A smart cutting board, a hovering light bulb, and a pen that automatically copies everything you write down. Perfect gifts to give away, or perfect gifts to keep for yourself?
The choice is yours, but we at ADARAS have compiled a list of extraordinary and impressive gifts. All in all, these are brilliant and fun presents for everyone who is on a mission to find something unique and special.
Lyfe Planter – Set Your Plants Free
Home in Sweden, the winters are long and dark, and therefore, Flyte was created to maximize the light your plant is given. It’s a perfect centerpiece. Lyfe Planteris designed in line with Nordic elegance and minimalism. The planter floats over an oak base with the help of magnetic levitation, gently rotating. Studies have shown that plants surrounded by a magnetic field tend to grow faster.
A little extra feature is drainage at the bottom of the planter that prevents overwatering.
Flyte Nikola is Lyfe Planter‘s bright cousin. The lamp was first introduced as a Kickstarter project back in 2015 and was immediately well-received.
Designed in Sweden, the Flyte base is made of sustainably sourced oak, ash, and walnut wood finishes. Each unit is carefully crafted to precision using premium components and energy-efficient LED-technology, which gives the lamp a life span of 50 000 hours. (That’s twelve hours a day for eleven years) Amazing, right?
This hovering bulb will surely be a showstopper when friends come over.
ChopBox was introduced as a Kickstarter project and is already a hit. The ChopBox met its original goal of $10,000 in only 25 minutes after launch. It’s such a hype that they have reached over $1,7 million (at the moment when writing). Not that surprising when seeing this futuristic cutting board.
The cutting board replaces five kitchen gadgets. It kills germs with a UVC light, weighs your food, acts as a timer, sharpens your knives, serves as a presentation platter, and more. It is also waterproof and made of 100% organic bamboo.
TIP! If you pledge now on Kickstarter, you will get the ChopBox for $99 instead of the $199 when it hits the retail market.
These magical light sources are perfect and a must-have during the dark and cold winter days. Nymphs and Calabarteare more than just an ordinary light source; they are pieces of art on their own.
Both sites sell lamps in many different shapes and forms. Calabarte never repeats the patterns of their lamps and wants every lamp to be one of a kind, the lamps are in the price range of $7.000 to 20.000. A cheaper alternative is Nymphs, they have magical lamps in stock that start at $220.
QlockTwo Touch – Unique Table Clock with Alarm
QlockTwo Touch is a precision table clock with an alarm function. But it’s no ordinary clock, it displays the time in letters, spelling out the time in words. The clock has an impressive range of helpful and sophisticated functions: such as an alarm, night light, night touch, and the possibility to snooze.
The compact format and the simple operation of the clock make it a desirable design item to have on your nightstand or anywhere else in your home.
Begin 2020 with the smartest bullet journal! With Moleskine Smart Writing Set, you can share your paper notes directly to your smart tablet or phone. It’s an easy way to share your ideas with friends and coworkers.
The smart writing set makes an instant and workable digital copy of every page, bringing all the advantages of borderless digital creativity to your freehand notes, sketches, diagrams, and doodles. An easy and smart way to share and backup your notes.
The best word to describe this lamp is MAGICAL. Mini Lumio+ is the pocket version of Lumio, and it’s more than your average lamp.
It’s a compact, multi-functional lamp and battery pack for mobile phones that conceals itself in the form of a hard-cover book. It opens up 360 degrees and comes with built-in charging cables, battery power indicator, and changeable magnetic spine cover.
A miniature of our very own little glowing rock. The Moon Lamp is a magical prop to have in pictures or on the mount that comes with it on your bedroom nightstand.
The Moon lamp is portable and rechargeable. The lamp is made of eco-friendly material and 3D technology to simulate the actual surface. This makes the lamp look like a realistic moon with rough landscapes and plateaus. Another cool function is that you control the light and color by slightly pat the surface of the moon. It’s also dimmable with a slight touch on the surface.
When fully charged, you will have moonlight for up to 10 hours.
Al Bait Sharjah is one of the UAE’s newest and most luxurious resorts. This sustainable five-star hotel is enchanting guests with its magical ambiance, Emirati heritage, and homey feels.
Nestled in the Heart of Sharjah, only half an hour from Dubai is this extraordinary escape you’ll have a hard time leaving. Why? Because it’s so easy to feel at home.
Fittingly enough, Al Bait is literally translated as ‘The Home’.
The AED 100 million hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and launched in 2018 by GHM (General Hotel Management Ltd). In fact, Al Bait Sharjah is one of the United Arab Emirates‘ largest and most ambitious historical preservation projects.
In collaboration with UNESCO, they have converted and preserved historic manor houses and the authentic look and feel of the area into what it is today – a 53-room Emirati luxury hotel.
