The cultural capital of the UAE has been included in Time magazine's World's Greatest Places of 2023.
The annual list, which features 50 must-visit global destinations, selected Sharjah for its cultural offerings and as a “hub for contemporary art and design”.
The Red Sea in Saudi Arabia is the only other destination from the GCC that made the list, with the kingdom’s coastal region praised for its “spectacular natural — and largely untouched — scenery”.
Aqaba in Jordan was also included in the list, which describe the region’s landscapes as “otherworldly” and “extraordinarily dramatic”. Queen Rania has shared the Time magazine article on Twitter.
Giza and Saqqara in Egypt and Rabat, Morocco also represented the region in the list which is curated to highlight places offering new and exciting experiences.
Other destinations included in the list of the world’s best places to visit in 2023 are Mayurbhanj in India for its “tigers and ancient temples”, Brazil’s Pantanal, is recognised for its wild safari experiences, Germany’s Sylt island for its beaches and Isan in Thailand, which won praise for its unique culinary offerings.
Sharjah ranks for creativity and culture
“Bordering Dubai on its southern side, steadfastly traditional Sharjah — the emirate recognised as Cultural Capital of the Arab World by Unesco in ’98 — sets itself apart from its cosmopolitan neighbour with a focus on retaining its Emirati heritage, through its unique architecture and culture,” the magazine says.
Time highlights many of Sharjah’s existing offerings, including the Rain Room and the The Chedi Al Bait.
Several cultural events helped secure its selection as on of 2023’s best places to visit including the Sharjah Art Biennial which runs until June, and the second Sharjah Architecture Triennial, which is taking place under the theme: The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability.
Time also mentions the two new Lux* Resorts & Hotels opening in the emirate this year, in reference to Lux* Al Bridi Resort in Al Dhaid, which is being built inside the Sharjah Safari project. Lux* Al Jabal Resort will open on the east coast of Sharjah in Khor Fakkan, which was recently named the best Arab tourist city for 2023.
For more ideas of some of the best things to see and do in Sharjah, check out this list of the best museums, beaches, mountains ancient forts and more.
Time magazine’s world’s greatest places in 2023
Bozeman, Montana, US
Churchill, Manitoba, US
Chyulu Hills, Kenya
Freetown Peninsula, Sierra Leone
Giza and Saqqara, Egypt
Jeju Island, South Korea
Kangaroo Island, Australia
Loango National Park, Gabon
Luang Prabang, Laos
Mexico City, Mexico
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
St Moritz, Switzerland
Tampa, Florida, US
The Red Sea, Saudi Arabia
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia
Tucson, Arizona, US
Washington, DC, US
Willamette Valley, Oregon, US
Yosemite National Park, California, US