Central Souq

Market in Sharjah

If you're in the market for glitzy gold jewellery studded with semi-precious stones, then this grand, tile-embellished market building, dating from 1978, is the place to be. Although much of what's on offer is seriously gaudy, the shop windows here are great for a browse. The Central Souq occupies two long domed buildings connected by indoor bridges.

While ground-floor shops are mostly given over to gold, upstairs you'll find small stores hawking Persian carpets, pashminas and curios from across the Arab world, India and Pakistan. Visit in the evening, when the place fills with locals.