Sharjah is the third largest of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a population of over 800,000 people. Human settlement in Sharjah city has existed for over 5,000 years, and historically, it was one of the wealthiest towns in the region.
The city of Sharjah overlooks the Persian Gulf and contains the main administrative and commercial centres together with an array of cultural and traditional projects, including several museums covering areas such as archaeology, natural history, science, arts, heritage, Islamic art and culture. Distinctive landmarks include two major covered souks, reflecting Islamic design, and a number of recreational areas and public parks such as Al Jazeirah Fun Park and Al Buheirah Corniche. The city is also notable for its numerous elegant mosques. The Cultural Policy of Sharjah is one of the most developed in the Arab world for its investment in art and culture, and was named the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014.