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Sharjah, or Schardscha, is the third largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates with around 1.7 million inhabitants. Sharjah is the only one of the seven emirates that borders all six others and borders the Gulf of Oman to the east and the Persian Gulf to the west, on both bodies of water.

Sharjah is considered the most conservative of all the Emirates, with, among other things, a strict ban on alcohol, prohibited drug possession, penalties for indecent clothing, a ban on smoking hookahs and special rules for public appearance, such as earrings or long hair for men.

The most important cities in the Emirate of Sharjah include al-Madam, Khor Fakkan, Kalba, Dibba al-Hisn, Adh-Dhaid and the city of Sharjah – which is also by far the largest city in the emirate.

The city of Sharjah has a population of around 1.4 million and borders directly on the metropolis of Dubai. Every day, over 500,000 vehicles from the enormously growing city cross the border to Dubai to work in the neighboring emirate. Sharjah is therefore very dependent on its large neighbor Dubai and is only very attractive to foreign immigrants because of the significantly lower rents.

The emirate has an important port in Khor Fakkan for the export of oil and the handling of other commercial goods.

Due to the prevailing alcohol ban and the often excessive traffic to Dubai, tourism is not particularly widespread in the emirate.

The most important attractions in Sharjah include the Al Noor Mosque, the Arabian Wildlife Center, the Classic Car Museum, the Sharjah Aquarium, the Buheira Promenade, the Al Ittihad Park, the Blue Souk, the Sharjah Fort, the Natural History Museum, the Quran Roundabout with all government buildings, the Al Majaz Waterfront, the Local History Museum, the American University, the Museum of Islamic Civilization, the King Faisal Mosque, the Fish Market and the Sharjah National Park.

I have visited the city of Sharjah several times in recent years, often just as a transit point to the northern Emirates. The horrendous traffic at peak times in the morning and early evening often puts people off from making the trip. In the worst case, the short journey from Dubai to Sharjah or vice versa can take up to three hours.

In retrospect, it is actually incomprehensible why the emirate did not participate in the construction of the Dubai Metro ten years ago and only continued the route from the city limits for two or three stations.