Sharjah Light Festival at University City

There are four locations for the Light Festival at University City. Drive down the main avenue through the City where the palms are all lit up and stop to watch the Sound and Light Show at Sharjah Police College. Next head down to al Dr Sultan al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies and finally drive or walk up to City Hall to watch another show. Then you can enjoy something to eat or drink from the food trucks opposite.

Have fun!



Old Souqs in Sharjah

Have you visited the old souqs in Sharjah? If you love searching for old treasures and you love retro, Souq al Masqoof is for you. You can find old telephones, gramophone players, typewriters, cameras, memorabilia, toys as well as some traditional items and shawls, etc. There is also an Omani sweet shop.

Take a walk through the alley to Souq al Arsa for yet more interesting finds – old Omani jewellery, gemstones, daggers, warrior helmets. Here you can also find shawls, scarves, dresses, etc.

Have a cup of chai in the traditional tea shop before going off to explore the many museums in the Heart of Sharjah.


Just a little further down the corniche is the newly built Al Shanasiyah Souq. It is on the site of the original Al Shanasiyah Souq, the foundations of which were discovered in 2012 during a survey of the area for the development of the Heart of Sharjah.

This Souq was the original centre of Sharjah business and was a main trading centre in the region at the time.

Stop by the Archeological Findings section to read more and to see the original foundations and coins, pottery pieces, etc that were discovered from different times.

Inside you can find a variety of shops including clothing, more retro and an organic spice shop.

Once you’ve finished wandering round, you can relax and enjoy some refreshments overlooking the gardens and the traditional dhows on the water. There is a children’s play area next to the cafes. (You need to buy a ticket for this inside the souq.)

Have fun!

To know more about what to see and do in Sharjah, follow Why I Love Sharjah

Rock formations around Taween

If you are mesmerised by rock formations like me, head out to Taween on the Dibba Rd E87. Take the turn off to Taween on the side of the road coming from Dibba.

(If you enter 25.5307729,56.1166536, it will take you roughly to the start of the road.)

You can follow the road round to take you back out onto the E87.

The rocks here are all part of the Dibba Zone and if you’re interested in geology, you can read more here.

The Ajman Murals Project

In 2017 The Ajman Murals Project was launched by Ajman Municipality and Planning Department. They can be found at various locations around Ajman, but all in close proximity.

By French artist Shuck2.

Location – above Choithram’s supermarket, Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid St.

By French Tunisian artist El Saeed.

This mural includes a quote of the Founding Father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan  – “Our fathers and grandfathers have lived on this land and co-existed with its environment in land and sea, and realised, through nature and by delicate senses, the need to preserve and to take only as much as they needed, and to leave what future generations will find as a source of good and a fountain of giving.”

Location – junction of Ittihad St and Badr St

By Egyptian Dubai-born artist Ramy Elzaghawy.

Skip, one of the most famous horses of Ajman Stud.

Location – Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid St., near the junction with Al Zaher St

By Egyptian Dubai-born artist Diaa Allam.

This mural contains words form the poem Positive Energy written by the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Location – Mohammed Salem bu Khamis St.

By Sweden-based Julia Rio.

Location – Ajman Corniche.

By Emirati artist Fatima Al Ali.

Location – Ajman Municipality Building next to Lulu Hypermarket.

See more at the following links.

Talking about family

  • Father – ab
    Mother – oom
    Children – awlad, iyaal
    Son – walad (plural. awlad)
    Daughter – bint (pl. banaat/banayat)
    Brother – akh
    Daughter – ukht
    Paternal uncle – 3am (3 represents the guttural sound of the letter ayn)
    Paternal aunt – 3amma
    Maternal uncle – khaal
    Maternal aunt – khaala/khaalu
    Husband – zawj/rai-ali
    Wife- zawja/hurma

The word iyaal is used locally for children (as in offspring) but if a man says iyaali, it could include his wife or might even be just his wife. In conservative cultures, men often don’t refer to their wives to people outside the family and so if he says ‘I went on a trip with iyaali’ it may mean he went with his children, his children and his wife or just his wife.

  • How many children do you have? – Kam awlad 3andak (3andich for female)?
    I have one daughter – 3andi bint wahda
    I have one son – 3andi walad wahid
    I have five children – 3andi khams awlad
  • Two daughters – bintayn
    Three/four/five daughters – thalath/3arba/khams banaat
    Two sons – waladayn
    Three/four/five sons – thalath/3arba/khams awlad

What’s your name?

What’s your name? – Shoo ismak? (to a man) Shoo ismich? (To a woman)

When it is said fast, it may sound like ‘shismak?’

My name is Adam. – Ismee Adam.

What’s your family name? – Shoo ism aa’ilatak (to a man) Shoo ism aa’ilatich?

My family name is al Muhairi – Ism aa’ilati al Muhairi.

(The Arab naming system is to have a your first name followed by your father’s name, grandfather’s name and often your great grandfather’s name. You may then also have a family name at the end. )

What’s her name? – Shoo isim-ha?

Her name is Maryam – Isim-ha Maryam.

What’s his name? – Shoo isma?

His name is Mahmoud – Isma Mahmoud.

Memories (3)

I learned everything from my mother. She taught me how to cook all kinds of food – stews, bread, fish… She taught me how to clean and wash, how to embroider clothes, how to make things. Every day we had to do work before we could play. We helped our mothers cooking, we had to go to the well to fetch water and carry it back on our heads. After we finished all that, we would sit and weave baskets and mats from palm leaves and we would sell them. We also embroidered clothes, such as the decorative cuffs of salwar (undertrousers) and kandoras. We made our own and we sold them too.  

We did everything together as a community. We cleaned together, we fished together, we cooked the fish together, we made things together. We shared our food. After I had a child, I would leave it with a neighbour while I went to do some work. The children were not just the parents’ child, they were the neighbourhood’s child. After we finished our work we would sing songs together. We hardly did anything alone. 

Life was much harder than now, but it was nice. It was a beautiful life. It was simple and everyone stuck together. Now everyone is scattered around and looking to his own affairs only. People don’t do things together like before. 

Umm Ahmed, Khor Fakkan

Memories (2)

My grandparents lived in Hamriya near the sea. During the Second World War, ships stopped coming from other countries like India and people were hungry. My grandfather caught fish and my grandmother cut the fish into pieces and distributed it to people.
They later moved inland to Dhaid and had a farm there. There were no stores or markets in Dhaid at that time and they would have to go to Sharjah by camel to stock up on things like sugar. It would take a whole day to get there and another day to come back.
They grew things on the farm and also bred camels and sold them. (Umm Salem, Dhaid)

When I was little. I used to go with my grandfather to his farm and he milked the camels. The milk was frothy and he joked that it was camel ice cream. We took the milk, put freshly made ragag (wafer thin bread) in it, poured honey over it and ate it. We thought it was delicious! (Sara, Dhaid)

My father was a very wealthy man. He started from nothing, but through his hard work and smartness, he built a successful business. By the time I was at college, he owned several tall apartment and office buildings, but he told us we had to work for ourselves. We lived at home with our mother but otherwise we had to manage on our starter salaries (around 7000 dhs). We bought our own cars and paid for everything by ourselves. He told us that one day we would have his wealth when he died. In the meantime, we had to make ourselves by ourselves just like he did. He wasn’t being mean. He wanted us to understand the value of things and to feel the satisfaction of being successful by ourselves. I really appreciate what he did. It made me a better person. (Mohammed, Dubai)

I was born at home in a small village. At that time there was no recording of births, so I don’t know exactly when I was born, around 1967. At that time, people would say something like ‘he was born in the year of the big rain’. (Ahmed, Ajman)