Perched proudly above the resort is the iconic 100-year-old barjeel (wind tower), which is the only round wind tower remaining in the UAE.
It is late night when we arrive at Al Bait Sharjah. We are tired and exhausted after having traveled for hours. However, I’m immediately intrigued as we are strolling up the maze-like alleyways, lit only by lanterns and moonlight.
As we arrive at the reception, the stunning decor and cozy feels blow me away. Raising my expectations further are the warm welcome and extraordinary treats being offered. It’s not every day you are served a glittering lavender drink, and something rightly called ‘magic chocolate’ (which turns out to hide popping candy).
Needless to say, my first impression is not disappointing. I’m in love with the atmosphere, the beautiful lights, soft music playing in the background, and how spoilt and ‘at home’ the staff makes us feel.
I get a cool Harry Potter-like map of the resort and a personal guide to my hotel room. It’s very much needed as I would probably get lost in the resort otherwise. Though I guess I wouldn’t mind at all. Being wonderfully lost here.
Almost a decade in the making, Al Bait Sharjah is comprised of five heritage houses once owned by esteemed local families. Today these buildings are connected by a maze of alleyways and houses 53 elegant guestrooms and suites.
The design is gorgeous, with an Arabian ambiance and esthetics that mirrors the surrounding buildings in the district. Some rooms give way to outdoor patios, and some to the Souq Al Arash.
The soundproofed rooms all feature free WiFi, 24-hour room service, LED TVs, a minibar stocked with free items, and bathrooms with rainfall showerheads, Acqua di Parma toiletries, and bathrobes.
I stayed at the Al Bait Deluxe Patio Room, which is one of the most affordable rooms at the resort. I slept like an angel in my four-poster bed, couldn’t get enough of the delicious organic sodas from the mini-fridge, and thought my bathroom was design goals.
Bowls with fresh dates, apricots, and walnuts are just an example of thoughtful details that really make you feel at home at this boutique heritage hotel.
One of this hotel’s best features is the excellent location. Al Bait Sharjah Resort is in the Heart of Sharjah, which is just perfect. It’s a destination in itself. The area will transport you back in time with its preserved heritage, labyrinth alleyways, and picturesque courtyards.
Nearby is Souq Al Arash, which is one of the UAE’s oldest souks. Here you can find a lot of exciting stores selling everything from clothes and jewelry to fresh halwa, souvenirs, carpets, and more. The Museum of Islamic Civilization, Central Souq, and Sharjah Arts Area are also close by.
Al Bait Sharjah is home to a full-service spa, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, two restaurants, a café, and an ice cream shop. It also has an on-site library, cigar lounge, jewelry shop, and its very own museum, which houses the decades-old belongings of former residents known as the Al Midfa and Al Naboodah family.
53 smoke-free & soundproofed guestrooms
2 restaurants and 1 coffee shop/café
24-hour gym studio
Free full breakfast available daily 7:30 am – 10 am
24-hour room service
24-hour front desk
Front desk safe
The architecture and design is, with no doubt, one of Al Bait’s highlights. It’s so picture-friendly and easily give you vacation shots worth swooning over. The resort’s design remains true to the Arabic culture. From carpets, furniture, patterns, scents, and small details. It all reflects the bygone area – with a modern flare.
Just take a look above at the gorgeous reception, with its elegant sofas and cozy lamps. Here you can just sit and relax, play a chess game or read some magazines.
Luxury Spa & Wellness
At the full-service spa, you can indulge in pampering treatments like therapeutic massages, oriental rituals, hammam, rejuvenating beauty rituals, and bathing ceremonies. As well as manicure and pedicure.
After a day of exploring a lot of Sharjah by foot, it felt like I was in heaven as my amazing masseur worked her magic on my sore feet. This is everyday luxury at its best.
Once you’re sufficiently relaxed, you can get reinvigorated at the 24-hourmodern studio gym or unwind by the trellis-shaded outdoor pool. Pool butlers on duty will attend to your food and beverage requests.
One of the best things to do in Sharjah is probably dining at Al Bait. The hotel has two fabulous restaurants and a popular café and ice cream shop that offer things out of the ordinary.
Share local gourmet favorites served family-style at The Arabic Restaurant. This lovely restaurant has a magical outdoor seating and indoor dining areas with high wood-beamed ceilings, sumptuous textiles, and an overall luxurious Arabesque flair. The talented chefs welcome guests with a fresher take on traditional dishes, making it an experience to remember.
For more international options, The Restaurant offers contemporary, oriental, and far east dishes from morning to evening. With ‘a la carte at breakfast, followed by thoughtfully curated menus for lunch and dinner. Take a seat indoors or in the charming open-air courtyard.
