10 Interesting Facts About Sharjah

It's an Emirate you may not be very familiar with, but there's plenty of interesting things to know about it...

Many of us only know Sharjah as it being "beyond Dubai International Airport", or the place you cut through to get to the beach and snorkelling resorts at Fujairah, which is a shame really, as there's lots of interesting things to learn about Sharjah and its history.

So we've gathered up some interesting facts about the place so next time you have a spare Friday morning, consider having a wander around the Emirate and see the sights!

1. The ruling family dates back to 1600 AD

The Ruler of Sharjah is His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, who became ruler on 25th January, 1972... He's the 18th ruler of the Emirate in a chain of Al Qasimi rulers that date back to 1600 AD.

2. It's a neighbourly place

Sharjah is the only Emirate that shares its border with all other Emirates in the United Arab Emirates.

3. It was named Arab Capital of Culture

In 1998, it was listed as UNESCO's Arab Capital of Culture for its efforts in promoting and celebrating Arab culture and encouraging cooperation in the Arab region. Most recently places like Libya's Tripoli and Tunisia's Sfax have won the award.

4. The meaning behind the name

Did you know that Sharjah translates to "rising sun".

5. It has a lot of history...

The country's history dates back over 6,000 years and appears as early as tne 2nd Century AD in a map drawn by the Greek geographer, Ptolemy.

6. A lot of history...

The first evidence of human life in the United Arab Emirates was discovered on Jebel Fayah in Sharjah, which dates back to around 85,000 BC!

7. It's going places!

Sharjah was the first place to establish an airport in the Gulf region. Today we know it as Sharjah International Airport.

8. Sharjah made advancements in education

The United Arab Emirates' first school, library and municipality were established in Sharjah. It was also the first Emirate out of the seven to provide education for women in 1942.

9. It's the third largest Emirate in the UAE

And it has land on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman!

10. The meaning behind "emir"

The Arabic word "emir" means lord, or commander-in-chief, and thus is the reason why states in the United Arab Emirates are called, Emirates. They may also be called Sheikhdoms too, to reflect their rulers and their position.