Sharjah At A Glance
Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) with an area of 2,590 km2. One of seven emirates that make up the U.A.E., Sharjah produced a GDP of about 100 billion dirhams in 2013 and contributed to about one-third of the nation’s manufacturing sector. Sharjah has two coastlines – one on the Arabian Gulf and one on the Indian Ocean – and is known for its picturesque land and seascapes.
Cultural and Industrial Hub of the U.A.E.
Over the years, Sharjah has grown into a centre for arts and culture as well as a leading industrial hub. The emirate takes a holistic and balanced approach to economic and social development by creating human-centric experiences in conjunction with the development of physical assets and infrastructure.
Sharjah’s cultural scene has flourished under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah. In 1998 Sharjah was designated as UNESCO’s “Cultural Capital of the Arab World” and today it is home to nearly a quarter of all of the U.A.E.’s museums and to popular events such as the Sharjah Biennial and the Sharjah International Book Fair.
On the other end of the spectrum, 18 industrial zones spanning 15 km2 in Sharjah form the heart of the U.A.E.’s manufacturing sector. A testament to the emirate’s pro-business environment, logistics infrastructure and available labour force, Sharjah’s manufacturing sector represents 33% of the U.A.E.’s total manufacturing sector and has more than 1,444 registered establishments. Manufacturing is an important linchpin of the emirate’s overall economy and contributes to approximately 19% of the annual GDP.
Sharjah plays host to a number of internationally known exhibitions and events throughout the year. Supported by the hospitality and MICE infrastructure in place, the emirate is securing a unique niche in the region’s event calendar.
Sharjah Light Festival
The Sharjah Light Festival (SLF), a nine-day-long festival held in February of each year, brings to life 12 popular landmarks across the city with a breathtaking display of colours, lights and video installations. SLF features a highly talented, diverse group of international and local artists, experts in outdoor special events, designers and image directors, who transform Sharjah into a magical wonderland.
Sharjah International Automobile Show
The International Automobile Show is one of the region’s most anticipated events. Held every two years, the show sees an average attendance of more than 75,000 car enthusiasts, including decision-makers from the corporate world, transporters and owners of small businesses.
Organised by the Sharjah Art Foundation, the Sharjah Biennial is an internationally-acclaimed arts festival. Since its creation in 1993, the festival has formed a cultural bridge between artists, art institutions and organisations not only within Sharjah, but in the region and beyond. Produced by the Department of Culture and Information, the Biennial fosters experimentation and aids in the production and presentation of art.
Sharjah International Education Show
Sharjah International Education Show is a joint initiative of the U.A.E. Ministry of Education and Expo Centre Sharjah and supported by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The show is an exhibition providing a platform to showcase higher education opportunities available around the world to students from the U.A.E.
Sharjah International Book Fair
The annual International Book Fair attracts more than 800 publishers showcasing books from nearly 42 nations and draws in over 400,000 visitors every year.
Sharjah Water Festival
Sharjah’s Water Festival attracts more than 200,000 visitors across a 10-day period for water-related shows, performances and events. Hosted by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, it offers various international shows and games for the whole family.
F1 H2O UIM World Championship
Each year Sharjah plays host to the UIM F1 H2O World Championship known as the Sharjah Grand Prix – the final event of the Powerboat season. The race has become one of the premier sporting events of the region.
Sharjah Heritage Days
The Sharjah Heritage Days festival celebrates the history, culture and traditions of the region. Offering all kinds of revelries from wedding ceremonies to folk dance performances, the event showcases more than 60 participants from 16 countries.
The largest regional event of its kind, held in January, SteelFab is a well-attended trade fair that caters to the metal working, metal-manufacturing and steel fabrication industry.
Between 70 km of coastline on the Arabian Gulf and 58 km along the Indian Ocean lie expansive, open deserts, the oldest mangroves in the Arabian Peninsula, pristine beaches, secluded bays, tranquil lagoons and acacia woodlands. Beyond the natural environment, modern towers, retail establishments and residences of the city of Sharjah are abuzz with activity.
The variety of biomes found in Sharjah provide exceptional opportunities for investors, developers and entrepreneurs to create unique offerings that have yet to be seen or experienced in the region. Whether businesses require exclusive locations off the beaten path, densely populated areas with a steady flow of pedestrian traffic or expansive plots for light industry, Sharjah is bound to have the perfect location available.