(Sharjah GMT + 4) Monday, February 02, 2009

About Sharjah

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates was formed on 2nd December 1971. The President is His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is also the ruler of the Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi.

UAE Population 4,2 million (Ministry of Planning 2006).

Sharjah

Sharjah is the third largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).The Federation was formed on 2nd December 1971 and comprises the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain.

Geography

The UAE is located on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered to the south and west by Saudi Arabia and to the east by the Sultanate of Oman. The geographic coordinates of the country are 24 00 North 54 00 East. The country has coastline on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

Five of the seven emirates are on the west coast, Fujairah is the only emirate entirely on the east coast and Sharjah is the only emirate with territory on both coasts. The Hajar Mountains form a backbone running from the Mussandam. Peninsular down through the UAE and into Oman, and rise to over 1,500 meters.

The interior of the country is characterized by sabkha (salt flats), Stretches of gravel plain and vast areas of desert. The Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) lies to the southwest and has some of the highest dunes in the world, some rising to over 300 meters.

Sharjah covers approximately 2,600 square kilometers. In addition to Sharjah city, which lies on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the emirate has three provinces on the scenic east coast; Dibba Al Hisn, Khor Fakkan and Kalba, plus the Islands of Abu Mousa and Sir Abu Nu’air. Sharjah is a close neighbor to Dubai (it’s just a 15 minute drive from the centre of Sharjah to Dubai International Airport).

Traditions

Sharjah was crowned by UNESCO Cultural Capital of the Arab World in 1998 due to its commitment to art, culture and preserving its heritage. In addition to a Gulf-wide reputation for its artistic excellence, the emirate boasts over 15 museums, an aquarium and a centre for Arabian wildlife.It has also become a leading centre of education in the Middle East and also offers good shopping, sports, leisure and dining facilities.

Sharjah’s culture is firmly rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia. Islam is more than a religion, it is an integral part of everyday life for all Muslims and some of the basic values include honesty, courtesy and hospitality.

These qualities are appreciated by visitors and make Sharjah a welcoming and pleasant place to live, visit or do business in.

Emirate of Contrasts

Sharjah is an emirate of contrasts where visitors can enjoy a holiday in the sun, discover traditional markets (souks) or visit modern shopping malls, explore the many heritage sites and and museums, admire the majestic mosques, stroll around the lagoons, and experience the natural beauty of true Arabian deserts, mountains and seas.