Another part would be the parks and aquarium and planetarium and of course the big water park helps supplement the amusement park in Al Qasba. There is a great public transport system and taxis which are significantly cheaper than London. My husband, some colleagues, friends and some relatives only had a vague concept of the UAE, let alone Sharjah, and lumped it in with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern areas.
My father especially wanted me to leave Sharjah, assuming a lack of safety and possible terrorism.
It's safe as a place, safe for a woman alone and safe overall and - I'm glad I went.
As part of a series on young people in the Middle East, the BBC News website discovers how technology is aiding the secret liaisons of young men and women in the conservative culture of the United Arab Emirates.
"I sent some notes, they liked them - they took my number and they called me.
Everyone knows Dubai (or seems to), and Sharjah is Dubai's next-door neighbour.
Think of it like going from Kensington and Chelsea to Hammersmith - if you didn't know where the borders of each neighbourhood was, you'd never know when you were moving between them.
But the cards, scraps of paper and mobile phone messages that pass from male to female are testament to the double existence of some young UAE nationals as they take their love lives into their own hands.
Wireless advances One technology is proving particularly useful.