Shopping malls are a part of daily life in the UAE. For shopping, walking, eating, playing and browsing, especially during the summer months, they fit in well with the rapid pace of life today, saving precious time by offering a wider range of products all under one roof. The fully air-conditioned modern malls provide safe, convenient and good shopping, with a varied array of international and local brands combined with children's entertainment centres and numerous food outlets, restaurants, cafés and coffee shops. Large malls have ample parking, and taxis are readily available at the main entrances. Sharjah has a shopping festival during the month of Ramadan, as well as Spring Promotions in March every year.
NOTE: Most shopping malls are open from 10 am - 11 pm or later on weekdays and on Saturdays, and from 2 pm - 11 pm on Fridays. Some of the food outlets and the entertainment centres have different timings and are often open for longer.
Positioned along the busy Dubai/Sharjah highway, close to Al Nahda residential area, this three-storey mall provides a wide choice of shopping with over 300 outlets, among them Damas, Jacky's Express, Cellucom, Hang Ten, Sun N Sand Sports, Royal Furniture Palace, Home Mart and Sharaf DG, with entertainment facilities for all the family. The mall has four levels of dedicated zones offering a hypermarket, a discount centre, electronics, IT and computers, fashion and accessories, furniture, lifestyle and household products, topped by Space City, a large amusement centre with a futuristic theme decor, and an international food court. Fitness First, with the latest equipment from Technogym, also offers some great group exercise classes.
Sahara Centre, located off the Dubai/Sharjah highway and open since 2002, has a distinctive 'tented' exterior and is undoubtedly one of Sharjah's landmarks offering a complete family shopping and entertainment destination. Sahara Centre boasts a highly attractive mix of anchor tenants, renowned international brands and the finest regional stores and kiosks, providing a great shopping and entertainment experience in wide-open spaces with natural light and an appealing, airy ambiance. A destination for lifestyle shopping with everything under one roof – over 190 shops including a wide range of fashion items for the entire family along with sporting goods, toys, cosmetics, jewellery, books, home furnishings and electronics. Some of the mall's key anchors are Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Toys 'R' Us, THE One and Spinneys.
Its food court provides an array of international cuisine, from Italian, Chinese and Iranian to Arabic and Indian, as well as the global fast food chains. Sahara Centre is Wi-Fi enabled with free Internet access for those who love to surf the net while dining at the Food Court or at the Central Drum Court.
Adventureland, an indoor family entertainment area with its Aztec and Mayan inspired interior offers a fantastic selection of electronic games and a variety of thrilling rides including an indoor roller coaster. Another attraction is the 6-screen multiplex movie theatre Grand Sahara Cinemas, screening a variety of international movies. Taxis can be found in front of the mall, shuttle bus services run between the hotels and the mall, and a pedestrian overpass bridge connects the mall to residents living in Al Nahda.
Sharjah City Centre
Sharjah City Centre is located in the heart of the city on Al Wahda Road, a well known shopping district. Opened in 2001 it covers an area of over 35,000 square metres of shopping, leisure and entertainment for the whole family, and always attracts large crowds.
All under one roof, a wide range of over a 114 retail outlets and services offer fashion, sports, lifestyle, electronics, home accessories and children's stores, including household and international names such as H&M, New Look, Monsoon, Splash, Carrefour Hypermarket, Areej, Sun & Sand Sports, Shoe Mart, Baby Shop, Mr Price, Lifestyle, Landmark, Woolworths and Bhs to mention a few. Sharjah City Centre also has a great selection of electronic items on their ground floor and a good range of home appliances in Carrefour Hypermarket. Other facilities are ample parking, Magic Planet – a dedicated children's play area, and 20 fast food outlets and restaurants.
Sharjah Mega Mall
Sharjah Mega Mall located in Abu Shagara offers over 150 retail outlets spread over three levels. Well known stores include BHS, Zara and Mango, Promod, Paris Gallery, Aldo, Brantano Shoe City, Nine West, La Senza, Guess, Damas, Jack & Jones, Salam Studio Stores and Vero Moda, plus there is a large supermarket open 24 hours on the ground floor. Complementing the wide array of retail and fashion concepts, Sharjah Mega Mall is a place of leisure and entertainment. Grand Cinemas offer the latest movies and Antic's Land, a distinctively themed family entertainment centre comprises three mystical lands with unique rides, edutainment activities and games including a roller coaster, a monorail, 3D cinema and haunted house and the latest video games.
The mall has a large and busy food court on the top floor and there are several cafés and coffee shops to choose from on each level. Ample indoor and outdoor parking is available.
Al Arab Mall
Despite begin superseded by bigger, better shopping outlets, the Al Arab Mall still remains a popular place to spend and handout. Noted for offering highly affordable items (especially clothes), it's a place where you could test your bargaining skills to the max.
Popular with everyone from Emiratis to expats the Ansar Mall, located on the strategic Dubai-Sharjah highway, is one of Sharjah's most recognizable landmarks. Stretching over six levels and covering an area of 320,000 square feet, the mall features a comprehensive array of shopping and leisure solutions including a hypermarket, and stores for electronics, jewellery, fashion, perfume and cosmetics, and home furnishing. It also features a popular food court, and kids play area.
Al Fardan Centre
Overlooking the Khalid Lagoon, the three levels Al Fardan Centre and shopping mall is an established landmark of modern Sharjah. Featuring a food court, children's play area (trigger island), and a myriad of shops, the centre is a great place for eating, meeting and entertainment.
