Sharjah doesn't dazzle with glitz but with sensitivity towards its history and culture, which explains why Unesco declared it Cultural Capital of the Arab World in 1998, recognition reaffirmed in 2014, when it became Capital of Islamic Culture. Once you have penetrated the traffic-clogged outskirts of town, the historic old town is easy to navigate on foot. You'll need several hours to explore the heritage and arts areas, the souqs and excellent museums.
Aside from the main city of Sharjah, the enclaves of Dibba Al Hisn, Khor Fakkan and Kalba on the eastern coast also belong to the emirate.
One caveat: Sharjah takes its decency laws very seriously, so do dress modestly. That means no exposed knees, backs or bellies – and that goes for both men and women. It's also the only emirate that is 'dry' (ie no alcohol is available anywhere).