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Sharjah
إمارة الشارقةّ Imārat ash-Shāriqa
—  emirate  —
Emirate of Sharjah

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Sharjah is located in the United Arab Emirates
Sharjah
Location of Sharjah in the UAE
Coordinates: 25°26′N 55°23′E / 25.433°N 55.383°E / 25.433; 55.383
Country United Arab Emirates
Seat Sharjah
Subdivisions
Government
 - Type Constitutional monarchy[citation needed]
 - Emir Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi
Area
 - Metro 2,590 km2 (1,000 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 - emirate 890,669
Crystal Plaza (shopping mall and apartments).

Sharjah (English pronunciation: /ˈʃɑrdʒə/; Arabic: الشارقة ash-Shāriqa) is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The emirate covers 2,600 km² (1,003 mi²) and has a population of over 800,000 (2008). The emirate of Sharjah comprises the city of Sharjah (the seat of the emirate), and other minor towns and enclaves such as Kalba, Dibba Al-Hisn and Khor Fakkan.

Contents

History

Historically, Sharjah was one of the wealthiest towns in this region with a settlement in existence for over 5000 years. In the early 18th century Al Qasimi clan (Huwala 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 recognized as a salute state (be it of the lowest class: 3 guns).

On 2 December 1971, Sheikh Khalid III joined the United Arab Emirates.

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.[1] Many of these items feature subjects unrelated to the emirates whose names they bear, and therefore many popular catalogues do not list them.[2]

The historically known rulers were:

  • c. 1727 - 1777 Sheikh Rashid bin Matar ibn Rahman al-Qasimi
  • 1777 - 1803 Sheikh Saqr I bin Rashid al-Qasimi
  • 1803 - 1840 Sheikh Sultan I bin Saqr al-Qasimi (first time)
  • 1840 Sheikh Saqr bin Sultan al-Qasimi
  • 1840 - 1866 Sheikh Sultan I bin Saqr al-Qasimi (second time) (died 1866)
  • 1866 - 14 April 1868 Sheikh Khalid I bin Sultan al-Qasimi (died 1868)
  • 14 April 1868 - March 1883 Sheikh Salim bin Sultan al-Qasimi (died 1919) - since 1869 jointly with the following:
  • 1869 - 1871 Sheikh Ibrahim bin Sultan al-Qasimi
  • March 1883 - 1914 Sheikh Saqr II bin Khalid al-Qasimi (died 1914)
  • 13 April 1914 - 21 November 1924 Sheikh Khalid II bin Ahmad al-Qasimi
  • 21 November 1924 - 1951 Sheikh Sultan II bin Saqr al-Qasimi (died 1951)
  • 1951 - May 1951 Sheikh Muhammad bin Saqr al-Qasimi
  • May 1951 - 24 June 1965 Sheikh Saqr III bin Sultan al-Qasimi (1925 - 1993)
  • 24 June 1965 - 24 January 1972 Sheikh Khalid III bin Muhammad al-Qasimi (1931 - 1972)
  • 25 January 1972 - 1972 Sheikh Saqr bin Muhammad al-Qasimi (acting)
  • 1972 - 17 June 1987 Sheikh Dr. Sultan III bin Muhammad al-Qasimi (first time) (born 1939)
  • 17 June 1987 - 23 June 1987 Sheikh `Abd al-`Aziz bin Muhammad al-Qasimi (1937 - 2004)
  • 23 June 1987 - Sheikh Dr. Sultan III bin Muhammad al-Qasimi (second time)

Geography

Emirates eye, Sharjah.
Inside Mega Mall, Sharjah.

Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates, and is the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Sharjah is ruled by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi of the Supreme Council of the UAE and Sheikh of Sharjah.

In addition Sharjah owns three enclaves on the east coast, bordering the Gulf of Oman. These are Kalba, Dibba Al-Hisn, and Khor Fakkan, which provides Sharjah with a major east coast port. In the Persian Gulf, the island of Sir Abu Nu'áyr belongs to Sharjah. The emirate has a total area of 2,590 square kilometers, which is equivalent to 3.3 per cent of the UAE's total area, excluding the islands.

