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Situated along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, on the Arabian Peninsula, Sharjah City is the third most populated city in the United Arab Emirates and the capital of the Emirate of Sharjah.

The region upon which the city was built has been inhabited for about 6,000 years. Archaeological evidence of human habitation has been found from the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, and the pre-Islamic era. Through the years, several cultures have left an influence on its history, including the Mongols, the Ottomans, the Portuguese, and the British, but the greatest influence has been that of the Arab Empire.

Sharjah has long been an important port in the region and a regional hub for trade. The city grew up around Sharjah Creek, and it fostered trade between Arabian Gulf merchants and the Bedouins from the interior of the desert, who came with charcoal and other products. The city also profited from nearby pearl beds, and fishing fleets operated along the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the nearby Gulf of Oman. In 1932, Sharjah became a hub for commercial air flights between India and Britain.

Britain announced its withdrawal from the region in 1968, and Sharjah became one of seven within the federation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, with Sharjah as the capital city of the Emirate of Sharjah.

In 1974, Sharjah, already a successful trading center, began petroleum production, with gas production following in 1982.

Today, Sharjah is a modern metropolis with deeply rooted traditions in Islam, which is central to every aspect of its culture. Islam is the official religion of the United Arab Emirates, and the emirate and city of Sharjah are no exception. Muslims in Sharjah pray five times a day, and the call to prayer is transmitted through loudspeakers from every mosque in the city. Friday is the holy day in Islam and the first day of the weekend in Sharjah. Most businesses will be closed, although some tourist areas may have different hours of operation.

Most residents of Sharjah wear traditional dress in public. For men, this is a full-length shirt dress, worn with a white or red checkered head covering secured with a black cord. Sheiks and other important people may also wear a thin black or brown robe. Women wear the black abaya, a long, loose robe that covers their normal clothing, as well as a headscarf. Women from more traditional families may also wear a thin black veil that hides their face or a leather mask that covers the nose, brow, and cheekbones.

In recent years, Sharjah is seeing increasing numbers of tourists, as well as foreign investors, entrepreneurs, expatriate workers, and students. Ongoing developments including new housing areas, as well as renovation of historic buildings, hotels, and impressive municipal buildings.

Old Sharjah, situated along the creek, is a popular heritage area, with its coral stone buildings and passages, created hundreds of years ago, before the discovery of oil, when Sharjah was an important trade center and seaport. The city is also famous for its museums, classical and contemporary. Sharjah's Heritage District includes several art galleries and museums, as well as a market selling antiques and other collectibles.

The Sharjah International Airport is the city's aviation hub and the third-largest airfreight cargo hub in the Middle East. It also has daily passenger flights to several other countries. The city's transportation infrastructure is well developed although, like most large cities, ground traffic congestion is not uncommon.

Like the rest of the UAE, Arabic is the official and most common language used, although English is the most common second language.

Sites listed in this category may include municipal government sites or those of the Emirate of Sharjah, which are based in Sharjah City. Other appropriate topics include businesses, religious institutions, schools, organizations, or other entities that are physically located or headquartered in Sharjah. Sites hosted outside of the city may be listed here as well, if their topics are focused on Sharjah.

 

 

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