Hotel guest or not, The Ice Cream Shop is a hidden gem in Sharjah. Here you can tickle your taste buds with homemade camel milk ice cream and exciting flavors that are far from ‘vanilla.’ At The Café, you can indulge in homemade pastries and desserts while sipping Arabic or Turkish coffee. Try the “café tray for two” for a real Instagram-friendly treat.
I’ve stayed in several five-star hotels all over the world, and this is, so far, one of my favorites. Al Bait Sharjah exceeds all expectations. It’s a memorable staycation in the Heart of Sharjah that lets you experience genuine Arabic hospitality in its authentic setting.
This resort will impress you with its thoughtful details, exceptional food experiences, spa treatments, impeccable service, and, above all, its magical ambiance, and beautiful historical views.
It’s a carefully crafted blend of heritage, comfort, and luxury.
Whether you want to celebrate a special occasion, are traveling for business, or want to spoil yourself or your family, this relaxing resort is a destination in itself.
GHM’s motto is ‘a style to remember,’ and this resort is one you’ll have a hard time forgetting.
Only a 30-minute drive from Dubai is Sharjah, the third-largest emirate in the UAE. Though this emirate is lesser known than its famous neighbor, Sharjah is a hidden treasure with a lot to offer.
The United Arab Emirates consists of seven emirates – each with its own unique appeal. Yet when you tell your friends you are going to the UAE, they will probably automatically presume that you are going to Dubai, or maybe Abu Dhabi.
No wonder, as these impressive emirates steal the spotlight with ever-grander developments. The other emirates, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, are working hard to prove themselves as attractive destinations.
Why Visit Sharjah?
Sharjah blew me away with its rich heritage, cultural experiences, dramatic scenery, stunning desert-scape, fun adventures, delicious food and luxurious hotels. As a bonus, it’s not overcrowded with tourists, which makes it easy to enjoy the authentic feels.
You will quickly understand why Sharjah is known as the Pearl of the Gulf. It’s a hidden gem that can boast with some of the UAE’s most diverse landscapes. From mangrove forests and soaring desert dunes to rugged mountains and pristine beaches. Sharjah is the only emirate with a coast on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Combined with ancient souks, off-road adventures, modern shopping centers, archeological sites, year-round sunshine, friendly people, and delicious dining – it’s a wonderful emirate to explore.
It’s not all perfect. Unfortunately, there are serious violations of human rights, especially for free speech and LGBT rights. Homosexuality is considered a crime, as is sex outside of marriage and all public displays of affection (like cuddling and kissing). It’s even against the law to share the same hotel room with someone of the opposite sex unless you’re wedded or closely related.
Also, the emirate of Sharjah is a ‘dry emirate,‘ which means that alcohol is strictly prohibited. If caught carrying or drinking alcohol without a license or with alcohol in your blood, you can be arrested. To be on the safe side, abstain from drinking alcohol on the flight to the UAE.
Good to know is also that Sharjah’s dress code is more conservative than Dubai. You always need to cover your shoulders and knees. It’s also advised to not wear too tight or too transparent clothes.
Still interested in knowing what this emirate has to offer? Enjoy and ‘Ahlan wa sahlan’ – Welcome to Sharjah!
TOP THINGS TO DO IN SHARJAH, UAE
1. Explore the Heart of Sharjah
Sharjah is an emirate that is keeping its tradition, culture and customs alive.
Just head to the Heart of Sharjah, and you will instantly understand why UNESCO named Sharjah the Culture Capital of the Arab World. The Heart of Sharjah is a heritage project that aims to restore the oldest area in Sharjah to a replica of the ancient city that once stood here.
Even though this area is under development, intended for completion in 2025, it will already make you feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. Stroll along the narrow alleyways and soak up the atmosphere and architecture. This is the heartbeat of the city.
2. Visit the Al Noor Mosque
Sharjah has over 600 mosques; One of the most known is the Al Noor Mosque. It’s one of the few mosques in the country open to non-Muslim visitors.
A great way to start your vacation in Sharjah is to join a free tour on Mondays at 10am at Al Noor Mosque. Here you can gain a deeper cultural understanding and learn more about Islam.
Also, don’t forget to admire the building’s stunning architecture and surroundings. It’s just next to the picturesque Khalid Lagoon.
3. Visit Al Noor Island and the Butterfly House
Just a few minutes’ walk from Al Noor Mosque is Al Noor Island. It must be one of the most picturesque and Instagram-worthy places in Sharjah. Surrounded by azure waters, this tropical oasis has become a popular family destination since its opening in 2015.
Not surprising, as this lovely island offers many fun and unexpected things to do. The main attraction is the Butterfly House, where you can admire the visual beauty of over 500 exotic butterflies – flying around you.
Continue your visit on the island by taking a walk through the luscious landscaped gardens decorated with art installations and sculptures. Relax in the dreamy Literature Pavilion, jump on the trampoline path, and stop for a coffee at the organic café.
