The third largest emirate covering an area of 2,600 sq kms, the emirate of Sharjah straddles the peninsula, overlooking the Arabian Gulf to the west and the Gulf of Oman to the east. This gives it the unique advantage of being geographically diverse. The emirates also boasts of some of the most diverse of sceneries and superb waterfronts.
Sharjah was once part of a single emirate along with Ras Al Khaimah ruled by the Al Qawasim family. H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi took over as Ruler in 1972 - a scholar in History, he has been conferred with a PhD (Doctorate in Philosophy) for his outstanding work. Under his able guidance, Sharjah has made rapid progress. Today, it is known as the Cultural capital of the U.A.E. Sharjah is the headquarters for the UAE Authors' and Writers' Union which has over a hundred publications to its credit.
In 1971, the discovery of the Mubarak oilfield near the island of Abu Musa changed the fortunes of the emirate. In 1981, after Mubarak's reserves started dwindling, Saja's onshore gas and liquid gas field was discovered which gave a further boost to its revenues. Sharjah was also the first port in the entire middle east to possess fully equipped container facilities at the Sharjah Container Terminal. Its impressive port at Khorfakkan provides important facilities for ships that do not need to enter the Gulf. It is also the capital of Cricket in the U.A.E. It is now famous in the sub-continent and throughout the cricketing world as a major venue for One Day Internationals.
It is a blend of the old and new. Infact the City of Sharjah, lying on the Arabian Gulf, is chock-a-block with modern waterfront hotels, beautiful mosques, lakefront apartment buildings, restaurants, and well laid-out parks and gardens. Sharjah renowned for its souks, both traditional and new, is a virtual treat for bargain hunters. But arguably Sharjah's greatest draw is its local history, preserved at its very best in several well-maintained museums. Outside museums, the Mileiha site gives visitors a chance to see fossils as old as 80 million years.