Its easy. The building of Emirates Road (and now the Bypass one) means that we no longer have to drive through Sharjah to get to the East Coast (Fujairah, Khor Fakkan to the ignorant west coast dwellers). So now if I am in Sharjah - its purely because I have to be. This evening I had to be and I got "spectacularly" lost getting to the Sahara Center. And I feel like a berk.
If I had stuck to being safe, I would have taken SZR, Garhoud, Al Ittihad Road, and turned off at the interchange before Al Khan. No brainer. The last time I drove there (about 10 days ago) - I did just that around 5ish and got there in 25 mins. Was really pleased.
I thought I'd be clever and try another route today. If I'm honest - Salik dodging. Took Al Khail road and Business Bay crossing and travelled down the back end. Sharjah has changed so much. I did not recognize some of it. And ended up going round and round - missing turns, getting blocked in so I could not take a turn and having to take the long way around. I ended up going all the way back to Al Mulla Plaza and driving back to Sahara Centre.
By this time, I was a hour and half late for a meeting, grumpy, thirsty and very very contrite. Not a position I wanted to be.
Moral of the story, stick to what you know, don't get smart. Dodging 16Dhs of Salik is just not worth it.