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 Nuáir 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 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. The seventeen museums in Sharjah played a critical role for obtaining this award.[www.Sharjahmuseums.ae]
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.
Bays in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Sharjah is the third most populous city in the United Arab Emirates and is the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah. The city covers an approximate area of 235 km² and has a population of over 800,000 (2008)....