ABOUT AL QASBA
Al Qasba, formerly known as Qanat Al Qasba, is a cultural landmark and a premier leisure destination in Sharjah. It lies in the district of Al Khan – a Sharjah's southern waterfront suburb. A canal-side development, Al Qasba houses two 150-metre complexes that face each other across Qasba Canal. It is known for a variety of commercial properties such as shops, restaurants, office spaces and art galleries as well as several tourist attractions. As an arts and culture hub, the development has been hosting many remarkable events in the city. Al Qasba Development Authority (AQDA), a member of Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), manages the development and promotes it as a major tourist and heritage area. It is also home to a growing number of collaborative art projects and a few off-plan properties.
This area guide gives a unique glimpse into life in this canal-side development.
IN A NUTSHELL
- A major cultural centre of Sharjah
- Home to many commercial spaces
- The residential side consists of apartments
- A tourist hub with many waterfront restaurants, event and activities
Al Qasba is mostly a commercial area, hence there are limited choices in residential properties. The available residential options in the area are aimed towards individuals, couples and small families looking to live in a happening neighbourhood. The two 4-floor podium complexes that sit opposite to each contain an art centre, a theatre space and many eateries. Moreover, they house a range of business facilities such as conference halls, self-contained offices and various event venues.
PROPERTIES IN AL QASBA
The residential properties in Al Qasba include rental apartments of various types. Some are unfurnished and others are partially or fully furnished. They range from studios to 3-bedroom flats.
Studios in Al Qasba best suit those who want to live alone. Enough to suit the residential needs of one person, each studio has a private bath, a spacious living area and an open-plan kitchen equipped with cabinets. The average rental price for a studio in Qasba is AED 20k.
With sizes ranging between 900 sq. ft. to 1,100 sq. ft., 1-bedroom apartments range between AED 28k and AED 43k per annum. A 2-bedroom apartment in Al Qasba ranges from AED 32k to AED 62k. These 1 and 2-bedroom flats in Al Qasba can accommodate a small or medium family.
Designed for slightly larger families, the 3-bedroom apartments in Al Qasba are built over a floor area of 2,000 sq. ft. and some units even offer a space of 2,900 sq. ft. A 2,220 sq. ft., 3-bed unit with three baths can be rented for AED 56k. The annual price of a flat with a floor area of 2,600 sq. ft. starts from AED 70k and goes up to AED 85k.
There are a few residential projects located near the development. Adjacent to the northern boundary of Al Qasba, Al Seer Tower is a 32-floor high-rise residential building. The 44-floor skyscraper Rose Tower 1 is only a 2-minute drive away.
A project by Maraya Art Centre, the Artist Residencies is a residency programme that gives mid-career artists and designers of UAE an opportunity to live here and excel in their field. With an adequate stay period, artists get to collaborate with each other as well as with international institutes. Three artists are chosen every year and are hosted for 1 to 3 months.
A few off-plan properties in Al Qasba are in the pipeline too; they will prove to be an asset for Sharjah’s tourism sector. For instance, an anticipated project by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority called Vida Al Qasba is to materialize soon alongside Al Qasba’s canal. It is a lifestyle boutique hotel that will cater to both business and leisure visitors and will be managed by Emaar Hospitality Group.
TRANSPORTATION AND PARKING SPACES IN AL QASBA
People either living in Al Qasba or visiting the area would have to mostly rely on private vehicles. Sharjah Taxi Service is also an option for transportation in Al Qasba. It provides multiple options that cater to different travelling needs of customers.
Parking in Al Qasba is not at all an issue. Thanks to the vast open spaces adjoining the development, which can accommodate multiple rows of vehicles.
AMENITIES, SCHOOLS AND HEALTHCARE
SUPERMARKETS IN AL QASBA
Lemara Supermarket in Al Qasba is the place to go to for groceries and other daily necessities. For more extensive shopping, one can drive to the nearest chain of the renowned Lulu Hypermarket, accessible in about 6 minutes.
CHURCHES, TEMPLES AND MOSQUES IN AL QASBA
Located at the development’s south-eastern corner, Al Qasbah Mosque is a sacred facility for Muslims. The mosque in Al Qasba is remarkable because its architecture is infused with beautiful details of Islamic art. The interiors are inscribed with Arabic calligraphy and geometric patterns, whereas the highlight of Al Qasbah Mosque is the beautiful chandelier that hangs from the dome ceiling.
