Sharjah (emirate)

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Sharjah 2004

Sharjah[1] (إمارة الشارقةّ) is the third largest of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.


  • Sharjah - the capital of the emirate, UAE's third largest city
  • Al Dhaid
  • Kalba
  • Khor Fakkan - a seaside town along the Gulf of Oman
  • Dibba Al-Hisn - a seaside resort near northern border of the UAE with Oman's Musandam peninsula


Sharjah at night, 2004

Sharjah emirate has borders with Dubai, Umm al Quwain and Fujairah while the emirate of Ajman forms an enclave within Sharjah.

It is the only emirates to have a 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.

Get in

For visa requirements to visit Sharjah, see the United Arab Emirates page.

By air

Sharjah International Airport (SHJ)

Sharjah International Airport [2] is around 15 kilometres from Sharjah city. It is the home of the low cost carrier Air Arabia [3] which has connections with various Middle East and Indian Subcontinent cities.

Getting to/from the airport:

  • There is a shuttle bus connecting the airport with Sharjah centre (Rolla) running every 30 min (Dhs. 5).
  • Public bus route 111 (Dhs. 10) runs hourly from the airport via Al Qusais Bus station to the Metro's Rashidiya station in Dubai.

Dubai International Airport (DXB)

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:
    • To go to Dubai International Airport by taxi will set you back at around Dhs. 100.
    • You can travel by public bus to or from Dubai International Airport by using Dubai's local bus service and the inter-Emirate bus service.

By bus

Bus travel to Dubai is possible via an inter-emirate bus service 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 h and costs Dhs. 5. Timetables can be found at the RTA website.[4]

By taxi

Taxis can travel from Dubai to Sharjah and vice versa without any restrictions. During rush hour 7am to 11am weekdays, travel by road from Sharjah to Dubai can take up to 3 h.

Get around

There is no public transport in Sharjah, which means that visitors will need to have their own wheels or rely on taxis, which have historically been unmetered, and although some of these remain, but several new companies operating metered taxis have become operational. They are similar in quality to Dubai's taxi fleet.

Taxi drivers, although mostly courteous, 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 90 min to get out of.





Sharjah is known as a "dry emirate" so means the sale or possession of alcohol within Sharjah is almost entirely forbidden. Exceptions:

  • Sharjah Wanderers Club, [5]. Sports club with pool, gym, hockey team but also a British bar with traditional British food. It serves spirits, wine, bitter, lager and stout on the premises. Members and their guests only.
  • Alcohol is available at the duty-free and business class lounges of Sharjah International Airport.
  • If you have an personal alcohol license, you may bring in alcohol from other emirates and consume it at home.

Also, it is legal to transport alcohol through Sharjah if your final destination permits it (such as from Dubai to Fujairah). Some police may not be familiar with this rule though.


Stay safe

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 even at night.

Get out


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