Although it only represents 3% of the surface of the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah affords the largest variety of landscapes. It is the third largest Emirate by size and the only one whose coasts are lapped by two seas: the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the Indian Ocean. Golden sandy beaches stretch out, especially on the east coast, towards the base of the Hajar Mountains which rise 1,500m above the desert. A paradise for divers, its tourist centre is Khor Fakkan. Sharjah is composed of five enclaves, the largest of which is located in the Persian Gulf and includes the capital of the same name, as well as part of the territory of Ajman, including its capital. The four other enclaves are of relatively identical size and are on the east coast, lined by the Gulf of Oman. Sharjah also has large oases, the best known of which is Dhai, where a wide range of fruit and vegetables are grown. A stretch of sea runs inland where guards once kept watch from a fort, which has been restored. If you journey up the creek, you will see that the landscape becomes greener, that mangroves grow on the shores and that many marine birds live here. Fans of shellfish and snails will be delighted along the sandy banks of the creek where they will be able to see many treasures of the Indian Ocean. There are multitudes of animals to be discovered, including, for example, the once endangered Arabian leopard and the oryx. It is also sometimes possible to spot foxes, mongoose and rodents, as well as the more common camels and goats. The marine depths, with their warm water and coral reefs, are rich with colourful subaquatic life.
There are over 1,000 species of animals housed at the facility.© Robert C Nunnington / age fotostock
The one-hump camel was the first animal to be domesticated in the area.© RFcompany / age fotostock
Sharjah also owns three enclaves on the east coast, bordering the Gulf of Oman.© RFcompany / age fotostock