Sharjah (Sharjah) — the third largest of the emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, occupies the territory between the borders of Dubai, Ajman and Fujairah.
The emirate includes the enclaves in the east of the country: Kalba, Dibba Al-Izn and Korfakkan.
The territory is about 2.6 thousand square kilometers. The population is about 946,000 people. The capital of the emirate is the city of Sharjah. For the past 300 years, this emirate has been ruled by the Al-Qassimi family, once the most powerful in the entire Persian Gulf.
The Sheikh of Sharjah is Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi.
It is the only emirate located on two coasts at once: the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. On the coast of the Gulf of Oman are Kalba, Korfakkan and Dabba Al-Hasn.
As the third largest emirate, Sharjah was the cradle of coastal tribal development and remained a thriving port for many centuries.
Among all the emirates, the history of Sharjah is the richest. The Arabian Gulf served Mesopotamia as an outlet to the Indian Ocean, and early trade with Persia defined the lifestyle of the inhabitants of this emirate.
The name of the emirate comes from the Arabic “sharq” — “east”. Sharjah was once part of the Daid oasis. With the rise to power of the Cassim family and the beginning of a rapid flourishing of trade in the 19th century. Sharjah has become the most important seaport in the southern part of the Persian Gulf. However, over time, these positions were lost. The industry of Sharjah developed mainly due to public investment from the oil business. The discovery of natural gas deposits near the town of Sajaa has led to fundamental changes in this region and allowed us to move into third place after Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In the city there are oil and gas processing, cement production.
Today, Sharjah plays a key role in the dynamics of the socio-economic development of all the northern emirates, thanks to the vigorous development of the cargo turnover of the large local port of Khalid. The construction of a modern international airport has increased the already considerable flow of tourists. The capital of the emirate, the city of Sharjah is the main export and import center of the UAE. Here are the residence of the ruler, government offices, company offices, banks and hotels. The city of Sharjah, overlooking the Persian Gulf, is a 10-minute drive on a multi-lane, modern highway from Dubai. The natural border separating these cities is the Al Khan Bay. In ancient times, there was a strong current in the bay, during the high tide, large areas of the emirate were flooded, disrupting communication between the two cities.
Between Sharjah and Dubai, there were once two villages: Abu Hail, which is now part of the Deira district, and all that remains of it are the watchtowers on the Dubai side of the Bay, built by the Sheikh of Sharjah in the mid-19th century. to oversee the expansion of Dubai, and Al Khan, which has survived to this day in almost pristine condition on the bay. This historic location offers beautiful views of the multi-storey skyscrapers of Sharjah and Dubai.
Over the past 20 years, the city of Sharjah has greatly increased in size, incorporating suburban villages. Industrial districts and suburbs stretch for several kilometers in the direction of the deserts to the north and east. The center of the city still remains close to the bay. Sharjah is deservedly called the “architectural capital of the Emirates” and “the city from the fairy tales of Scheherazade”. The purely modern appearance of the city is combined with the oriental flavor. Even the new international airport is built in the style of traditional Islamic architecture.
Along the road from the airport to the city, first there are two-and three-story mansions, domes of mosques and arrows of minarets, then multi-story buildings with shops on the first floor. Intricate abstract sculptures, fountains, and a fiery riot of advertising stretch for miles. There are many cultural monuments that give a clear idea of the country’s past. On the shores of the Khalid Lagoon, the oldest district of the emirate, Meredja, is located, which is the museum treasury of the UAE. The old buildings, restored in the recent past, stand in their original form with coral inserts in the walls.
The ruler of Sharjah, Sultan Al Qassimi, pays great attention to the development of culture. There are currently 17 museums in Sharjah: historical, ethnographic, weapons, archaeological, there is even a nature museum and a police museum. Most of the museums are concentrated in the historical part of Sharjah, the expositions are arranged according to the latest museum technology (British museum workers work here under contract). In Sharjah, there is a unique Museum of Islamic Civilization, as well as an archaeological museum, a museum of natural history and science, a maritime museum, a local history museum and an art gallery. It is no coincidence that in 1998, UNESCO recognized Sharjah as the ” cultural capital of Arabia.
In 1953, the first comprehensive school in the UAE was opened here.