Residents can access two churches near Al Qasba that are approximately 7.5 kilometres away. Situated adjacent to each other, these are St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church, accessible in around 18 minutes.
Hindu residents will have to travel to the Bur Dubai area, 40 minutes away to visit Shiva Temple, Shree Krishna Haveli and ShrinathJi Temple. Sikh residents can also visit the Sikh Gurudwara and the Sindhi Gurdarbar here.
SCHOOLS NEAR AL QASBA
Apart from an art institute, there is a regional school located close by, called Al Khan Primary School (for girls only). It is around four kilometres away towards the north in Al Khaledia Suburb. A bus ride would take around 8 to 10 minutes to reach the school’s destination.
Other schools near Al Qasba include Victoria International School, Sharjah Indian School and Our Own English High School. A well-known language school, Babylon Institute offers over 2,000 language courses. It is situated on Al Taawaun Street, around six minutes away.
For higher education, students can drive to University City Sharjah which features a number of reputable universities.
CLINICS AND HOSPITALS NEAR AL QASBA
There are numerous clinics and hospitals near Al Qasba. Situated in the adjacent Al Majaz district, Mulk Physiotherapy and Homecare Centre, Atlas Specialized Medical Centre and Kedar Dental Centre are at a distance of 8 minutes.
Genova Medical Centre, I.R. Dental Clinic and Ewan Medical Centre are based close to Al Qasba. Other nearby healthcare centres include New Life Medical Centre, Arab Doctors Specialist Centre and Al Hijama Alternative Medical Centre.
The closest hospitals are Oriana Hospital and Euro Arabian Hospital.
A neighbouring community, Al Majaz is a vibrant waterfront destination that is encircled by commercial and residential properties. It is home to numerous tourist attractions and landmarks such as Al Majaz Splash Park, Al Nakheel Oasis and Al Noor Mosque. A number of prominent hotels such as Holiday International and Embassy Suites are situated in Al Majaz.
Towards Al Qasba’s northwest lies Al Khaledia Suburb and Al Layyeh Suburb. The former is home to several beach resorts and hotels as well as educational institutes, while the latter includes many government facilities such as Sharjah Museum Authority and Sharjah Economic Development Department.
SHOPPING, DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
MALLS NEAR AL QASBA
The 3-storey Al Fardan Centre is the first large shopping destination to establish in Sharjah. It is also within a two-kilometre radius of the development, closer than most malls near Al Qasba. Al Fardan Centre has a total rentable area of 80,900 sq. ft., which is divided between three levels. It includes well-known retail stores such as Mothercare and Carrefour Market as well as several lifestyle, cosmetics, electronics and pharmaceutical stores.
A 10-minute drive away, City Centre Sharjah is one of Sharjah’s largest shopping destinations. The mall is comprised of a broad selection of retail stores. Its leisure attractions include Magic Planet, a family entertainment area that features a range of rides and games and a 12-screen movie theatre called VOX Cinemas.
Within Al Qasba, you’ll find a book shop known as Bookmall that has a collection of books, novels and comics for readers of different ages. There is also Garden Art where one can shop for outdoor decor. N-Collection in Al Qasba sells fashionable abayas and an I Love Sharjah Store is where one can shop for souvenirs.
RESTAURANTS IN AL QASBA
When it comes to choosing where to eat, there is a wide range of cafes and restaurants in Al Qasba. One can have snacks and beverages at Starbucks, Carino Café and Caribou Coffee Shop. The more versatile Bert’s Café offers different styles of frittatas for breakfast and a variety of salads, sandwiches and burgers for lunch. On the other hand, Gerard Café is not just a coffee shop but also a patisserie.
There’s a Lebanese restaurant Shababeek, Italian restaurant Stefano's, the Thai Limetree Restaurant and the Indian ‘Masala Craft’. Seafood lovers could dine at Fish Corner. Those who have developed a strong liking for sushi can go to Sumo Sushi and Bento.
Other options are Jucito for fresh fruit juices, Napoli Gelato for Italian ice cream, Yogurberry for frozen yoghurt and Dunkin’ Donuts for doughnuts.
