Al Qasba is both a lively and relaxing place to be. With matching buildings in Arabic architecture on either side of the canal housing restaurants, cafes, bookshops, a theatre, musical centre, a business centre and art centre and plazas, immaculate gardens, dancing fountains and children’s play areas and boats to hire on the canal, there’s something for everyone.
Sharjah is both very family-focused and an emirate full of culture and Al Qasba is a perfect example of how it is providing places for families to go out and enjoy time together and offering cultural and educational activities.
You can find all kinds of restaurants, such as Lebanese, Italian, Mexican, etc, all with indoor areas and outside terraces. If you fancy something lighter, there are coffee shops and ice cream outlets.
Although a couple of these photos are now out of date as the famous Eye of the Emirates big wheel has only just been dismantled to be rehoused at Al Montaza Water Park, there are still many attractions.
At one end in front of Caribou, there are musical fountains with scheduled performances. In between performances, children (or even you!) can have lots of fun running through them. Be sure to bring appropriate shoes though so they don’t hurt their feet on the metal grid. And although there are enormous walk-in driers, they don’t always work, so bring a towel.
Next to the fountains, there is also a traditional Emirati coffee shop where you can sample local drinks and snacks.
At the other end of the building on the same side, there is a fun play park with a separate area for toddlers. (Entrance fee 15dhs for unlimited time.)
Next to the play park is an area with rides for children and on the opposite side of the canal there is an indoor play area.
You can hire a BYKY, a small go-kart to go up and down the canal side (after 4pm). Or if you prefer to go on the canal itself, you can hire a waterkart to use yourself (all day in winter, after 4pm in summer) or you can go on an abra around the lagoon.
Or perhaps you’d prefer to unwind at Body & Soul Spa or work out at their gym. Or you might catch a play or a film at Masrah, the theatre, which hosts film festivals, musical shows and the like. They also offer drama classes for children at the weekend.
The Maraya Art Centre hosts exhibitions and offers workshops and talks and Furat Qaddouri Music Centre offers clssses in music, ballet and arts.
Kalimat, Sharjah’s very own children’s Arabic book publishing house has a bookshop near the indoor play area. As well as housing lots of great books for children, it has a cafe and in the winter months hosts children’s workshops and movie nights.
Mothers of young children are well catered for under Sharjah’s mother and baby friendly approach. Clean spacious cabins are available for feeding and changing with comfortable upholstered rocking chairs along with a small play area to occupy older siblings
Al Qasba mosque is yet another example of fine Arabic architecture. The Friday sermon is read in English here and it can get pretty busy.
Finally, there are several festivals throughout the year which take place at al Qasba, for example, the Light Festival and the Food Festival, Choir Festival, Indian Festival, Sharjah World Music Festival and Qasba Street Festival.
So what are you waiting for? Come and see one of the most vibrant and beautiful areas of Sharjah for yourself!