Information Hot Line 800 SHARJAH (800 745)
24-hour Directory Enquiries 181
Information Service Yellow Pages 700 017 000
Speaking Clock 141
|Within the UAE
|Ras Al Khaimah
|Umm Al Quwain
|Outside the UAE
|Etisalat Mobile Number
|du Mobile Number
For calls made within Sharjah drop '06'.
Mobile: 050 or 055 followed by the number.
Local time is GMT + 4 hours, all year round.
Currency & Exchange
The local currency is the dirham (Dhs) also known as the Arab Emirate Dirham (AED). The currency is tied to the US dollar 1US$ = Dhs 3.67. Coins include: Dhs 1, 50 fils and 25 fils. Notes are of Dhs 5, 10, 20, 50, 10, 200, 500 and 1,000 denominations. Most hotels, shops and restaurants accept all major credit cards.
Exchange of traveller’s cheques and foreign currencies can be made through international banks, the larger hotels and licensed exchange houses with presentation of an ID. Money changers are usually open all day offering a service in the evening when most banks are closed. Exchange rates are published daily in the newspapers.
Banks are open from Saturday to Thursday from 8 am to 1 pm or later, and are closed on Fridays and public holidays.
The UAE has a sub-tropical climate with warm temperatures, infrequent rainfall (13 cms per year) and blue skies most of the year.
The climate in Sharjah is idyllic from November to April with warm sunny days, cool evenings and low humidity. Daytime temperatures range from 18°C to 30°C, dropping down to 12°C at night.
You can expect some rainfall and tropical storms during January, February and March.
From May to September the climate is hot with midday temperatures in July, August and September reaching in excess of 45°C with high humidity levels. Even the nights are warm averaging 25°C.
Apart from the winter evenings when shawls and jackets may be required, lightweight summer clothing is suitable for most of the year. In order to respect the national customs, conservative dress is advised. In public places ladies should cover their shoulders and the rest of the body down to the knees.
Distinctive and unique to this region men wear the immaculately pressed, elegant long cotton white robe or dishdasha. A gahfiya or small white crocheted skullcap is worn under the headdress or guttrah that is held in place by the twisted black woollen braid known as the agal. For important occasions, the dishdasha is covered by the mishlah, a flowing brown or black mantle, edged with gold braid. Women usually wear a black cloak or abaya that conceals the body from head to toe and they cover their hair with a black headscarf or sheyla. Some of the older women still wear a canvas mask called the burqa that covers the eyebrows, nose and mouth.
|New Year’s Day
|Islamic New Year
|Birth of the Prophet (PBUH)
|Ascension of the Prophet (PBUH)
|Eid Al Fitr
|Eid Al Adha
Moon dates are not exact as they depend on the sighting of the new moon. Holidays are usually announced in the newspapers a few days before they occur.
Holy Month of Ramadan
Ramadan commemorates the month in which God revealed the Holy Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). This is a time every year when Muslims must refrain from eating, drinking or smoking from sunrise to sunset. The timing of the Holy Month is not fixed and changes each year to occur approximately 10 days earlier than the previous year. The Muslim calendar unlike the Gregorian calendar is lunar and based on the sighting of the moon.
Hospitals & Pharmacies
The standard of medical care is generally regarded as good and visitors can easily obtain medical treatment from either the privately run hospitals or from the government hospitals. Hospitals accept payment in cash and or various credit cards, as well as selected insurance plans.
Sharjah has plenty of well stocked pharmacies and there is always one open 24 hours. Contact numbers are listed in the daily newspapers.
Private medical care can be expensive so visitors are advised to have this included in their travel insurance package or to arrange private medical insurance cover.
During a real emergency a hospital will accept you without a referral for treatment, but after initial treatment, may transfer you to a hospital better equipped to deal with your problem.