BEACHES NEAR AL QASBA
Situated alongside the canal and bordering with Al Khan Lagoon, Al Qasba itself is a waterfront destination. Al Khan Beach is a perfect spot for a picnic by the sea. With a drive to the northwest, one can easily access this recreational beach near Al Qasba. It features sun-lounging areas, slides and water activities such as parasailing and surfing.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES AND NOTABLE LANDMARKS
Al Qasba is a major leisure spot, there is no shortage of recreational areas for both adults and kids.
There is a dedicated zone for kids called Kids Fun House. An aquatic-themed soft play area, this funhouse features slides, ball pits, climbing frames and obstacle courses.
Offering a unique perspective of the city’s skyline, the Sharjah Boats Tour features a traditional ‘Abra’ boat ride that takes sightseers on a relaxing cruise over the lagoons. Another touring service is City Sightseeing Sharjah and Al Qasba is one of its stops. The open-top double-decker bus takes its passengers to the city’s top attractions and offers fascinating views of the architectural wonders and other highlights of Sharjah. These include museums, mosques and souks as well as monuments and artefacts at every corner of the city.
If one is into little less travelling but still wants to enjoy the outdoors, there are a lot of options for them within Al Qasba. Located close to Al Khan Corniche Street, the Musical Fountain stuns the audience with its mesmerising water dances.
Eye of the Emirates was an evident landmark of Al Qasba and one of the best attractions in Sharjah. It has moved from its previous home in Al Qasba to Al Montazah.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, FITNESS AND BEAUTY
For someone who takes their outdoor recreational activities seriously, this canal-side development has much to offer in and around the area.
Providing 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler rental services, BYKY is available at Al Qasba. One can rent a go-kart and take an exhilarating tour around the walkways, either alone or in groups. Safe and easy to operate, children are also welcome to join in the fun.
Khalid Lagoon, located about 10 minutes away from Al Qasba, is the destination to enjoy watersports.
People looking for fitness programmes have numerous options located nearby. Located on a 3-minute drive down Al Khan Corniche Street, Unique Royal Club is the nearest fitness facility. A further 5-minute drive to the east via Al Intifada Street would lead one to Al Shams Gym and Life Change Fitness in European Sports Club.
As for salons close to Al Qasba, there are many in Al Majaz. These include Trimmers Hairdressing Salon & Spa, Noor Al Samaa Salon, Anisaty Ladies Salon and Wahat Al Ameerah Beauty Salon. Men can visit Al Fakher Gents Salon on the other side of the canal in Al Majaz.
Built on a 3-floor art space, Maraya Art Centre is a non-profit organisation based in Al Qasba. It conducts various public outreach activities such as seminars, workshops, exhibitions and book exchanges. It showcases emerging talent as well as works from leading Arab and international artists. Maraya Art Centre also features Barjeel Art Foundation – a curated exhibition that displays the collection of an independent artist Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi.
Based on different art initiatives, some of its projects include Maraya Art Park, Maraya Project Space, 1971 Design Space, Maraya Art Gallery, Maraya Residences and Jedariya.
With two sections located in the nearby Al Majaz Waterfront, Maraya Art Park showcases outdoor art projects through sculptures, educational activities and interactive games at different renowned destinations in Sharjah.
Al Qasba has also been a venue for various festivals. In 2018 it hosted a 12-day festival called Reflection that featured the best of fashion, art, photography and food. This included stargazing sessions at a planetarium by Dubai Astronomy Group as well as photography workshops held by Nikon.
Other events that were held at Al Qasba include Sharjah Food Festival, Flowers Festival, Luxury Flea Market, Italian Art Exhibition, Ramadaniat Al Qasba Festival, Summer Fun Weekend Activities, FIFA Football World Cup Tent and Euro 2018.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Al Qasba is where creative minds unite so its space offers a lot of opportunities to striving artists who are looking for exposure. The residential options are also specifically designed for them. There are no villas in the area.
- Separated from Al Majaz District by Al Khan Street
- Al Khan Corniche Street runs along its western boundary
- The four-star Aryana Hotel lies to its south, whereas the five-star Hilton Sharjah to its east
- Around eight kilometres away from Sharjah – Dubai border
- Almost half an hour away from Sharjah International Airport