Modern buildings have absorbed the unique identity of Eastern traditions and the rhythms of today. This completely applies to the buildings of the Archaeological Museum, the Cultural Center, the complex of government offices and the “Pink Mosque”. On the main square of the city, the majestic monument “The Koran” is erected — a symbol of faith, which is the national pride of the UAE. Sharjah also has the Unification Memorial, a Monument to Progress.
The city of Sharjah is also known for its huge number of mosques. On King Abdulaziz Street, next to the Central Market, stands the largest in the UAE and one of the largest in the Middle East, the King Faisal Mosque, which accommodates 3 thousand worshipers at the same time.
Sharjah is a vibrant city with numerous oriental bazaars and shopping malls. The multicolored old textile bazaar, the fruit and vegetable market, and the fish market are particularly picturesque. The new Central Market (Sharjah Souk) in Sharjah is called by Russian tourists “steam trains” (or “trailers”): it consists of several sections — “trailers”, topped with wind towers-fans. There are a total of about 600 shops selling carpets, coffee pots, silver, gold, perfumes, clothing and other goods. The Golden Souk (market) in the Al Yarmook district is also notable for its architecture and interior decoration. Like the Central Market, the Golden Souk is considered one of the masterpieces of modern Arabic architecture. Under its roof, there are about fifty local and international companies selling jewelry. Real Middle Eastern souvenirs — spices, nuts, incense, carpets and products of local artisans, fabrics and textiles, Oriental dishes and the famous “khanjars” (a dagger of a rounded shape) — can be purchased at the Iranian market.
Sharjah’s main shopping street, Al Wahda Road, is 2 km long and attracts thousands of shoppers from around the world. Here you can find everything from elegant clothing to furniture, as Sharjah is the most famous center for the production of furniture among the countries of the Persian Gulf. Streets such as Jamal Abdul Nasser St. and King Faisal Road are famous for their shops. In Sharjah, you can make purchases more profitable than in Dubai, and children will enjoy spending time in children’s towns and attractions of shopping centers.
The Sharjah Expo Center annually attracts more than 500 thousand visitors from all over the world with the thematic diversity of its numerous fairs and exhibitions. Close to the city is the Khalid Lagoon with its picturesque parks and gardens on its banks. A 100 m high fountain spouting from the center of the lagoon. On the island in the Khalid Lagoon, there is an amusement park with crazy, amazing rides.
With its picturesque green oases, majestic mountain ranges, sunny beaches, a beautiful lagoon with shores for leisurely walks, parks and gardens, Sharjah is a real paradise for tourists. In Sharjah, this “smiling emirate”, as it is called, it is quiet and peaceful at home. Families with children, newlyweds who are passionate about each other, as well as those who are tired of the bustling city and do not want to go far from civilization like to relax here.
Sharjah offers a wide variety of hotels, located right on the beach, with rich international cuisine, excellent beaches and a wide range of sports, from traditional cricket to surfing and scuba diving. It regularly hosts cricket tournaments with teams from various countries.
Sharjah is an emirate with the strictest laws, since 1985, strictly enforced prohibition, so alcoholic beverages can not be found even in the restaurants and bars of 5-star hotels. For those who can not imagine a holiday without alcohol, you need to take care of drinks in advance. In Sharjah, discos, hookah smoking are also prohibited, and women should not bare their shoulders and knees, as well as swim in the sea and sunbathe on the city’s public beaches. Here you can not sunbathe topless, even on the territory of the hotel’s private beach.
Korfakkan (Khor Fakkan), an ancient port and modern resort town, 135 km from the city of Sharjah, on the shore of a beautiful natural bay with a very beautiful promenade. The sea, the Hajar Mountains (Omani Mountains) and the amazingly beautiful landscape make this place one of the most beautiful in the Arabian Peninsula. In Corfaccan, there are oases and palm groves, which bear abundant fruit in this mild climate. Corfaccan is also famous for its strawberry plantations.
The sandy beaches of Corfaccan are an ideal place for a comfortable stay and water sports. There is also good diving here. Korfakkan is home to the largest scuba diving center in the northern Emirates. You can make trips to small fishing villages, Shark Island and Lake Wuraya. Korfakkan is an enclave of Sharjah, and therefore the same strict laws apply here.
Industry is developing well in the emirate: furniture, textile, and polymer production. Moreover, 50 percent of the products are exported. Today, there are more than 400 enterprises operating in Sharjah.