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Sharjah (Arabic: الشارقة) is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The emirate covers 2,600 km² (1,003 mi²) and has a population of over 800,000 (2008). The emirate of Sharjah comprises the city of Sharjah (the seat of the emirate), and other minor towns and enclaves such as Kalba, Dibba Al-Hisn and Khor Fakkan. Sharjah also claims two islands, Sir Abu Nu’ayr and Abu Musa, with the latter claim being disputed and the island being controlled by Iran.

Historically, Sharjah was one of the wealthiest towns in this region with a settlement in existence for over 5000 years. In the early 18th century Al Qasimi clan (Huwala tribe) established itself in Sharjah, c. 1727 declaring Sharjah independent. On 8 January 1820, Sheikh Sultan I signed the General Maritime Treaty with Britain, accepting a protectorate to keep the Ottoman Turks out. Like four of its neighbours, Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Qaiwain, its position on the route to India made it important enough to be recognized as a salute state.

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Additional Photos by Lucie CzNLUkKw (lucinka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 135 N: 1821] (9976)
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