildings, and numerous stones adorned with petroglyphs and carvings.
Built in 1446, the mosque stands as a humble structure constructed from mud and brick, showcasing the remarkable craftsmanship of that era and region. It boasts four pointed domes and relies on a single central pillar for support.
Bithnah Fort, located in close proximity to Fujairah city, is an ancient structure with historical significance, overlooking strategic routes passing through the Hajar Mountains via Wadi Ham. Dating back to 1735, Bithnah Fort stands beside the main highway, approximately 13 km from Fujairah city. Interestingly, there are rumors suggesting that the site once housed a megalithic T-shaped tomb dating back to the second millennium BC, which was later utilized again during the first millennium BC.
News Source: Khaleej Times