The Emirate of Sharjah has received worldwide acclaim as the one that best preserves Emirati culture and traditions, which rings out loudly through the city's Heritage Area packed with sights and museums. The possible downside to such deep-routed connection to the past might be the ban on alcohol sale and consumption (allowed for "alcohol license" holders only, which have to be non-Muslim, locally employed and relatively well-paid). Unlike in other Emirates, drinks cannot be served even at some of the most upscale hotel bars, and modest clothing is required for both men and women.
However, Sharjah has managed to embrace modernity while still firmly holding on to its heritage, which makes up for some of its shortcomings on the nightlife front. Unique new cultural centers, such as the Al Noor Island project, are turning Sharjah into an entertainment hub in its own right. The Corniche and waterfront areas come alive after sundown, and the multiple modern shopping centers and traditional souqs offer unlimited shopping opportunities.
The Sharjah Emirate is not geographically restricted to the North of Dubai - it reaches to the Gulf of Oman on the eastern coast of the UAE via its seaside territories of Dibba Al Hisn, Khor Fakkan and Kalba.