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Image:Flag of Sharjah.svg
The flag of Sharjah
Sharjah Central Souq - Shopping Mall

The Emirate of Sharjah (Arabic: الشارقة ash-shaariqah) extends along approximately 16 kilometres of the United Arab Emirates's Persian Gulf coastline and for more than 80 kilometres into the interior. The emirate covers 1,003 square miles (2,600 km²)

The total population is 636,000 (2003).


[edit] Description

A Stamp from 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 His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan al-Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the UAE and Sheikh of Sharjah.

In addition there are three enclaves belonging to Sharjah situated on the east coast, bordering the Gulf of Oman. These are Kalba, Khor Fakkan and Dibba al-Husn. The emirate has a total area of 2,590 square kilometres, which is equivalent to 3.3 per cent of the country's total area, excluding the islands.

The capital 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 souqs, 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 Center of Sharjah is well know for the annual book fair that is famous all over the region. The Amir personally takes keen interest in this event which brings together hundreds of publishers from all over the world and thousands of titles. 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. Khor Fakkan provides Sharjah with a major east coast port. An offshore island of Sir Abu Nuáir belongs to Sharjah. Sharjah also claims the Iranian island of Abu Musa.

Sharjah has one Omani enclave, the Madha territory, wherein lies an UAE exclave, called Nahwa.

Sharjah is a sister city to Dubai and Ajman (two fellow emirates) on both its borders. The three urban areas have now merged into one. Sharjah is about 170 kilometres away from the capital city Abu Dhabi.

[edit] 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 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 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.

The historically known rulers were:

  • c.1727 - 1777 Sheikh Rashid ibn Matar ibn Rahman al-Qasimi
  • 1777 - 1803 Sheikh Saqr I ibn Rashid al-Qasimi
  • 1803 - 1840 Sheikh Sultan I ibn Saqr al-Qasimi (d. 1866) (1st time)
  • 1840 Sheikh Saqr ibn Sultan al-Qasimi
  • 1840 - 1866 Sheikh Sultan I ibn Saqr al-Qasimi (2nd time)
  • 1866 - 14 April 1868 Sheikh Khalid I ibn Sultan al-Qasimi (d. 1868)
  • 14 April 1868 - March 1883 Sheikh Salim ibn Sultan al-Qasimi (d. 1919) - since 1869 jointly with the following:
  • 1869 - 1871 Sheikh Ibrahim ibn Sultan al-Qasimi
  • March 1883 - 1914 Sheikh Saqr II ibn Khalid al-Qasimi (b. 18.. - d. 1914)
  • 13 April 1914 - 21 November 1924 Sheikh Khalid II ibn Ahmad al-Qasimi
  • 21 Nov 1924 - 1951 Sheikh Sultan II ibn Saqr al-Qasimi (d. 1951)
  • 1951 - May 1951 Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saqr al-Qasimi
  • May 1951 - 24 June 1965 Sheikh Saqr III ibn Sultan al-Qasimi (b. 1925 - d. 1993)
  • 24 June 1965 - 24 Jan 1972 Sheikh Khalid III ibn Muhammad al-Qasimi (b. 1931 - d. 1972)
  • 25 Jan 1972 - 1972 Sheikh Saqr ibn Muhammad al-Qasimi (acting)
  • 1972 - 17 June 1987 Sheikh Dr.Sultan III ibn Muhammad al-Qasimi (1st time) (b. 1939)
  • 17 June 1987 - 23 June 1987 Sheikh `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Muhammad al-Qasimi (b. 1937 - d.2004)
  • 23 June 1987 - Sheikh Dr.Sultan III ibn Muhammad al-Qasimi (2nd time)

[edit] Sports

The Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium has hosted almost 200 cricket One day internationals, more than any other ground, and 4 Test matches.

[edit] Kalbã (Khwor Kalba)

Kalba is a fast growing city in the emirate of Sharjah, along the eastern coast of United Arab Emirates, located about 8 km from Fujairah, on the UAE Oman border. It is accessible by road from Fujairah (8 km), and Hatta (40 km approx), via two sea ports (Fujairah and KorKalba) and the airport at Fujairah. The road from Kalba to KorKalba extends till the border with Oman, and is one of the exit entry points between UAE and Oman.

Kalba is famous for its back-waters and the surrounding mangrove forest. It also boasts of ancient forts and a hot water spring at Wadi Halu.

In 1903 a tiny entity, called Kalbã after this city as its capital, achieved de facto independence from Sharjah. On 8 December 1936 it was recognized by Britain. 1952 it was re-incorporated into Sharjah.

It has only had three rulers:

  • 1903 - 30 April 1937 Sheikh Said ibn Hamad al-Qasimi (b. 18.. - d. 1937)
  • 30 April 1937 - 1951 Sheikh Hamad ibn Said al-Qasimi (d. 1951)
  • 1951 - 1952 Sheikh Saqr ibn Sultan al-Qasimi (b. 1920)

[edit] Sources & External links

Sharjah travel guide from Wikitravel

Image:Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg United Arab Emirates

Coordinates: 25°22′N 55°23′Efa:شارجه

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