If you’re planning on visiting the United Arab Emirates, then you will need to scope out some of the best places to visit, relax, and enjoy something to eat or drink. Sharjah is the third-largest city in the country, the capital of an emirate with the same name, and a center for culture and industry – so you would expect to find lots of bars and nightlife.
Sharjah is a little unique within the UAE, however, as it is the only emirate in the country where the sale and consumption of alcohol are almost entirely illegal due to the large Muslim majority in the area. There are only a very limited number of private members’ clubs that actually have an alcohol license, and most hotels, restaurants, and other venues do not serve alcohol of any kind.
As a result of this, you won’t find many dedicated bars in the city, and those that do exist generally serve non-alcoholic beverages, coffees, and fruit cocktails. That’s not to say that there aren’t wonderful spots in which to enjoy a drink, just don’t expect your glass to have any alcohol in it.
You don’t have to travel far to find a more traditional bar, though. Sharjah is right next door to Ajman, and just north of Dubai (the most populous city in the country), where the sale of alcohol is much less restricted. Both cities are only around 30 minutes away by car and there are many licensed venues to visit that serve booze of all kinds.
Check out our article on The Top 10 Bars to Visit in Muscat.
Top 10 Bars In Sharjah
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best bars that you can go to in and around Sharjah.
First, we’ll talk about the places within the city where you can get a drink and relax, and then we will list some of the top choices in neighboring Dubai or Ajman that are worth visiting if you wanted to enjoy some wine, beer, or a cocktail.
Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort ; Spa
The Sheraton Beach Resort is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, boasting a 5-star rating and many premium amenities. It is also a favorite gathering place on the beach for locals and visitors alike to enjoy an ocean view and a relaxing seat by the pool.
The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly, everything is immaculate, and you will be waited on hand and foot. There are many tables to sit at around the massive pool itself, and you can enjoy freshly squeezed juice, ice cream, smoothies, and fresh fruit with a wonderful view of the ocean.
Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club
When you’re talking about bars in Sharjah, the Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club is definitely going to come up in the conversation. As a private, members-only club, it is pretty much the only place in the entire emirate where they do serve alcohol – and you can visit a few times a year without joining (for a small fee).
It actually has a number of different bars on site, with a Main Bar, Sports Bar, Dive Bar, and Outdoor Bars to choose from. You can eat from their extensive menu, enjoy a drink and watch a game, or sit out and relax by the pool.
If you want to grab a delicious cup of coffee, there are a lot of classic chains to choose from and Caribou Coffee is perhaps the best option in the city. There are a few Caribou locations, but the bar in the Al Majaz waterfront park is the most highly rated – mainly due to its stunning surroundings.
You can sit on the patio, look out over the Khalid Lake, and enjoy any one of their delicious signature drinks or light snacks. The café itself is open as late as 1 AM, so it’s also a great place to sit down in the evenings when the city is at its brightest.
The surrounding park is full of fountains, play areas, and restaurants, and it has the incredible Al Taqwa Mosque sitting right in the center of everything.
An incredible place to get a fresh and delicious beverage, Juice Bar offers more flavors than you can imagine.
They serve every variety you could hope for and more, and you will find a number of great alcohol-free cocktails as well. It is more of a grab-and-go location than anything else – and it’s usually best to order online for a pickup – but it is definitely worth a visit.
If you’re lucky, there are a few stools at the bar where you can sit, although most people aren’t sticking around for very long.
Right in the city center, you will find Keventers – an excellent milkshake restaurant that serves all kinds of drinks and desserts until late in the evening.
The restaurant chain started life in Denmark in the 1920s, and their recently opened Sharjah location is now known as one of the top spots in the city to cool down on a hot day. The prices might seem a little steep, but the flavors and service more than makeup for it.
You can even get your hands on a few cocktail-based milkshakes here, like the delicious pina colada.
A warm and welcoming venue with a relaxed atmosphere, the Mara Lounge is a great place to grab delicious food and a flavorsome, alcohol-free cocktail. They serve a relatively low-cost fusion menu in a very cozy and comfortable environment – and they do a wide selection of drinks as well.
Whether you’re after a full meal, a coffee, or a flavored mojito, it’s certainly worth popping by. It’s usually not too busy and it’s open until midnight most evenings.
If you travel a very short distance outside of the city, up into neighboring Ajman, then you can visit the wonderful Zanzibar beach bar at the Ajman Hotel. It sits rights on the waterfront with a delicious menu and a wide variety of tasty drinks to choose from.
It is a great spot to relax during the day or soak up some atmosphere later in the evening. It doesn’t get much better than enjoying a cocktail on the sand while watching the sunset over the ocean.
Thirsty Horse Sports Bar
Another place worth journeying north for is the Thirsty Horse Sports Bar in Ajman. It is a really spacious and impressive venue that offers all kinds of entertainment, including snooker, billiards, darts, and even indoor golf.
It has a great aesthetic, and the drinks are very reasonably priced – especially when you factor in the free pool and snooker tables. If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy the game with a beer, this is one of the best options in the region.
The List Bar
Out in the other direction, you will find a lot of options for bars and drinking spots in Dubai to the south. The List Bar is somewhat of a hidden gem, and it is a favorite among the locals.
The venue itself is like a very upmarket sports bar, with a sophisticated menu, a modern atmosphere, and a high-end selection of drinks on offer. The staff are always happy to whip up an exciting cocktail, you can browse the wine menu, or choose one of the interesting beers that they have on tap.
You will find The List at the base of the Al Jaddaf Rotana Suite Hotel, in the Al Jaddaf area to the northeast of the city.
The Urban Bar ; Kitchen
A little further inland, you can find the Urban Bar ; Kitchen next to Mushrif Park in Dubai, just a few minutes south of Sharjah city.
It’s a modern, stylish, and friendly bar that offers live music, tasty food, and a wide selection of drinks. The bar is part of the rather impressive Millennium Place Mirdif hotel and has a lovely mix of indoor and outdoor space.
You can be cool and air-conditioned in the comfortable interior seating areas, or you can enjoy the lights and greenery on the terrace.
Have a look at our article on Top 10 Bars in Sharm el Sheikh.
So, what are the best bars to visit in Sharjah? Well, due to the fact that the sale and consumption of alcohol are illegal within the entire emirate, the bars inside of the city are few and far between – and they might be a little different from what you would otherwise expect.
There are still some lovely places in Sharjah to enjoy a non-alcoholic drink or cocktail, or you can travel a little further afield into the neighboring cities of Ajman and Dubai where many venues have licenses to serve alcohol.
Does Sharjah have bars?
There are some places that could be considered bars in Sharjah, however, alcohol sale and consumption are prohibited by law in the region so almost all of the venues are alcohol-free.
Does Sharjah have nightclubs?
Sharjah does not have many nightclubs, but there are some late-night venues in the area that do not serve alcohol.
Do hotels in Sharjah serve alcohol?
Alcohol is not served in any public venues in Sharjah, including in international hotels, as it is not legal in the emirate without a private license – which is very rare.