Located on the Al Wahda Road, the Sharjah Gold Centre is home to 44 of the biggest and most well equipped jewellery shops and independent gold stores of the UAE. From gold to diamonds and from elaborate Arabian necklaces to contemporary western styles earrings, the sheer volume of choices offered by Sharjah’s Gold Centre is enough to overwhelm even the most fervent jewellery buyer
TRADITIONAL MARKETS & SOUQS
For an exciting and different cultural and shopping experience lose yourself in the time-honoured souks and experience the contrasts, colours, sounds and aromas to be found in Sharjah's historic shopping areas. Renovated in the 'old' style, combining the comforts of modern life with the old custom of Arabic hospitality, they create the ultimate retail thrill for sightseers, shoppers and photographers alike.
Although prices can vary according to quality, bargaining or getting the best price when haggling is recommended and can be an exhilarating experience. Shop around and check prices before you commit to a purchase.
NOTE: Most souks open from 9/9.30 am - 1.30 pm and 4.30 - 10.30/11 pm
Sharjah Central Souk
Think of 'shopping in Sharjah' and the Central Souk springs to mind. Open since 1979, the legendary Central Souk is the most famous souk in Sharjah and is a must-see destination for all shoppers. Discover an extraordinary collection of handicrafts, brilliant in colour and magnetic in appeal.
Delve into a maze of more than 600 exciting and intriguing shops split between two levels with spacious corridors that take you from store to store, to uncover unusual treasures and traditional gift items, handmade goods and regional imports. You will find a mixture of shops selling gold, silver, authentic jewellery, precious stones, beautiful modern jewellery, to impressive collections of Oriental carpets and rugs, arts, crafts and attractive ornaments, cameras, models of traditional Arab dhows (sailing vessels) in silver; Indian, Pakistani, Indonesian and African hand-carved furniture and products, precious Arabic perfumes and cosmetics, textiles, beaded bags, exquisite Afghani embroideries, shawls in brilliant colours, embroidered Syrian table cloths, antiques and copper trays in all sizes, and much more.
The Central Souk has one of the best selections of oriental carpets in the UAE. Many outlets specialise in carpets, kilims, elegant silk carpets, carpetbags and wall hangings, which come from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, Kashmir, Pakistan and anywhere between Central Asia and China. Most of the carpet sellers are knowledgeable about their trade and they will order you a traditional cup of tea or coffee and happily unroll carpet after carpet until you find the one you want.
In between shopping and discovering, relax and enjoy a snack in the friendly cafés followed by a wander along the scenic Khaled Lagoon.
Souk Al Arsah
Step back in time and visit the peaceful air-conditioned alleyways of the covered market, probably the oldest market place in the UAE, designed with solid wooden doors, beautiful coral brick walls and hanging lanterns. The shopkeepers are friendly, helpful and more than happy to relate stories about their particular craft or business whilst sharing a glass of suleimani (spicy tea with a delicious sweet flavour) or a mint tea. The souk features a number of small stores selling local, new and antique handicrafts, wooden Arabic bridal and pearl chests, copper coffee pots, ethnic and hand-made jewellery, perfume bottles and incense, handmade woven garments, palm-leaf baskets, medicinal herbs, carpets, shawls and novelties.
Souk Al Bahar
This authentic old bazaar also known as Souk Mohamed Bin Saqr, runs parallel to the Sharjah Creek and traded in clothes and gold in the past. It is an old market that expresses the originality of the town and history of commerce and trade development in the area. Stroll amid the hustle and bustle along the waterfront and explore the shops offering an assortment of products: spices and herbs, henna, clothes and textiles, perfumes and oils, spices and fragrances, palm leaf baskets, Sheesha (water pipes) and flavoured tobaccos. There are also larger stores selling Arabic style clothing and accessories, cosmetics and perfumes, and a number of ladies' tailors specialising in national, bridal and beaded clothes. This area is ideal for those in search of an authentic ambience and it is particularly attractive to photograph.
Souk Al Ghuwair
This shopping area located in Rolla is divided into markets selling an odd mix of products – gold, saris, textiles, clothes, shoes, suitcases and bags; hardware, paints and key cutting outlets; electrical items, fans, plugs, switches; mirror work and carpets. Always open late, it is a handy and useful place to know. It gets very busy in the evenings and traffic congestion can be expected
Sharjah Gold Centre
Located on the Al Wahda Road, the Sharjah Gold Centre is home to 44 of the biggest and most well equipped jewellery shops and independent gold stores of the UAE. From gold to diamonds and from elaborate Arabian necklaces to contemporary western styles earrings, the sheer volume of choices offered by Sharjah's Gold Centre is enough to overwhelm even the most fervent jewellery buyer.
Fruit & Vegetable Souk
Located close to the Khalid Lagoon, the Sharjah Fruit & Vegetable Souk offers you an avalanche of colours and aromas. For both its size – there are hundreds of shops – and variety, the Fruit & Vegetable Souk is an extraordinary place to visit.
Plant & Pot Souk
Situated close to the Fruit & Vegetable Souk, the Plant & Pot Souk offers an invariable array of outdoor and indoor plants and souvenir pots. When you are here, look out for round clay moneyboxes, a fun gift for children.
Located next to the Khalid Lagoon, the Fish Souk is a great market for cooks and shoppers, and an awesome place for those interested in learning about the variety of fish caught in the Gulf.
East Coast Fish Market
In sharp contrast to the traditional Fish Souk at Khalid Lagoon, the East Coast Fish Market, also referred to as the markets of Kalba, Khorfakkan and Dibba Al Hisn, offer you a wholly different, and immaculately clean, fish/meat shopping experience. You do not have to wear old shoes to this fish souk.
Al Sour Souk
Very popular with local shoppers. Al Sour Souk is a great place to buy handicrafts, perfumes, textiles and shoes.