Positioned at the nexus of Europe, African and Asia and between the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean, Sharjah’s geographic location makes it an ideal hub for trade and commerce. Domestically, Sharjah acts as a gateway to the northern emirates, while its sea and air connectivity allows businesses to access key emerging markets such as India, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In 2011, total value of trade between Sharjah and Arab countries exceeded 11.2 billion dirhams.
Top five countries – imports (2010):
- India: 36%
- Japan: 15%
- China: 8%
- Iran: 6%
- USA: 6%
Top five countries – re-exports (2010):
- Iraq: 31%
- Iran: 20%
- Afghanistan: 6%
- Bahrain: 5%
- Kuwait: 4%
Sharjah is well connected to the trans-emirate and GCC road networks. The Government of Sharjah is consistently working to further expand and enhance its existing infrastructure to enable greater accessibility and faster travel.
Sharjah International Airport
Sharjah International Airport (SIA) is the third-largest airport in the U.A.E. With 29 scheduled airlines, it has direct connections to more than 65 destinations around the globe. It is also the second largest air freight hub in terms of cargo tonnage in the Middle East and is home to the largest Lufthansa cargo hub outside of Germany.
Three deep-water ports provide vital access to the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. Port Khalid, Hamriyah Port and Khorfakkan Port have a combined capacity of 2.4 million containers and are fully equipped to handle a wide range of vessels, from break-bulk to containers. Sharjah’s ports have attracted a growing number of shipments to and from East Asia and the Gulf Region.
The Hamriyah Free Zone
The Hamriyah Port anchors the Hamriyah Free Zone (HFZ). Situated 20 km northeast of the Sharjah city centre, HFZ is the U.A.E.’s second-largest Free Zone and amongst the largest in the Middle East. The dedicated industrial zones benefit from HFZ’s strategic location, which is in close vicinity to a port specialising in bulk and heavy cargos.
Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
The Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) has created a niche for itself as a cargo-oriented complex, with authorities working in alliance with airlines, freight-forwarders and shippers to provide a user-friendly environment for movement of freight traffic. Adjacent to Sharjah International Airport and easily accessible to seaports, SAIF Zone has become a destination of choice for investors operating in light industries, trading, logistics and services. It is the first ISO 9001 certified Free Zone in the region, and hosts the operations of more than 5,400 companies.
Sharjah Healthcare City
The establishment of Sharjah Healthcare City (SHCC) was announced early in 2012 by HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. Under the supervision of the Sharjah Health Authority, the Free Zone is dedicated to healthcare and healthcare-related activities. SHCC will establish the infrastructure necessary to support hospitals, diagnosis centres, organ transplantation and rehabilitation centres, health resorts and spas (social, sports, yoga and supplementary treatment centres), medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies, and other services related to the healthcare industry and medical and health logistics.