Tip! Visit around 5pm to see how the island transforms into a twinkling fairyland when the artificial lights turn on.
Al Noor Island is a serene oasis in the middle of the city of Sharjah.
4. Experience Mleiha Desert
An hour away from Sharjah’s city center are saffron-colored sand dunes as far as the eye can see. Mleihadesert is simply breathtaking and a must-see if you ask me.
There are lots of things to do here, for different adrenaline levels. For more adventurous activities opt to discover the desert off-road. You can go for activities such as dune buggy rides, 4WD tours to Fossil Rock, Big Red and Camel Rock, paragliding from Mleiha’s tallest peaks, desert cycling tours or trekking.
Or embark on a journey back through time and visit the Mleiha Archeological Center. Here you can discover some of the region’s hidden secrets and history of traditional Emirati life. You can also visit Bronze Age tombs and pre-Islamic forts.
Imagine walking in the rain – without getting wet. It’s the reality in the Rain Room.
I was so happy to discover that Sharjah Art Foundation has the world’s first permanent Rain Room Installation. I’ve wanted to see this art installation for ages. Get a ticket for 25 AED and head inside a dark underground chamber, lit only by a spotlight. Thanks to 3D tracking cameras and motion sensors you can walk through the endless rain and see the water falling all around you.
The installation, which made a debut at London’s Barbican Centre in 2012, has since been on view at MoMA in New York, Yuz Museum in Shanghai and at LACMA in Los Angeles.
You only spend 15 minutes in the Rain Room, but it’s an incredible experience and definitely a must-see in Sharjah.
You can combine your Rain Room experience with a visit to the Sharjah Art Museum and the new Art Spaces by Sharjah Art Foundation. The foundation holds activities and events throughout the year in Sharjah’s historic Art and Heritage Area.
6. Visit the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
This museum covers just about everything you want to know about Islam. Learn about Islam and its central principles and peruse among the over 5,000 artifacts representing the different periods of Islamic history: from its beginnings in the Abbasid and Umayyad eras to the Ottoman and Mamluk eras.
With its glistening golden dome and majestic architecture, the building itself is worth seeing.
Don’t miss the stunning zodiac rooftop that decorates the inside of the gilt central dome. The intricate mosaic depicts the night sky and the zodiac signs.
7. Indulge in Luxury at Al Bait Sharjah
A 5-star luxurious retreat where Islamic heritage meets an inspiring contemporary style. Opened in 2018, Al Bait Sharjah is known as the country’s most ambitious restoration project. It brings the history of the United Arab Emirates to life with its restoration of historic manor houses.
Al Bait Sharjah is one of the most unique resorts I’ve ever stayed at. It’s magical!
When you arrive they welcome you with a glittering lavender drink and chocolate with popping candy. You get a cool map and a guide to help you navigate around the maze-like surroundings. Without it you could quite literally get wonderfully lost (and I bet you wouldn’t mind at all).
The resort has a lovely spa and fitness center, an on-site library, a swimming pool, a museum and a fantastic Arabic restaurant.
If you are looking for a romantic escape, to celebrate a special occasion, or just to spoil yourself or your family, this is a hotel you won’t forget.
8. Explore Sharjah’s Souks
Bazaars and market places have long played an important role in Arabian life. For shopping, a visit to Sharjah’s traditional trading areas, called souks, is a must. These souks have been well preserved but updated with modern conveniences like air condition.
The impressive Blue Souk is one of the largest souks in the UAE. It has earned its nickname thanks to the distinct blue tiles that decorate its exterior. The market is also known as the Central Souk and Souk al-Markazi for the locals.
Here you’ll find over 600 shops selling everything from traditional Arabic goods, carpets and antique jewelry to perfumes and oils, electronics, clothes, cosmetics, spices, herbs, and more.
We visited Souq Al Arsah and Souq Al Shinasiya in the Heart of Sharjah. At first glance, these might not be as impressive as the Blue Souk, but they are two of the oldest market places in the country, brimming with interesting and vibrant stores.
Don’t miss Al Omani Sweet Factory in Souq Al Arsah. This Halwa shop probably tempts every passerby to taste the classic sweet.
9. Hang Out in Al Qasba
Al Qasba is one of Sharjah’s most popular attractions. This waterfront quarter is packed with popular cafes, restaurants and shops, edging the canal.
Step aboard The Eye of the Emirates wheel and see the Gulf coast stretching as far as Dubai. Or soak up the views while you enjoy a cruise along the canal in an aura or an eco-friendly water kart. There’s also a children’s entertainment park, several public park art sites and interesting attractions to discover.
Or come here for a relaxed Lebanese-inspired lunch in Shababeek. It’s a beautifully decorated restaurant in a Middle Eastern design. Watch Arabic bread being made at the live baking station and enjoy the traditional dishes and delicacies.