It is almost 4 pm when I enter the indoor Al Jubail Fish Market during my visit to Sharjah on an invitation by Sharjah Tourism Board and Air Arabia. Immediately I see a crowd of people with piles of varied fish. This is the ongoing wholesale fish auction and everyone from individuals who wish to buy for personal consumption to restaurateurs who need to stock up for their customers have gathered here.
ongoing fish auction
People have come not just from Sharjah but also from Dubai and Al Amin to buy the fish, a clear indication of the good quality and popularity of this market. Most of the workers here are either from Bangladesh or from Chennai. I am led to a vantage point on the top floor so I can view the auction. The fish is caught in the Arabian Gulf and brought here in both small and big boats. While the small boats remain at sea for 6-8 hours, the big boats return after durations of 3-7 days as they have the provision of big tanks to preserve the fish. All the transactions are done in cash for the convenience of the fishermen.
From the glass windows of the market, I spot boats docked behind the market with their workers still unloading their catch. I quickly walk to these boats to click some pictures and the freshness of the fish is evident. Apart from the auction area, the Al Jubail Fish Market also has a section where you can buy almost any fish. They have workers who clean and slice your fish and as I walked past, a worker beckoned me to show the small still beating heart of a fish.
The fish market is part of the Al Jubail Vegetable and Fruit Market and I recommend a visit to the lane which sells dates. You can taste the dates and decide which variety to take back home.
I also bought date toffees which are basically a chocolate coating a date with an almond centre. Dates syrup was my other purchase in this hygienic, indoor and state of the art market after which I headed to the Sharjah Light Festival which was a brilliant display of Emirati illumination.
I was invited by Sharjah Tourism Board and Air Arabia to Sharjah.