Sharjah: the hub of Halal and Family Tourism by 2021
Sharjah, the third largest city in United Arab Emirates, is the capital of Sharjah Emirate and is located on the west coast of UAE. With over 15 km of coastline, Sharjah has been dubbed the cultural capital of the Arab world by UNESCO and was named the Islamic Culture Capital in 2014 at an OIC conference.
Sharjah is taking steps to be the hub for halal and family tourism, with plans to attract 10 million tourists by 2021. This is according to the Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, who stated recently that 70% of Sharjah tourists are families, whilst 35% come from Muslim countries and the Gulf Cooperation Council states.
Plans are underway to provide world-class tourism facilities that are ideal for Muslim tourists’ needs and families, along with attractive packages and offers that are specifically designed for families. What makes Sharjah ideal for Muslim families is this city abides by the rules of Islam, where most hotels do not serve alcohol, and have separate pools, gyms and spa facilities for men and women.
There are currently over 100 two to five star hotels in Sharjah, with an occupancy rate of 60%. The government has approved 30 licences to develop three to four star hotels and plans to develop more, in order to increase the number of hotel rooms to 15,000 in 2021. With the focus on halal and family tourism offers, Sharjah is hoping to increase occupancy rates to up to 70% by 2021.
Situated just a few miles north of glamorous Dubai, Sharjah provides an insight into the foundations of Islamic heritage and culture. With over 600 masjids, a wide selection of Halal restaurants, and numerous points of interest, Sharjah is definitely worth visiting. Must visit attractions include the Heritage District and its museums such as the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Heritage Museum, Maritime Museum, Calligraphy Museum, Art Museum, Archaeology Museum and more. There are several shopping centres across Sharjah such as the Central Souq, Blue Souq, Souq al-Arsa (located in the heritage area), Al Qasba and Sharjah Mega Mall.
Sharjah is perfect for families, with several family friendly attractions such as the Sharjah Desert Park, Aquarium, Discovery Center, Al Mamzar Beach Park, Eye of the Emirates, Arabia’s Wildlife Center and the parks that the city offers. Tourists can also enjoy jet skiing during the summers, boat rides, camel rides and so on.