Map of Sharjah- United Arab Emirates
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 southern 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 due to the Muslim majority in the area. This has helped Sharjah increase the number of Islamic tourists who visit the country. Sharjah has been officially named as a WHO healthy city. The 2016 edition of QS Best Student Cities ranked Sharjah as the 68th best city in the world to be a university student. Sharjah is regarded as the cultural capital of the UAE, and was the Islamic culture capital in 2014.
More than 1.4 million people live in Sharjah, according to results of the Sharjah Census 2015. The emirate is home to 175,432 Emiratis – 86,325 males and 89,098 females – who make up 12 per cent of the overall population.
Like the rest of UAE, Arabic is the official and national language of the emirate. Engilish is used as a second language, Tagalog and South Asian languages such as Hindi,Urdu, Malayalam are spoken widely by the residents of emirates. Islam is the predominant religion in the emirate of Sharjah.
Sharjah is situated on the persian (Arabian) Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates, the emirates borders with Dubai in south,Ajman and Um Al Quwain in north, Ras Al Khaimah in east.It is the only emirates that overlooks the coastline on the Persian (Arabian) gulf from the west and the gulf of Oman (Indian Ocean) from the East.
Khor Fakhan,Kalba and Dibba regions of the emirates lies in the eastern coast of the Gulf of Oman.
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 (Köppen climate classification BWh), 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.
The city has reasonably well developed transport infrastructure. Like many major cities, Sharjah has a problem with vehicular traffic congestion during rush hours especially the roads leading to and from the Emirate of Dubai. The role of the Sharjah Public Transport Corporation is to reinforce public transportation, setting its policies and find strategic solutions for smooth traffic, providing modern and professional transport services to the passengers, driving Sharjah Emirate or on the InterCity routes, between all emirates in UAE.
Development of transportation services in Sharjah is critical and long term task.
The Sharjah International Airport is the aviation hub of the city. Sharjah Airport is the third largest Middle East airfreight hub in cargo tonnage, according to official 2015 statistics from Airports Council International. Sharjah International Airport is home base of the low-cost carrier Air Arabia. It has daily flights connecting Lebanon, Jordan, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ukraine, India, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.
There are two major series of highways in Sharjah, which are “E” and “S”. E represents roads connecting other emirates and S for roads within the emirates.
The major roads in the emirate of Sharjah includes
- E 88 – Al Dhaid Road connecting the Emirate of Fujairah.
- E 102 – Sharjah – Kalbah Road – Connecting Fujairha and Kalba.
- E 311 – Sheik Mohammad Bin Zayed Road – connecting Dubai, Ajman and RAK.
- E 11 – Al Ithihad Road – Connecting Dubai.
- E 611 – Emirates Road – connecting Dubai, Ajman and RAK
- S 12 – Maliha Road.
Taxi Taxis in Sharjah are clean, well maintained and reasonable. Sharjah Public Transportation Corporation is organizing and supervising the operations of taxis in Sharjah Emirate. Sharjah taxi service is provided through franchise companies. They cover all parts of the Emirate and cities, including shopping centres, residential areas and airport.Following are the major taxi operators in the emirates.
- Sharjah Taxi: Area of operation – Sharjah City and Eastern Regions.
- Emirates Cab: Area of operation – Sharjah city.
- City Taxi : Area of operation – Sharjah City and Eastern Regions.
- Union Taxi: Area of operation – Sharjah city.
- Advantage Taxi : Area of operation – Sharjah City and Central Regions.
Sharjah Transport Corporation also provides Sharing Transportation with the purpose of serving certain routes in Sharjah City on a fixed rate for each route without using the meter. Sharjah Sharing Taxi routes are carefully selected to support people with low income and are covering areas with frequent needs for quick transfer within same location, to ease the traffic situation in Sharjah.
Intercity Transport Sharjah Public Transport Corporation operates passenger bus services nationwide, between Sharjah City, Ras Al Khaimah, Khor Fakkan, Kalba, Fujairah, Masafi, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Hamriyah Free Zone, Dhaid, Madam, Dibba Al Hisn, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai.