Sharjah is the third largest and third most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, forming part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. The emirate of Sharjah borders with Dubai to the south, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain to the north and Ras Al Khaimah to the east. It is the only emirate that overlooks the coastline on the Persian Gulf to the west and the Gulf of Oman (Indian Ocean) to the East, with the eastern Sharjah coastal towns of Kalba and Khor Fakkan.
Sharjah is the capital of the emirate of the same name. Sharjah shares legal, political, military and economic functions with the other emirates of the UAE within a federal framework, although each emirate has jurisdiction over some functions such as civil law enforcement and provision and upkeep of local facilities. Sharjah has been ruled by the Al Qasimi dynasty since the 18th century.
The city is a centre for culture and industry, and alone contributes 7.4% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates. The city covers an approximate area of 235 km2 and has a population of over 800,000 (2008). The sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in the emirate of Sharjah without possession of an alcohol licence and alcohol is not served in Sharjah hotels, restaurants or other outlets due to the Muslim majority in the area. This has helped Sharjah increase the number of Islamic tourists who visit the country. Sharjah has been officially named as a WHO healthy city. The 2016 edition of QS Best Student Cities ranked Sharjah as the 68th best city in the world to be a university student. Sharjah is regarded as the cultural capital of the UAE, and was the Islamic culture capital in 2014. Sharjah was named World Book Capital for 2019 by UNESCO.
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi
Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, also known as Sheikh Sultan III, is the sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah and is a member of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates. He has ruled Sharjah continuously since January 1972, apart from a six-day period in June 1987, during an attempted coup led by his brother Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi. He is also an established historian and has published several theatrical and literary works.