Sharjah is the third-most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, after Dubai and Abu Dhabi, forming part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. The emirate of Sharjah borders with Dubai to the south, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain to the north and Ras Al Khaimah to the east. It is the only emirate that overlooks the coastline on the Persian Gulf to the west and the Gulf of Oman to the East, with the eastern Sharjah coastal towns of Kalba and Khor Fakkan.
Sharjah is the capital of the emirate of the same name. Sharjah shares legal, political, military and economic functions with the other emirates of the UAE within a federal framework, although each emirate has jurisdiction over some functions such as civil law enforcement and provision and upkeep of local facilities. Sharjah has been ruled by the Al Qasimi dynasty since the 18th century.
The city is a centre for culture and industry, and alone contributes 7.4% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates. The city covers an approximate area of 235 km² and has a population of over 800,000.