'Pain and pleasure always coexist. No man will ever be thoroughly happy or irredeemably sad. That's just the way of destiny.'
This age-old Arabic saying about life, happiness and gloom, in a few words, manages to say and teach more than many books can. Quite surreally, this saying seems to apply snugly to one of the most celebrated of Arabic cities, the City of Sharjah.
Located in a highly strategic geographical position along the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Sharjah is the most heavily populated city in the region, at times surpassing her better known neighbour, Dubai.
It is a city that has seen its share of tragedy and happiness, doom and prosperity. Such oscillatory life has often rendered the city incapable of bouncing back from the depths of ignominy, but be sure, for Sharjah has always bounced back: bigger, better and stronger.
For over 2 millennia, the recorded history of Sharjah (known by over 20 different names during different eras) has overflowed with tales of extreme kind. While poverty here can cross the boundaries of imagination, the wealth here can easily look all the empires in the world pale and inept.
But that's what separates Sharjah from many of other cities in the region. This contrast of extremes creates for a very unique social order where everyone seems to have their own place carved out for themselves.
From upscale shopping malls to man-made wonders of the world, and from fancy restaurants of the best kind to underwater aquaria of the largest kind, Sharjah has it all laid down on a silver platter for anyone who is gracious enough to visit her miracles.
So, what is it that you are waiting for? Visit Sharjah, sooner rather than later, because we can guarantee you that you will surely not regret your decision! Perhaps, to make things a touch easier and more interesting, this quick guide to hotels in Sharjah might be of help.
Budget Hotels in Sharjah
Sharjah is, more or less, a city that is built by both aristocrats of royal lineage and hardworking immigrant labourers. As a result of this system of extremes, it is quite common to find both ends of the spending spectrum being distinctly put on a show in Sharjah, irrespective of what the product being sold is.
In that way, one can hope to find a number of cheap hotel here, standing proud and tall, shoulder to shoulder with other higher and more illustrious counterparts (more about them in the next point of this article).
These cheap hotels cannot always be relied upon for an extensive package of all-inclusive hospitality. But in most cases, tourists can hope to get a good deal of comfort from them, even the leisure or luxury quotient is absent.
While discussing affordable Sharjah hotels, the very first name that many, many experienced travelers would suggest to the lesser experienced of their kind would be of Hotel Nova Park. Right from when you set your eyes at it for the very first time to when you actually have to check out, you will have to keep reminding yourself time and time again that this is, in fact, merely a budget hotel. For all practical purposes and intent, however, it is much more than a budget hotel can provide. From heavily decorated interiors to ingeniously beautiful brand of native hospitality, everything about Hotel Nova Park is fabulous, and worth every penny you spend.
For business travelers, Spark Residence can play the role of a savior. It is a budget residential rental apartment that one can make use of, provided that they are going to occupy it for at least two weeks.
Showing It Off in Sharjah: Luxury Hotels
Taking the discussion forward from cheap hotels to luxury hotels in Sharjah, we need to remind our readers that some of the best resorts in the world are located in this city. It may not sound very typical of other tourism places, but Sharjah is one city that many tourists frequent just to visit its resorts and spas (and duty-free airport lounges and shopping malls, of course!).
And when it comes to luxury, no other brand can compete the style and substance of a Hilton hotel. So, quite clearly, Hilton Hotel Sharjah takes the top spot in this segment.
Also mention-worthy are Ramada Sharjah, Grand Excelsior Sharjah and Sharjah Suites.
What Tourists Need to Know Before Sightseeing in Sharjah
Tourists should stay assured that Sharjah is a fairly safe city to travel to (subject to political environment, of course). Checking with the Department of State (for the US citizens) or your national foreign ministry might be a good idea, though.
Tourists should also know that paying for bills in cash is a much cheaper way, as currency conversion from the merchant's side will rob you of a good deal of money, should you choose to pay with your card.
While sightseeing, women travelers should make it a point not to travel on their own.
Hotels Near Sharjah Airport
The Sharjah Airport is a doubly-operational facility that lies at a distance of about 6 miles from the city itself.
Since the airport is located directly in the middle of nowhere, it may not be a good idea to look for a hotel near the airport. Travelling down to the city and then searching for good, suitable Sharjah hotels will save you a lot of hassle and money, too.
Getting Around in Sharjah
Sharjah Transport, the local state owned bus network, operates an efficient network of buses that can be used to get around. Private car rentals are easily available, but they can be quite costly in comparison with other options.
Some of the new generation app based taxi services are much more flexible and affordable, and hence, seem to be thriving in Sharjah's local transport scheme of things.
Dubai's famous RTA also has in operation a few bus routes in Sharjah, but they are all subject to availability and cannot be relied upon.