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Sharjah

SHARJAH

One of seven shaykhdoms making up the United Arab Emirates.

Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), with an area of 1,000 square miles. Seventy-five percent of its 400,000 inhabitants (2001 estimate) live in the capital city of the same name on the Persian Gulf coast, just north of Dubai. Three exclaves on the Gulf of Oman coastDibba, Kalba, and Khor Fakkanbelong to Sharjah and make it the only one of the seven emirates to share borders with all the others. It has the extreme summer heat and aridity of its neighbors, but agriculture is possible in the Dhayd Oasis and in the exclave territories.

In the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries Sharjah and its northern neighbor, Raʾs al-Khayma, formed the most powerful state of the lower Gulf under the al-Qasimi family, which is still the ruling clan in each emirate. The al-Qasimi state was defeated by Britain in an 1819 naval battle. Subsequently, the al-Qasimi ruler signed the General Treaty of Peace (1820), which began the process by which the area became a protectorate of Britain. During the 1840s and 1850s the al-Qasimi gradually were eclipsed by the Banu Yas tribal confederation of Abu Dhabithen, as now, led by the Al Nahayyan family. Following the death of Shaykh Sultan bin Saqr al-Qasimi, one of his sons set up an "independent" state at Raʾs al-Khayma; this state formally split from Sharjah in 1869, but it did not gain formal British recognition as a separate emi-rate until 1921.

Sharjah enjoyed moderate prosperity in the early twentieth century, boosted by the presence of a Royal Air Force base from the 1930s until 1955. In the early 1950s Sharjah's creek became silted, and with the decline of maritime commerce, it lost its position of importance in the lower Gulf. In 1971, on the eve of independence, Britain pressured Sharjah to agree to shared sovereignty with Iran of the island of Abu Musa. This agreement precipitated a coup attempt in Sharjah (1972) during which the ruler, Shaykh Khalid ibn Muhammad, was killed.

Oil and gas discoveries in 1973 and 1980 brought prosperity, as did the development of several factories in a specially created industrial zone in the western part of Sharjah city. Sharjah also has developed a successful tourist industry. Reflecting the academic bent of the ruler, who holds a doctorate from Exeter University, Sharjah leads the U.A.E. in the development of arts, literature, and museums.

see also abu musa island; qasimi family of sharjah, al-; united arab emirates.


Bibliography

Hooglund, Eric, and Toth, Anthony B. "United Arab Emirates." In Persian Gulf States: Country Studies, edited by Helen Chapin Metz. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1994.

Peck, Malcolm C. The United Arab Emirates: A Venture in Unity. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1986.

malcolm c. peck
updated by eric hooglund

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"Sharjah." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sharjah." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sharjah

"Sharjah." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sharjah

Sharjah

Sharjah (shärjä´), sheikhdom (1995 pop. 400,339), c.1,000 sq mi (2,590 sq km), part of the federation of seven United Arab Emirates, SE Arabia, on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The modernized town of Sharjah (1995 pop. 320,095), on the Persian Gulf, is the third largest town in the federation, and has been developed especially as an art museum, cultural, and educational center as well as a commercial center. Oil has been produced in Sharjah since 1961. Formerly a British protectorate, Sharjah was the site of a British base until 1971, when the British withdrew from the Persian Gulf and Sharjah joined the United Arab Emirates. Its ports have long been important both strategically and commercially.

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"Sharjah." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sharjah." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sharjah

"Sharjah." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sharjah

Sharjah

Sharjah Capital of the Sheikdom of Sharjah, third largest of the United Arab Emirates, on the Persian Gulf, e Arabia. A British Protectorate until 1971, the sheikdom is part of a prosperous oil- and gas-producing area. Pop. (2002 est.) 417,400.

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"Sharjah." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sharjah." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sharjah

"Sharjah." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sharjah

Sharjah

Sharjah •Sharjah • nightjar

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"Sharjah." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sharjah." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sharjah

"Sharjah." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sharjah