The kids are currently off school for 3 days for mid-term break. Normally we don’t do much for these short holidays but as Clint has been staying in Sharjah a few nights a week, we decided I would take the kids up for a few days and save him the drive home. For most people Sharjah isn’t one of the emirates you visit- they don’t have oil (so less money and therefore less glitz), they are a ‘dry’ emirate (but they smoke like chimneys) and are more traditional however they also have some lovely beaches and other hidden gems that don’t receive much advertising.
We stayed at the same hotel Clint has been using- he chose it for location and because it has a decent gym and 25m pool for him to train in before/after work. It is an old hotel and if you booked it over the internet you would be rather disappointed as the photos must be about 15 years old, that said it is right on a beautiful beach, big pool with a water slide that kept the kids entertained for ages and a big (although old) covered play ground with some swings, trampoline and slides in it…. so pretty good for the kids. Charlotte finally taught herself to swing on a swing without help- so that was worth the trip alone!
For some reason a lot of the hotels in Sharjah are owned by Russians so all the signs are in Russian, then Arabic and English. It was an experience watching the Canadian winter olympics televised in German in a Russian hotel in the UAE!
At night we went to a lovely new area that is a little like Southbank in Brisbane. It is a canal with places to eat all the way along both sides, plus heaps of entertainment and things to do, a spectacular place to sit and eat as the sun sets over the water. It also has the ‘Eye of the Emirates’ (photo below)which seems to be the new name for what we always called a ferris wheel! The first night Charlotte didn’t want to go on it so we went on a boat ride instead (2 photos below), she told us later she thought she had to go in a box by herself and that the whole box would go upside down! So the following night she was keen to go on once we explained how it really worked, although she held my hand very tightly until after we started moving and she realised it was all ok!
The children had a great time, although a couple of late nights plus all sleeping in the same room has left me with 2 tired cranky children!!