Source: uaezoom

Sharjah is an emirate that mixes the modern and urban with tradition and culture. It's also the third most-populous emirate in the UAE and due to its global cultural affiliations, the city is visited by millions of tourists every year. 

Geographically, Sharjah is located right next to Dubai and the emirate is full of astonishing green spaces

Sharjah is also a place that cherishes the outdoors and celebrates how communal and enriching it is for residents and visitors alike. 

Here are 23 surprising facts you may not have known about Sharjah:

1. H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, is the 18th ruler of the emirate from the Al Qasimi ruling family, which dates back to AD 1600.

2. In 1907, the UAE’s first school - Al Tamimiya School - was set up in Sharjah.

Source: Pinterest

3. Sharjah is the only emirate that shares its borders with all the other six emirates of the UAE.

sharjah map
Source: Wikimedia

4. The UAE's first library - Al Taymeya - was also established in Sharjah in 1933.

5. Sharjah also created the UAE's first municipality.

Source: Pinterest

6. Sharjah was also the first emirate in the UAE to promote women’s rights and introduce education for women in 1942.

women's rights in uae sharjah
Source: Pinterest

7. Did you know Sharjah translates to "rising sun"?

8. It's the 3rd largest emirate in the UAE, after Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

9. Sharjah was the first country in the GCC region to build an airport in 1932. Today, it's known as Sharjah International Airport.

sharjah passport
Source: UAE History

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

11. In 1998, Sharjah was named by UNESCO as Arab Capital of Culture.

Source: UNESCO

12. The first evidence of human life in the UAE was discovered on Jebel Faya in Sharjah, which dates back to around 85,000 BC.

13. In 2015, Sharjah was crowned Capital of Arab Tourism.

14. There are more than 22 museums and heritage areas in Sharjah that provide the perfect platform to showcase the arts, crafts, traditions and importance of Islam in the lifestyles of the people.

15. Earlier this year, American University of Sharjah (AUS) was ranked number one university in the world in terms of diversity.

16. In 2017, QS World Rankings placed Sharjah among the top 100 student cities in the world.

aus students
Source: AUS Blog

17. In an interview with a local news outlet, H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan revealed that he used to work as a journalist at one period of his life.

18. Sharjah was named Capital of Islamic Culture in 2014.


19. The Sharjah Art Biennial has been taking place in the city since 1993.

20. Sharjah only makes up 3% of total area of the UAE.

21. Sharjah International Book Fair, which started in 1982, is the 4th largest book fair in the world.

22. Sharjah is home to Air Arabia, the first low cost airline in the Middle East.

23. The twin city of Sharjah is Granada in Spain.