It’s one of the most common sources of confusion for new residents and globetrotters alike about Sharjah – which country is it in?
The answer to this one is simple. Sharjah is an emirate in the United Arab Emirates (the UAE). But to fully understand Sharjah’s position, and its relation to the neighbouring states of Dubai in the south and Ajman in the north, it’s well worth looking at the wider context.
The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven different emirates – the country’s capital Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah.
While many residents and visitors sometimes think of these seven places as individual cities, that’s not technically true.
While there are no internal borders or barriers in the UAE, each emirate has its own local government and ruling family. In addition, a country-wide federal government makes decisions on matters including defense, security, foreign affairs and the Armed Forces.
The United Arab Emirates has been set up like this since December 2nd 1971, when six of the seven emirates combined together as one federation. The seventh, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the next year on February 10.
If you ever get the chance, it’s well worth taking a visit up to Sharjah, the UAE’s third-largest emirate. Not only is the emirate just a short drive from Dubai, but it’s full of culture – from museums to art galleries and more.