Know The 18 Interesting Facts About Sharjah

A Tapestry of Time- 18 Interesting Facts About Sharjah

Nestled on the Arabian peninsula’s southern coast, right next to Dubai—Sharjah—the remarkable city, unveils a harmonious blend of history, culture, and modernity. The third-largest emirate in the UAE buzzes with vibrant energy and strikes an enthralling cord between old-world charm and new-age glamour, attracting millions of visitors every year. But wait, there is a lot more you might not know about the cultural heart of the UAE. Come, let’s explore the interesting facts about Sharjah, its rich history, diverse communities, and awe-inspiring architecture.

List of 18 Interesting Facts About Sharjah

  • Decoding The Name of Sharjah

The first thing that strikes you about Sharjah is its name. Linguistically rooted in the Arabic word ‘Asharjah’, which translates to ‘rising sun’, the name perfectly epitomises the spirit of this emirate city. 

  • Unveiling Sharjah’s Early Settlement

Shrajah’s captivating history is traced back to 85,000 BCE, with remnants discovered at Jebel Fayah. The early records were mentioned by the renowned Arab navigator Ahmad Ibn Majid around 1490 AD. Moreover, the excavations conducted in the 1950s have unearthed relics dating back to the Stone age. Want to delve into the historical past of this city? Unravel the archaeological sites and museums scattered across Sharjah.

  • Nomadic Communities

Nomadic Communities in Sharjah

Approximately 7,000 years ago, the nomadic commentaries started thriving in the region. Once the barren land transformed into fertile fields, the locals sustained their livelihood through fishing and other marine-related commerce. Their traditions and customs are mingled into Sharjah’s rich cultural tapestry. For more insights into maritime history and trade development, explore Sharjah Maritime Museum.

  • Emergence Of Modern Sharjah

The 1970s brought a wave of transformation to Sharjah from being a modest fishing settlement to a dynamic metropolis. Over the years, Sharjah has evolved—with its unprecedented growth, diverse landscape and coastline along the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman—adding pride to the UAE. 

  • The Ruling Family

The Al Qasimi family has ruled the emirate of Sharjah since the early 18th century. Currently, H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi is the 18th ruler, and under his reign, the emirate has flourished, gaining international recognition for its cultural ethos while embracing innovative progress.

  • Sharjah’s Demographics

Sharjah is the cultural hub of different communities with an estimated population of over 1.8 million people, Sharjah’s diverse demographic profile paints a picture of global unity. While according to the census, the local Emiratis make up a significant part of the population, there is a growing number of Western expatriates, including Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, and more. 

  • Sharjah’s Recognition 

In 1998, UNESCO awarded the coveted title to Sharjah as the “Cultural Capital of the Arab World”. Later in 2014, it was recognised as the “Capital of Islamic Culture,” promoting its rich cultural heritage. The city has added another honour under its belt of UNESCO’s “World Book Capital,” fostering a culture of reading and literature.

  • Sharjah’s Geography

Spanning over 2.6 billion sq.m. of the UAE’s total area, Sharjah has a unique geographical terrain. Want to know an interesting facts about Sharjah? It is the only emirate that shares its borders with all the other neighbouring emirates of the UAE. 

  • Sharjah Municipality

Municipality in Sharjah

Municipality in Sharjah was established in 1927, the first in the country to provide a high standard of public hygiene and municipal services

  • Sharjah’s Education 

This year, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) was crowned the top position in global rankings for diversity and multiculturalism. 

  • Sharjah’s Airport

Now this one might come as a surprise, Sharjah Airport was the first one in the Arabian Gulf that began in 1932. Today, it is the third largest Middle East airfreight hub connecting the emirate with the rest of the world

  • Discovery Of Oil

The discovery of oil in Sharjah in the 1970s marked a significant turning point in the emirate’s history. This ‘black gold’ brought about an era of rapid development and prosperity, transforming Sharjah into a bustling modern city.

  • Sharjah’s Economy

Sharjah's Economy

Sharjah’s thriving economy comprises multiple sectors including manufacturing, construction, retail, and repair services. It is also known for its progressive tourism sector, adding its contribution to the economy. Sharjah’s strategic location and world-class infrastructure have also encouraged a buoyant logistics and transportation sector. 

  • Sharjah- The First Of Many

In 1907, the first school in Sharjah, Al Tamimiya School, was established as education was a priority for the ruling empire.  In addition, the first library, “Al Taymeya,” was established in 1933. Lastly, Sharjah was the first emirate to introduce education for women and their rights back in 1942.

  • A Hub of Art and Culture

Another interesting facts about Sharjah is that it is home to over 20 museums and heritage areas, which provide insightful knowledge about art, craft, and history. Sharjah Biennial and Sharjah International Book Fair are internationally acclaimed events that attract locals and tourists around the globe. The emirate also has approximately 400 mosques. 

  • Sharjah is Affordable

According to reports, the living cost in Sharjah is 28% cheaper than in neighbouring Dubai. Right from the travelling expenses to property market rates, groceries and other necessities, Sharjah offers affordable living with leisure activities. And who doesn’t like it? 

  • Leisure Attractions

Sharjah has a laid-back ambience with some of the best attractions, including Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Noor Island, Sharjah Art Museums, and Al Qasba. Planning a trip to Sharjah? Mark these spots in your itinerary list. 

  • Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Sharjah Cricket Stadium

For cricket enthusiasts, here’s a fun fact! Sharjah holds a record of hosting the highest number of ODI matches (247 and counting) on a single ground.

Rising Sharjah!

These intriguing aspects of Sharjah, including its global recognition, unique demographics and powerful economy, present a vivid picture of an emirate that is grounded in its cultural roots as it prospers towards the modernised future. This radiant city is captivating everyone’s attention while embodying the spirit of the UAE.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Sharjah best known for?

With over 20 museums, it offers a peek into the UAE's history, arts, traditions, and more, weaved together in a harmonious style. Sharjah bestows its stunning Islamic architecture, lush parks, traditional markets, and beautiful beaches.

Why is Sharjah special?

Sharjah is unique for its unparalleled commitment to preserving its cultural identity, rooted deep in history amidst rapid urbanisation.

How did Sharjah get its name?

Sharjah's name is derived from the Arabic word 'Asharjah,' meaning 'rising sun'. It signifies the emirate's geographical positioning as the sunrise point.

What is unique about Sharjah?

Sharjah is a beacon of cultural and artistic heritage intertwined with modernity. It is the third most populous emirate that shares its borders with all the other neighbouring emirates of the UAE.

What are the top tourist attractions in Sharjah?

The cultural capital of UAE is home to some of the best attractions. Sharjah Desert Park Al Qasba Sharjah Art Museum Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization Sharjah Aquarium Al Noor Island The Arabian Wildlife Center.

Jahanavi Arora Jahanavi Arora is an architect by profession and writer by choice. She believes that writing and architecture are pretty similar as they both are forms of art and beyond every building, there is a story to tell that she loves to explore. An avid reader who has a penchant for history, research, evolution, and architectural design that she strives to be able to express through her words.
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