UAE: Iconic landmark in Sharjah to get makeover

With its distinct blue-tiled facade, the Souq boasts two main wings connected by picturesque bridges


Mazhar Farooqui

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KT Photos: Shihab
KT Photos: Shihab

Published: Wed 12 Jun 2024, 12:19 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Jun 2024, 11:24 PM

Sharjah's cultural gem, the Central Souq, affectionately dubbed the Blue Souk, is on the brink of a makeover. The Sharjah City Municipality unveiled an ambitious renovation plan on Wednesday, dedicated to preserving the revered stature of this historic site.

Obaid Saeed Al Tunaiji, Director General of Sharjah City Municipality, reiterated the municipality's commitment to upholding the city's rich Islamic architectural heritage while enhancing service facilities. He emphasised that the Central Souq, renowned for its distinctive design and bustling marketplace, will be at the forefront of these endeavours.

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"The renovation work at the Central Souq is designed to extend the building's lifespan and maintain its status as a heritage and cultural landmark," stated Al Tunaiji in an email to Khaleej Times. "This includes extensive architectural, civil, and electromechanical work, repainting all internal and external walls, and renewing the glass and wrought iron on the windows. We are also addressing structural issues, including the repair and reorganisation of rainwater drainage systems."

A recent Khaleej Times visit revealed ongoing work and scaffolding surrounding the building's upper structure.

Opened in 1978 and nestled along Khalid Lagoon, the Central Souq stands as a beacon of architectural brilliance. With its distinct blue-tiled facade, the Souq boasts two main wings connected by picturesque bridges. One wing overlooks Khalid Lagoon, housing gold and silver shops, while the other faces King Faisal Street, renowned for textiles and Persian carpets.

Spanning approximately 80,000 square meters and accommodating around 600 shops across two levels, the Souq is a magnet for tourists and residents alike. Its diverse array of shops, especially those offering gold, silver, and Persian carpets, attracts visitors from across the globe, fostering a melting pot of cultures and interests. The Central Souq is also featured on the five-dirham note.


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