The city of Sharjah, which overlooks the Persian Gulf, has a population of 519,000 (2003 census estimate). It contains the main administrative and commercial centers together with an especially impressive array of cultural and traditional projects, including several museums. Distinctive landmarks are the two major covered souks, reflecting Islamic design; a number of recreational areas and public parks such as Al Jazeirah Fun Park and Al Buheirah Corniche. The city is also notable for its numerous elegant mosques. The Emirate of Sharjah is also known to be the Cultural Capital of the UAE. The Expo Centre of Sharjah is well known for the annual book fair[3] that is famous all over the region. The Emir personally takes keen interest in this event which bring together hundreds of publishers from all over the world and thousands of titles. The Sharjah World Trade & Expo Centre was founded in 1976 by Frederick Pittera, a producer of International Fairs/Exhibitions, as the first mixed use facility in the Arab World.

Sharjah is popular for its rich and cultural place in the Arab region as it has won the prestigious UNESCO award of being the Cultural capital of the Arab world for 1998.[4]. The seventeen museums in Sharjah played a critical role for obtaining this award.[5]

In 1976, Pittera brought the first floating Hotel Ship in the Arab world to Sharjah, the 'St Lawrence', formerly operating in Canadian waters as an overnight cruise ship between Toronto and Montreal. It was later replaced by another hotel ship, the 'Grand Flotel' which operated as a floating hotel in connection with the first Expo Centre he built at Sharjah. In 1978 he rebuilt the Expo Centre at the site of the former RAF airbase in the center of Sharjah City.

Links with the outside world are provided by Sharjah International Airport and Port Khalid.

Sharjah also encompasses some important oasis areas, the most famous of which is Dhaid where a wide range of vegetables and fruits is cultivated on its rich and fertile soil.

Sharjah has an exclave called Nahwa inside the Omani enclave of Madha which borders Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah.

Sharjah is a sister city to Dubai and Ajmān (two fellow emirates) on both its borders. The three urban areas have now expanded to each others borders. Sharjah is about 170 kilometers away from the capital city Abu Dhabi.

Sharjah is the only Emirate in which the sale, possession and consumption of alcohol is banned. It also maintains the strictest decency laws in the UAE, introduced in 2001, with a conservative dress code required for both men and women. Mixing between unmarried men and women is illegal: "A man and a woman who are not in a legally acceptable relationship should not, according to the booklet, be alone in public places, or in suspicious times or circumstances."[6]

Government

The Government of Sharjah (emirate) consists of the following establishments [1]:

Education

Sharjah University.
One Day International at Sharjah in 1998 (Australia v India)

Universities in Sharjah:

Sports

Sport establishments in Sharjah are managed by the Sharjah Sports Council.[7].

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Cricket

The Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium has hosted almost 200 cricket One Day Internationals, more than any other ground in UAE, and 4 Test matches. Since 2003, the increasingly crowded cricket calendar has precluded the holding of any major international matches at Sharjah although the stadium has been the venue for certain other matches, such as the 2004 ICC Intercontinental Cup. The use of the venue has declined as the new 20,000 seat Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi has become the preferred venue for cricket in the UAE.

Football

Football teams in Sharjah emirate:

  1. Al Sharjah sport club
  2. Al Shaab Sports Club
  3. Al Hemriah Sports Club
  4. Al Thaid Sports Club (Al Thaid)
  5. Al Ittihad Sports Club (Kalba)
  6. AL Khaleej Sports Club (Khor Fakkan)
  7. Dibba Al-Hisn Sports Club

Media in Sharjah

Newspapers:

Transportation

Airport

Sharjah International Airport (IATA: SHJ) is a major cargo airport and the main base of Air Arabia. The airport served total 4,324,313 passengers and 51,314 flights in 2007. It also handled 570,363 Tonnes of cargo in the same year[8].

Public transport

The Sharjah Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) has started the public transport system in Sharjah from May 23, 2008 with 11 buses running on the first route, Route 14 from Sharjah International Airport to Al-Sharq terminal. By November 2008, 142 buses are expected to operate on 18 routes[9]. On February 2010, there were 115 Sharjah intercity buses, which make 250 trips daily. The tariff for these intercity buses ranges from AED 5 to AED 30[10].

Taxi

Metered Taxis are available in Sharjah for the intra-city as well as the inter-city travel. The base fare is AED 3 with AED 1 charged for every 650 meters of travel. [11].

See also

References

External links

Coordinates: 25°22′20″N 55°24′37″E / 25.3723°N 55.4103°E / 25.3723; 55.4103


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