Shopping in Sharjah: the best malls, markets, souks and retail centres

Explore the emirate's top places to shop

Shopping in Sharjah: the best malls, markets, souks and retail centres

Wallets at the ready – Sharjah is one of the UAE's top places to shop.

Although you won't find the world's biggest malls here, there are traditional markets and retail destinations that will keep you happily shopping all day.

Amble through rows of stalls at the souks and negotiate your way to a bargain, including at the famous fish market where fresh catches are packed on ice and sold to the highest bidder twice per day.

Or if you're looking for something a bit more modern, head for Sharjah City Centre, where more than 11 million shoppers give their wallets a workout every year.

There are international brands galore as well as a huge supermarket, restaurants, a multi-screen cinema and all the other familiar big-mall comforts.

So get bargain-hunting, because these are the best places to shop in Sharjah.

Al Qasba
This lively waterside hub is a haven for shoppers and diners, with a good mix of stores, cafes and  restaurants. It is also the home of the huge Eye of the Emirates ferris wheel, which offers spectacular views of the city for Dhs30 for an adult ticket and Dhs15 for children. Theatrical shows, musical fountains, an art centre and a public park will also save you from a shopping trip overspend.
Various opening times. Al Qasba, Sharjah, www.alqasba.ae (06 525 2444).

Al Shaab Village
Admit it, you secretly consider yourself a bartering champion. Well, now it is time to put your money where your mouth is at a place where many of the traders will be glad to negotiate the price of their goods. And with more than 250 shops at this large hall, filled with stalls selling clothing, footwear, jewellery, cosmetics and more, you will have plenty of chance to sharpen those bargaining skills. There is also the largest ice skating rink in the emirate.
Open 11am-11pm Sat-Wed, 11am-midnight Thur, 4pm-midnight Fri. Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Street, Sharjah, www.alshaabvillage.com (06 524 2007).

Blue Souk
If you don’t recognise this building, take out a Dhs5 note and take a look at the structure that features on it. One of Sharjah’s most photographed places is officially called the Souk al-Markazi (Central Souq or Central Market), but is more regularly referred to as the Blue Souk due to the ornate blue-patterned tiles that surround the striking structure, which is made up of two long buildings connected by indoor bridges. It is famed for its gold and diamond shops, authentic Bedouin jewellery and skilled craftsmen.
Open Sat-Thur 10am-10pm, Fri 5pm-10.30pm. King Faisal Street, Sharjah (06 556 6777).

Gift Market
An old favourite for bargain-hunters, this is the place if you are looking to find something useful for your last 10 dirhams. Just be warned: if you expect to pop in for one or two gifts for friends of family members, don’t be surprised if you waddle back to the car with armfuls of weird and wonderful items that you never wanted and didn’t need.
Open Sat-Thur 8.45am-11.45pm, Fri 3pm-midnight. Al Wahda Street, Al Nahdha, Sharjah, (06 539 4741).

Safeer Mall
A solid if unspectacular mall with a decent range out outlets and restaurants, ideal when you can’t face the madness of some of the emirate’s larger retail centres. Worth a visit for bargains littered through the mall and a good market with reasonably priced fruit and vegetables, though the building’s interior is starting to look a little dated.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm, Thur 10am-11pm, Fri 2pm-10pm, Sat 10am-11pm. Al Khan Road, Sharjah, www.safeergroup.com (06 531 3366).

Sahara Center
A raft of the most popular chain stores greet you at this huge shopping centre in a great location for consumers from both Sharjah and neighbouring Dubai. If you have children, expect them to tug at your clothes eagerly as soon as they catch sight of the huge Adventureland indoor theme park, which features rides, rollercoasters and go-karts. The gadget-obsessed may find their eyes popping out of their heads when they are greeted by this amount of electronics stores, while the mall also features plenty of jewellery stores, clothing outlets, novelty candy stores and a cinema.
Open Thur-Sat 10am-midnight, Sun-Wed 10am-11pm. Al Nahda Street, Sharjah, www.saharacentre.com (06 531 3666).

Sharjah City Centre
This instantly recognisable UAE mall brand is unsurprisingly one of Sharjah’s largest and most-visited retail destinations, with more than 11 million people entering its doors every year. International brands cover 38,000 sq m of retail space, alongside an excellent range of of lifestyle, electronic and convenience stores, a Carrefour hypermarket, plenty of restaurants, a multi-screen cinema and a Magic Planet amusement park to make sure the children are tired out before it is time to go home.
Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm, Thur 10am-midnight, Fri 2pm-midnight. Al Wahda Road, Sharjah, www.citycentresharjah.com (06 532 770).

Sharjah Fish Market
Part of the emirate’s massive Souq Al Jubail, which comprises not only a fish section, but also neat rows of stalls specialising in meat and also fruit and vegetables. The jewel in the crown of the souq is undoubtedly the famous fish market, where fresh catch is packed on ice and sold to the highest bidder as tourists look on. Don’t forget your wallet - and your camera - when traders conduct the twice-daily auction at around 6am and 4pm.
Open Sat-Thu 6.30am-10.30pm; Fri 6am-11.30am, 2pm-10.30pm. Souq Al Jubail, Corniche Street, Sharjah.

Souk al-Markazi
If you don’t recognise this building, take out a Dhs5 note and take a look at the structure that features on it. One of Sharjah’s most photographed places is officially called the Souk al-Markazi (Central Souq or Central Market), but is more regularly referred to as the Blue Souk due to the ornate blue-patterned tiles that surround the striking structure, which is made up of two long buildings connected by indoor bridges. It is famed for its gold and diamond shops, authentic Bedouin jewellery and skilled craftsmen.
Open Sat-Thur 10am-10pm, Fri 5pm-10.30pm. King Faisal Street, Sharjah (06 556 6777).

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