|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2012)|
|• Type||Constitutional monarchy|
|• Sheikh||H.H. Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi|
|• Metro||235.5 km2 (90.9 sq mi)|
Sharjah (//; Arabic: الشارقة (ash-shāriqah) 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.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Sharjah landmarks
- 4 Climate
- 5 Transportation
- 6 Culture
- 7 Economy
- 8 Education
- 9 Sports
- 10 Twin towns – sister cities
- 11 Gallery
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Sharjah is the third largest city (after Dubai and Abu Dhabi) in the United Arab Emirates. The palace of the ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah (Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi) is located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) southeast of the city.
The city of Sharjah overlooks the Persian Gulf and has a population of over 800,000 (2008). It contains the main administrative and commercial centres together with an array of cultural and traditional projects, including several museums covering areas such as archaeology, natural history, science, arts, heritage, Islamic art and culture. Distinctive landmarks include two major covered souks, reflecting Islamic design, and a number of recreational areas and public parks such as Al Montazah Fun Park and Al Buheirah Corniche. The city is also notable for its numerous elegant mosques.
After the construction boom that took place in Dubai in 2005, towering skyscrapers and modern buildings were constructed in areas like Al Khan and Khaled Lagoon. These modern tall buildings and the subsequent increase in population coupled with inadequate infrastructure made Sharjah suffer from traffic jams. This was also due to its location between the northeastern emirates and Dubai. Many Sharjah residents travel 15 km (9.3 mi) to visit Dubai on the weekend. Sharjah is bordered by the cities of Dubai and Ajmān and is about 170 km (110 mi) away from the capital city Abu Dhabi.
The following are notable areas of Sharjah:
- Abu Shagara
- Al Qasimia
- Al Majaz
- Al Nahda
- Al Layyeh (Government Buildings)
- Al Taawun
- Al Yarmook
- Al Qasba
- Al Rolla Square
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, Sheikh Khalid III joined the United Arab Emirates during the foundation of the united federation.
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.
Sultan Al Omaimi, a UAE poet and researcher in folk literature, says that some historians speculate that Sharjah was the name of an idol worshipped in the pre-Islamic era which was known as Abed Al Shareq.
Other researchers link the word Sharqah to the fact that the city is located to the Sharq, or east, of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Hence the Arabic classical form of Sharjah is Al Shareqah. It is the colloquial form that is Al Sharjah.
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, 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.
Souq Al Arsah
Part of the regeneration project known as 'Heart of Sharjah', the old charcoal souk has been completely rebuilt.
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.
|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
|Precipitation mm (inches)||9.5
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||1.5||3.3||4.0||1.2||0.1||0.0||0.1||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.4||2.0||12.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||244.9||226.8||257.3||294.0||350.3||348.0||331.7||325.5||306.0||300.7||276.0||244.9||3,506.1|
|Source: NOAA (1977–1991)|
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 Ruler of Sharjah ordered the establishment of several cultural institutions. The projects covered conservation of cultural heritage, active interaction with other cultures, construction of museums and the other cultural, scientific and artistic centres in the Emirate and the setting up of a television satellite channel that reflects and projects the value of culture. The majority of mosques are Hanbali, Muwahhid Muslim, Salafi or general Sunni oriented.
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.
There are several public and private schools in addition to universities in Sharjah, including the University of Sharjah, the American University of Sharjah, Troy University – ITS Sharjah Campus, Skyline College Sharjah, Sharjah Men's College, and Sharjah Women's College some of those universities are grouped in one place called the University City. Private schools in the city include the American Community School Sharjah.
The Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium has hosted almost 200 cricket One Day Internationals, more than any other ground, and 4 Test matches. Football clubs include Al Sharjah and Al-Shaab in the First League, and Al Hemriah, Al The-aed, Al Khaleej and Dibba in the 2nd league.
- Football clubs based in Sharjah
Also, the organisers of Sharjah Grand Prix host the Formula One World Powerboating Championships every year at Al Buhaira Corniche, Sharjah. In 2005, it was held under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
Twin towns – sister cities
- [dead link]
- Etisalat Eye of the Emirates – Al Qasba
- "Sharjah & Dependencies Stamps and Postal Stationery Site". Ohmygosh.on.ca. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Carlton, R. Scott. The International Encyclopædic Dictionary of Philately. Krause: Iola, 1997, page 173.
- [dead link]
- Al Qasimi, Sultan (2011). My Early Life. UK: Bloomsbury. p. 21. ISBN 9781408814208.
- "Climate Normals for Charjew". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Dr. Michael Zady, 2000, Columbia education
- "Contact Info". Air Arabia. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Low cost & regionals: Arabian pioneers". Flightglobal.com. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Sultan attends signing of Sharjah-Granada sister city agreementUAE – The Official Web Site – News". Uaeinteract.com. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Sharjah travel guide from Wikivoyage
- (Arabic) Sharjah Municipality official website
- Sharjah Media
- Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority
- Sharjah Museums Department