Coat of Arms
Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi
Sharjah is the third largest and 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. Al Qasba is a neighbourhood of Sharjah.
Sharjah is the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah. Sharjah shares legal, political, military and economic functions with the other emirates 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 to 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). Sale, consumption or transportation of liquor is strictly prohibited in the emirate of Sharjah and punishable under Sharia Law.
Sharjah city is famous for a used vehicle market located in Abu Shagara area, which is claimed to be the biggest in the Middle East region.
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 of Sharjah International Airport.
The United Arab Emirates is ranked 63 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 0.103554
Top 5 Products exported by The United Arab Emirates
- Crude Petroleum (46%),
- Refined Petroleum (13%),
- Gold (9.2%),Petroleum Gas (7.4%),
- Jewellery (3.5%)
Top 5 Export destinations of The United Arab Emirates
Sharjah is the arts capital of the United Arab Emirates, and efforts to preserve area history garnered the title of Cultural Capital of the Arab World by UNESCO in 1998. For museum and art lovers, Sharjah is crammed full of excellent sightseeing opportunities. The Art Museum is world-renowned while the Heritage Area is full of interesting buildings dedicated to Emirati history.
This is also a wonderfully family-friendly destination, with lots to keep the kids amused including the Natural History Museum and Desert Park, where petting animals are the biggest attraction for most children, and the fun-packed exhibits at the Science Museum.
The largest Arts Museum in the United Arab Emirates, this state-of-the-art facility opened in 1997 and features a permanent collection as well as a program of temporary exhibits. The permanent collection includes valuable artwork from the collections of HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah. There are 72 galleries spread over three floors, with a focus on works by artists who painted the Arab world.
Many artworks are by 18th century by painters who visited the Middle East and became fascinated by the natural environment, architecture and culture. The Ali Darwish gallery contains his watercolours of Sharjah. The contemporary section consists of over 300 works by local, Arab and foreign artists. If you’re an art-lover on a weekend stopover in Dubai, don’t miss a trip here.
- Heritage Area – Good overview available here including a few restoration of old houses.
- Al Hisn Fort, Al-Hosn Avenue, The Sharjah Fort Museum dominates the Heritage District.
- Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is a fascinating place for any visitors with an interest in the faith, as there are handwritten Qur’ans, letters from the Prophet Muhammad to other leaders and various artifacts from Mecca itself.
- Bait al-Naboodah, Heritage Area,
Souq al-Arsah, Heritage Area. Another souq worth a visit. It is considered to be the oldest souq in the country.
- Sharjah Calligraphy Museum (Heritage Area), A small museum with magnificent calligraphic works of art by Persian, Arabic and Turkish artists with a workshop where students are trained in the art of calligraphy
- Sharjah Art Museum, The Sharjah Art Museum shows contemporary art by local and foreign artists.
- Sharjah Archeology Museum, Sheikh Rashid bin Saqr alQassimi Rd, The museum explore the changing environments experienced by the region’s inhabitants from the Stone Age to the present day through displays of artefacts, coins, jewellery, pottery and ancient weapons. Investigate a dig in progress, explore models of burials, houses and tombs and see the first forms of writing in this area.
- Blue Souq (Souq Al Markazi or Central Souq). An interesting, if slightly chaotic, shopping centre hosting around 600 shops in two wings. T
- Sharjah Desert Park (28 km from Sharjah on the road to Al Dhaid). It has three components spread over one square kilometre: the Natural History Museum, Arabian Wildlife Centre and the Children’s Farm.
- Fish Market, Corniche Road (opposite Blue Suq).
King Faisal Mosque, Al-Ittahid Square. This magnificent mosque was a gift of the Saudi Arabian King Faisal. It was opened in 1987 and has space for 15,000 people.
- Al-Qasba and Eye of the Emirates, Here you can enjoy culture, entertainment and leisure attractions representing the very best from the Arab world and beyond.
- Al-Mahattah-Museum, Estiqlal Square, Mahatta was the first airport in the Gulf region.