Sharjah is the third largest and third most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, forming part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. It is located along the northern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.
Sharjah is the capital of the emirate of Sharjah. Sharjah shares legal, political, military and economic functions with the other emirates of the UAE within a federal framework, although each emirate has jurisdiction over some functions such as civil law enforcement and provision and upkeep of local facilities. Sharjah has been ruled by the Al Qasimi dynasty since the 18th century.
The city is a centre for culture and industry, and alone contributes 7.4% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates. The city covers an approximate area of 235 km² and has a population of over 800,000 (2008). The sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in the emirate of Sharjah without possession of an alcohol licence and alcohol is not served in Sharjah hotels, restaurants or other outlets. This has helped Sharjah increase the number of Islamic tourists who visit the country. Sharjah has been officially named as a WHO healthy city.
|TIME ZONE :|
|AREA :||235.5 km2 (90.9 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||25°21′27″N 55°23′27″E|
|SEX RATIO :|
|AREA CODE :||6|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+971 6|
Named after the large Rolla - Banyan Tree - that used to stand in the square (which inspired the sculpture currently at the centre of the park), Rolla Square is a popular location for workers to stroll during the weekends.
Al Hisn Sharjah
Sharjah Fort was demolished in the 1970s but rebuilt and is today a museum.
'Smile You're In Sharjah' Roundabout
Located between the Blue Souq and Fish Market, near union bank the floral call to cheer up etched on the roundabout has lent its name to the roundabout itself.
The Souq Al Markazi, or Blue Souq, is a popular tourist destination and comprises a gold souq, clothing souq and, on its first floors, antiques and jewellery shops.
The fort was built to house travellers on the Imperial Airways Eastern Empire route and was the site of Sharjah Airport until 1977. It is now an aviation museum.
The Heart Of Sharjah houses several galleries, and museums including the charming heritage museum which gives a great insight into the cultural traditions of the past. The area is also home to the traditional Souk Al Arsa, a covered souk with an array of items to sell including antiques and the office of the Sharjah Centre for Cultural Communication where you can get info on Sharjah attractions.
Sharjah Heritage Museum
The Sharjah Heritage Museum is situated near to the Bait Al Naboodah is just opposite Soouq al-Arsah. This is a beautiful architecturally designed interesting two storey family house. It is built around a shaded courtyard and is dedicated to a family life reconstruction many years ago. There are many rooms which has displays of traditional furniture along with household items too. Moreover, there are also provision of children’s costumes, games and even jewellery.
Sharjah National Park
Sharjah National park covers an area of nearly 630 thousand square feet of area.
Located in Al Layyeh, Sharjah aquarium has over 250 species to see right from the delicate seahorses to smallest clown fish, reef sharks, rays and moray eels. Visitors can submerge themselves to the colorful, diverse and rich undersea world which is home to a variety of marine life which is native to the sea.
Al Noor Island
Al Noor Island is located in the Khalid Lagoon and covers an area of 45,470 square metres. The destination project features art and light installations, including the ‘OVO’ and ‘Torus’ displays.
Arabian Wildlife Center
The Arabian Wildlife Center is the only zoo in Arabia and has different species of animals found in the Arabian Peninsula. Opened in 1999, it is home to more than 100 species of animals. Situated at a convenient location, this center is quite close to the Sharjah International Airport. Despite the hot and dry conditions in most of Arabia, there are a number of mammal species who have adapted to these conditions.
Sharjah was one of the wealthiest towns in this region with a settlement in existence for over 5000 years. In the early 18th century, the Qawasim clan (Huwayla tribe) established itself in Sharjah, c.1727 declaring Sharjah independent. On 8 January 1820, Sheikh Sultan I signed the General Maritime Treaty with Britain, accepting a protectorate to keep the Ottoman Turks out. Like four of its neighbours, Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Qaiwain, its position on the route to India made it important enough to be recognised as a salute state (be it of the lowest class: 3 guns).
On 2 December 1971, Sharjah, together with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman,Umm Al Qawain and Fujairah joined in the Act of Union to form the United Arab Emirates. The seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the UAE on 10 February 1972, following giant non-Arab neighbour Iran's annexation of the RAK-owned Tunbs islands.
Like the other former Trucial States, Sharjah's name is known by many stamp collectors because of the large numbers of stamps that were issued by the Sharjah Post Office shortly before the formation of the United Arab Emirates. Many of these items feature subjects unrelated to the emirates whose names they bear, and therefore many popular catalogues do not list them.
Sharjah has a hot desert climate , with warm winters and extremely hot summers. Rainfall is generally light and erratic, and occurs almost entirely from November to May. About two-thirds of the year's rain falls in the months of February and March.
Climate data for Sharjah
|Record high °C (°F)||32.5|
|Average high °C (°F)||24.2|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||17.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||12.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||3.4|
Sharjah is the headquarters of Air Arabia, the first low cost airline in the Middle East, which operates to the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The headquarters is in the Sharjah Freight Center, on the property ofSharjah International Airport. Sharjah Airport Free zone, popularly known as SAIF Zone, is one of the prominent Free zones in UAE. More than 6000 companies operates from SAIF Zone. The cost of setting up business in Sharjah is less than in any other emirates of UAE, and the focus of industrialisation has in recent years turned Sharjah into a commercial centre. Due to the facility of 100% foreign ownership, repatriation of capital & profits and exemption from income and corporate taxes, SAIF Zone has attracted investors from more than 90 countries.
The following are notable areas of Sharjah:
- Abu Shagara
- Al Mahatta
- Al Majaz
- Al Nad
- Al Nahda
- Al Layyeh
- Al Taawun
- Al Yarmook
- Al Qasba
- Al Rolla
- Al Qulayya
- Al Mujarrah