Difference between revisions of "Sharjah (emirate)"
Revision as of 17:38, 3 February 2010
Unique amongst the Emirates in that it has coastline on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. This is by virtue of the emirate being made up of a main part (where the capital city Sharjah is) that is located along the Persian Gulf, and the exclaves of Kalba, Khor Fakkan, and Dibba Al Hisn which are scattered along the Gulf of Oman coast. Sharjah also controls the Nahwa enclave, which is located within the Omani exclave of Madha, which in turn is surrounded by Sharjah territory near the Gulf of Oman coast.
Because of its proximity to Dubai and the lower cost of living in Sharjah, many people live in Sharjah and work in Dubai. This causes daily traffic jams at rush hours.
As in the rest of the UAE, Arabic is the official language, with most residents actually speaking other languages entirely - particularly Hindi and Urdu. English is widely spoken in shops, souqs, and hotels.
For visa requirements to visit Sharjah, see the United Arab Emirates page.
Sharjah International Airport (SHJ)
Sharjah International Airport is around 15 kilometres from Sharjah city. It is the home of the low cost carrier Air Arabia  which has connections with various Middle East and Indian Subcontinent cities.
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport, in the neighbouring emirate of Dubai, has many more international connections and will be the more popular gateway to Sharjah. Getting to/from the airport:
Bus travel to Dubai is possible via an inter-emirate bus service - this is run by the Government of Dubai Road and Transport Authority. Most buses leave from the Al Jubail (Al Jabal) bus station next to the Sharjah Fish market and the Sharjah Fruit and Vegetable market, nearby to the Central Souk. A bus from Sharjah to Dubai can take about 1 hour and costs 5Dh. Timetables can be found at the RTA website .
Taxis can travel from Dubai to Sharjah and vice versa without any restrictions. During rush hour 7am to 11am wekdays, travel by road from Sharjah to Dubai can take up to 3 hours.
There is no public transport in Sharjah, which means that visitors will need to have their own wheels or rely on taxis. Sharjah's taxis have historically been unmetered, and although some of these remain, several new companies operating metered taxis have become operational. They are similar in quality to Dubai's taxi fleet.
Taxi Drivers, although mostly courteous, do have the tendency to refuse passengers if the time of travel coincides with rush hour traffic. It is advisable to plan your travel well, allowing for traffic jams which could take upto an hour/hour and half to get out of.
Sharjah is known as a "dry emirate" which means the sale or possession of alcohol within Sharjah is almost entirely forbidden. The exceptions are:
Generally speaking, Sharjah is a very safe place. Western women may get a few stares as they are fairly rare in Sharjah, but it is a safe place to walk around 24 /7