Sharjah is a United Arab Emirates city on the Persian Gulf. Traditionally more conservative than its southern neighbor, Dubai, Sharjah is widely considered the nation’s cultural capital. Its Heritage Area is on the creek that the city first developed around, with restored homes and museums devoted to Emirati customs. It's also home to Sharjah Fort, a 19th-century royal residence turned local history museum. Nearby is the Arts Area and its institutes and galleries. The district's centerpiece is the Sharjah Art Museum, displaying contemporary Arabian and 18th-century Orientalist works. Massive, blue-tiled Central Market (Blue Souk) is a shopping destination with more than 600 stores. Parents take the kids to the Sharjah Aquarium, home to sharks, eels and rays. The Corniche waterfront promenade is popular for strolling and seeing the light shows of soaring Sharjah Fountain. For a bird’s-eye view of everything, there’s the Eye of the Emirates, a 60m-tall observation wheel.