As one of the main family attractions in Sharjah, Al Noor Island is known for its tropical biosphere filled with floating butterflies. But this lovely island offers much more to its visitors. It’s actually an artistic wonderland filled with many installations that during the dark are lighten up. Making the place magical to walk around even in the late hours. In this article we review the best things to do during a visit (regardless it’s day or night) at Al Noor Island in Sharjah.
About Al Noor Island
Al Noor Island is located in the Sharjah corniche and is filled with different species of plants, trees, butterflies and crystals brought from different places around the world. The island is closed for any kinds of vehicles, only you can walk there. All the lovely wooden paths, hidden corridors, and common squares are constructed for pedestrians only.
The island is not big, it’s easy to walk around completely within an hour. But it’s worth stopping at the major installations and interact with them for a while. Also the island gives home to a big playground for kids, so if you are with children, it’s a spot not to miss.
Also it can be a very romantic place in the evening for couples, discovering the secret corridors and admiring the sunset and the amazing skyline of Sharjah Bay. The 3,5 km long boardwalk on the island is also visited by evening joggers, who enjoy exercising in one of the most scenic places in Sharjah. Once a year, it also hosts the International Storytelling Festival in a celebration of tales, fables and myths in Arabic and English.
Things to visit on Al Noor Island
The most common activity on the island is just walking around on the wooden path, following the recommended visitor points, and stopping by at each of them. Besides the nature we can see amazing lights, in many colours, beautifully giving even more life & fun to the already vivid atmosphere.
The Columns Installation
Austrian designer Susanne Schogner created the ‘Columns’ installation. It’s a technicolour series of colourfully paintec Columns that stand tall and proud against a backdrop of lush greens that make up the Island’s rich flora and fauna. Linear, abstract, and eye-catching, these sculptural columns lie only a foot away from the wild grasses and dramatic cacti.
Over 500 butterflies live on Al Noor Island in the Butterfly House. The Butterfly House itself is a feat of modern architecture, with the outdoor structure made of perforated steel and ergonomic design to let in sunlight. With temperature and humidity controlled interiors, the structure houses over 20 different species of butterflies, including the exotic Tailed Jay, Emerald Swallowtail, Pink Rose and Malachite.
The Literature Pavilion is built with various cushioned sitting areas. So you can delve into the world of the written word, while nestled in a sanctuary away from the bustling city.
The Coffee Terrace
In the middle of the island we can find the Coffee Terrace, where we can enjoy amazing coffee and local goods while overseeing the children area and the big playground.
We can find a huge trampoline as well on the island. According to the regulations though you are not allowed to jump on them, only to walk through barefoot.
The Swing honours the women who would anxiously wait on the shores praying for their husbands’ safe return. The art piece, which sits on the western shore of Al Noor Island overlooking the water of Khalid Lagoon, invites guests to swing in the serenity of this tucked away space. An indirectly lit walkway leading to the piece guides visitors to discover this secretly hidden getaway on the island where The Swing can be found.
The OVO Installation
Al Noor Island is home to some of its most visually stunning art installations and sculptures. From the gleaming meadows that guide the way along boardwalks to the mesmerising serenity of Torus installation, and the dancing lights of the OVO installation (see below). Al Noor Island is a visual and sensory treat for the lovers of art and sculpture.
Yoga at Sunrise
You can take the time to start your day with Yoga at Sunrise located next to the Butterfly House. It is open for ladies only everyday from 8:00 a.m. The entrance costs 50 AED.
How to get to Al Noor Island
Al Noor Island connects with the mainland via the Al Noor Bridge. This is a walking only bridge with amazing panorama on the skyline of Sharjah.
Just right in front of the entrance of Al Noor Island there is a super bring parking. Of course you need to pay for the parking – like all around Sharjah. But certainly you will be able park your car there. Also next to the parking you can find the only mosque accessable for non-muslim visitors as well: Al Noor Mosque.
When to visit Al Noor Island
Al Noor Island is open during the whole week. Every day from 9am till 11pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays till midnight. You can get here for a morning walk, reading, relaxing, or visit the place when the evening lights are on. When it’s even more spectacular. For more up to date information, visit their official website.
Entrance tickets to Al Noor Island
- For adults the tickets are 35 AED.
- While for kids is 20 AED.
You need to purchase your ticket at the ticket office at the Al Noor Island bridge.
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