The third largest of the seven emirates, Sharjah is a place that too many visitors to
the UAE either miss or pass through quickly. It has some of the most interesting
architecture in the country, the largest mosque in the UAE, an interesting archaeological
museum, a pocket-sized Disneyland, plenty of watchtowers, a natural history museum that's
the slickest in the entire Gulf, souks to rival Dubai, and an old souk that offers a
window on an older way of life that has now all but disappeared. It's also a great place
to purchase Persian carpets. Though Sharjah has long been seen as Dubai's poorer cousin,
in the 1980s it took the lead in the development of the country's tourist development and
became the main point of entry for people arriving in the UAE on package tours. Sharjah is
on the northern coast, adjacent to Dubai.
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