Emergency Numbers (24 hours)
Civil Defence/Fire: 997
Traffic Police (Anjad): +97165634444
Al Qassemi Hospital, Sharjah: +97165386444
Kuwaiti Hospital, Sharjah: +97165242111
Al Dhaid Hospital: +97168828777
Kalba Hospital: +97192777011
Khor Fakkan Hospital: +97192370222
Friday is the weekly holiday and Saturday is usually taken as the second day off.
Government: Sunday to Thursday 7.30 am - 2.30 pm. Closed Friday, Saturday and Public Holidays.
Private Sector: Either split shift 8 am - 1 pm & 3 pm/4 pm - 6 pm/7 pm or straight through from 9 am to 6 pm.
Banks: Saturday to Thursday 8 am - 1 pm or later. Closed on Fridays and Public Holidays.
Embassies & Consulates: From around 8.45 am - 1.30 pm. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays, although an emergency contact number is usually provided on the answering service. Embassies are based in Abu Dhabi and Consulates are in Dubai.
Shops: Malls usually open daily from 10 am - 11 pm, closing later at the weekends. Other shops open from around 9 am - 1 pm and 4 pm - 10 pm.
On Friday all shops close for Prayer Time between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm and the malls open at 2 pm, until late.
Petrol stations and hotels maintain their service during the Friday prayers although some petrol station shops are closed from noon to 1 pm.
Ramadan: During the Holy Month of Ramadan normal working hours are often reduced to 6 hours per day. Government Departments are open from 9 am - 2 pm.
All taxis are metered. Taxis can be ordered or flagged down outside the hotels and in town. The starting fare is Dhs 3 from 6 am to 10 pm and Dhs 3.50 from 10 pm to 6 am. Trips within Sharjah cost between Dhs 8 and Dhs 20. A starting charge of Dhs 20 is added to the fare if you are travelling to and from Dubai emirate. It is good to know a landmark close to your destination in order to direct the driver.
Cars are driven on the right hand side of the road. Seat belts must be worn in the front and it is recommended that passengers buckle up in the back as well. Speed limits vary from around 70 kmph in built up areas to 120 kmph on the highways. There are plenty of speed cameras and zero tolerance for drinking and driving.
Hiring a Car
The minimum age for renting a vehicle is usually 21. A credit card, valid driving licence and passport copy are required for the rental procedure. Most of the car hire companies are located on Al Wahda Road, King Faisal Road, Al Mina Street and Al Estiqlal Road and some have representative desks in the main hotels.
A.G.C.C. nationals may drive on their respective licenses within the UAE. Visitors can rent a self drive car provided they hold either a valid international driving license issued by their home country.
Salik is a toll-system implemented in Dubai. Car rental companies charge Dhs 5 every time you pass under the Salik toll gates in Dubai.
Unleaded petrol per litre costs Dhs 1.52. Petrol stations are open 24 hours. Credit cards are not accepted.
Paid parking in Sharjah is between 8 am and 1 pm and 5 pm to 10 pm, Saturday to Thursday and costs a minimum fee of Dhs 1 or Dhs 2 per hour.
Mobile phone reception is excellent throughout the UAE. Overseas roaming charges from your home provider can be expensive so visitors with mobile phones can save money by buying a local SIM card from Etisalat (Emirates Telecommunications Corporation) (www.etisalat.ae) or from du (www.du.ae). Bring your passport along to register the SIM card and to get it activated.
Post and Courier Services
Part of Empost (www.empostuae.com), Sharjah’s Central Post Office (+97165722219) in Al Soor and its branches offer all the usual postal services and collection boxes. The Post Office is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm, and 5 pm to 9 pm on Fridays.
Empost shops in Emarat petrol stations and other select venues offer access to stationary products, postal and courier services. Stamps can also be bought from certain card shops. Courier companies are regularly used for both local and international deliveries.
Post office branches are found in the main cities and towns in Sharjah Emirate.
This is generally permitted apart from photographing military installations. It is courteous to ask permission before photographing people, especially women.
220/240 volts and 50 cycles. UK style, 3 pin plugs are the norm.
Whilst it is safe to drink the tap water, bottled water is reasonably priced and preferable.