This chapter includes the following articles.
With just over 3% of the territory of the UAE, Sharjah is one of the federation’s smaller emirates, yet it continues to punch above its weight in the realms of commerce and culture. Having long played an important cultural and economic role in the region, it is now home to three free zones, 16 museums and a number of annual festivals that draw visitors from around the world. The discovery of oil in Sharjah’s offshore Mubarak field in 1972 resulted in an economic boom, but even at that early stage the emirate’s leadership understood the importance of establishing a non-oil economy. The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, created that year to broaden the range of economic activity taking place in the emirate, over subsequent decades oversaw development of a range of industries, including petrochemicals, textiles and leather, basic non-metals, foodstuffs and wood products.
This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah and member of the UAE’s Supreme Council; and interviews with Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority; and Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC.