07 September, 2006

Smile you are in Sharjah

If I lived outside UAE & if I was planning to visit or live in Sharjah, most UAE based blogs would have given me the impression to avoid Sharjah at all costs. Why this bias towards Sharjah? Just because there are no bars & night clubs? Just because people are required to "dress modestly"? Just because prostitution is not tolerated?

Well guys, I have a "bad" news for you. Sharjah is NOT an extremist Emirate. Extremists don't allow museums, while Sharjah has 24 museums. The ruler of Sharjah supports art & artists in a big way. The Emirate hosts Sharjah International Biennial. The Emirate is also very passionate about preserving the Heritage.

A good news for book lovers. During the month of Ramadan, Qanat Al Qasba will host the Book Boulevard. Visitors will have the chance to buy new as well as old books. The interesting thing is that the proceeds of the event will be donated to UAE Red Crescent Society. Don't forget to visit it :-)

"We have already received over 15,000 old books as donations from residents and organisations across the UAE in just two weeks. We hope that more and more people will contribute to this charitable cause, the proceeds of which will be collected and distributed by the Red Crescent," said Marwan Al Sarkal, CEO of the Qanat Al Qasba Development Authority.
You can read the full article here.


samuraisam said...

I don't think its so much to do with what you can't do there; it's more other things, like a man and woman driving in a car together and being interrogated by the police solely based upon that fact.

Everything negative (aside from the usual run-of-the-mill qualms about traffic etc) I've heard about the place has to do with the legal side of things (not modest dress laws or whatever); otherwise I've heard they make good chick-peas (or dango as i've come to know it be referred to as)

MandY said...

aaah!! not many people recognize Sharjah as the beauty she is... DG, thanks for reminding us all...

Kiwi Boy said...

Whatever. Sharjah is still a parking lot compared to Dubai.

Though I do like its corniche better than Dubai's. And its mosques, too.

blogrosh said...

Kiwi boy - Sharjah is not just a parking lot? It is a beautiful, culture rich, clean and sane place to live.

Drive upto Kalba, Khor Fakkan and Dibba al-Husn to experience nature at it's best in the UAE.

Yes I agree, the Anjad folks or the shj government have miles/light years to go if they ever hope to reach Dubai efficiency.

It's my home, I am sentimental about it, so please don't call it a parking lot : )

DG said...

Samuraisam, from where you get these stories? Have you personally experienced any mis-treatment by Anjad in Sharjah?

Mandy, you are welcome :-)

Kiwiboy, Blogrosh has replied to you well. Sharjah is definitely growing, its a quite revolution, they just lack good PR. In a couple of years time, I am sure traffic will become more smooth. Already the ring road has made a positive difference. Future generations will definitely thank Sheikh Sultan for what he has made Sharjah today. By the way, it was Sharjah who introduced the concept of tourism in the region in the early eighties.

Thanks for the comment Blogrosh. :-)

moryarti said...

I love Sharjah..

But this ..

...like a man and woman driving in a car together and being interrogated by the police solely based upon that fact

happened to a friend of mine few weeks ago. Thats just the way it is. If you live/pass by it, you have to accept it.

BeenThereDoneThat said...

Okay, granted, there are several nice things about Sharjah... However:
-It's a huge pain in the butt to drive in, even more than Dubai. Roundabouts work great when there's very little traffic (i.e., Friday mornings) but otherwise are near- or total- nightmares.
-The Sharjah authorities, in an effort to regularlize and pleasant-ize the city, have managed to bulldoze whatever charm ever existed there. For example, the Old Souk, which is now a mild theme park called "The Old Souk."
-It's a real drag to walk in the city. Unlike, say, Deira or Bur Dubai, there are few if any truly pedestrian districts. Thus you're back in your car, back in the traffic nightmare.
-Did I mention the traffic? Man, it sucks getting anywhere.

clayfuture said...

Personally I never had any problems with the police in sharjah when I had girls in my car.

I guess they would question you if you engage in "immoral" acts openly. Otherwise, they don't bother you.

Anonymous said...

"Have you personally experienced any mis-treatment by Anjad in Sharjah?"

Um, yes?

The police once tried to confiscate my camera. I was taking a picture of friends on the street. They were all men, no one was dressed lewd (ie, shorts) and there wasn't a military installation around for miles.

I'm not exactly sure why he wanted the camera. Perhaps he had concerns that the magic box would steal our souls.

I very politely told him that he could not have the camera and that if he felt strongly about this he should arrest me and we could go down to the station and talk it over with his watch commander. He declined my offer.

And this is only my story. I've heard tens of them, particularly from women, about the concessions people have to make in order to live in Sharjah.

dg, you are correct in your assesment of Sheikh Sultan. He had the foresight to encourage the museums and schools. He has a real PhD and was educated at a good school in the UK. He clearly appreciates the value of education, one look at University City shows that.

I think the real question is where do you go from there? The city seems to be stagnating in relation to the progress in Dubai and AD. I don't understand it. Is there pressure coming from conservatives to prevent any more progress?

Keefieboy said...

Wahabi *******

Keefieboy said...

'Just because there are no bars & night clubs? Just because people are required to "dress modestly"?'

These seem like excellent reasons to avoid Sharjah to me!

DG said...

Keefieboy, what is wahabi? And why you think Sharjah is wahabi? I think you should live for few days in Al Qaseem province of Saudi Arabia to get a touch of wahabbism :-)

living in shj said...

Culturally Sharjah is Great, But infrastructures still to be improved.

Good atricle though. thanx buddy.

Keefieboy said...

Yeas I've read a lot about Qaseem. Definitely my kinda place!

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