The United Arab Emirates or simply the UAE is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia. The UAE is a federation of seven emirates including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The arrival of Islam can be traced back to the 600’s and was under Portuguese control from the 1600’s for 150 years until a treaty was signed which was the advent of ‘pirating’ and it fell to the control of the British.
The British reign remained until 1971 when the UAE became an independent state. Oil – first discovered there in the 1950’s – has continued to be their main industry which has resulted in considerable wealth in the area. The UAE is said to be the world’s 7th largest oil producer.
With a population of over 8million people the area benefits from warm winters and hot summer making it an ideal ‘all round’ tourist destination. With culture going back thousands of years the region has many interesting museums and sites. It also boasts some of the World’s finest hotels and extravagant shopping malls.
Sharjah is the third largest Emirate within the UAE. It is also the only Emirate to have land on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Human settlements in Sharjah have existed for over 5000 years and at one point it boasted one of the wealthiest towns in the region – the capital Sharjah City.
During the early 1700’s the Al Qasimi clan took control of Sharjah and declared independence. The City of Sharjah – on the Persian Gulf coast is also the third largest city in the UAE with a population of over 500,000 inhabitants. The region also boasts some important oasis areas, the most famous of which is the fertile Dhaid, where a range of vegetables and fruits are grown.