Sharjah, U.A.E. ( United Arab Emirites )

Flag of Sharjah
Flag of Sharjah
Meher Baba : 1936
Meher Baba : 1936

OCTOBER 24, 1936

Imperial Airways "Hadrian " : Hadley Page 42
Imperial Airways "Hadrian " : Hadley Page 42

Courtesy of Lord Meher ; Bhau Kalchuri - Vol.6-7 : p 2041 ( 1st Edition )

Cropped photo of Meher Baba taken in Nasik, India in 1936
Cropped photo of Meher Baba taken in Nasik, India in 1936



The route that the plane took was  from Karachi  -  Gwadar, Muscat, Oman  -  Sharjah, U.A.E.  -  Bahrein  -  Kuwait  -  Basra, Iraq  -  Baghdad, Iraq.


The plane Meher Baba and his men flew in was called the "Hadrian" - one of 8 plane in the Hadley-Page Imperial Airways fleet. Each plane was given a name.

Hadrian's registration was "AAUE"  No.42 / 2


The price to fly between Karachi and Baghdad was over 30 English pounds


Click below to learn about the plane flown


Baba and the mandali left Karachi on the 24th on the 24-seat Imperial Airways Hadrian biplane.  It was his ninth foreign journey. Baba's first international air travel proved distressing for Kaka and Chanji who suffered from headaches and vomited during the flight, due to severe turbulence from Bahrain to Basra.

Lord Meher Page 1739 ( 2nd Edition )


Courtesy of Wikipedia


The United Arab Emirates Listeni/juːˌntɨd ˌærəb ˈɛmɪrɨts/ (Arabic: دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدةDawlat al-ʾImārāt al-ʿArabiyyah al-Muttaḥidah), sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE,[note 1] is a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders with Qatar, Iran and Pakistan.


Established on 2 December 1971, the country is a federation of seven emirates (equivalent to principalities). Each emirate is governed by a hereditary emir who jointly form the Federal Supreme Council which is the highest legislative and executive body in the country. One of the emirs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The capital is Abu Dhabi, which is one of the two centers of commercial and cultural activities, together with Dubai.[6] Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language.[7]

In 1962, Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil. The late Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first president of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure.[8] Today, Emirates oil reserves are ranked as the seventh-largest in the world,[9] along with world's seventeenth largest natural gas reserves.[10] Emirates has a developed high income economy which enjoys a sizable annual trade surplus while ranks as the world's nineteenth highest in terms of GDP per capita (nominal). Its most populous city of Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business gateway for the Middle East and Africa.



The earliest known human habitation in the UAE dated from 5500 BC. At this early stage, there is proof of interaction with the outside world, particularly with civilizations to the northwest in Mesopotamia. These contacts persisted and became wide-ranging, probably motivated by trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains, which commenced around 3000 BC.[12] Foreign trade, the recurring motif in the history of this strategic region, flourished also in later periods, facilitated by the domestication of the camel at the end of the second millennium BC.[13]

By the 1st century AD overland caravan traffic between Syria and cities in southern Iraq began. Also, there was seaborne travel to the important port of Omana (present-day Umm al-Qaiwain) and then to India. These routes were an alternative to the Red Sea route used by the Romans.[14] Pearls had been exploited in the area for millennia but at this time the trade reached new heights. Seafaring was also a mainstay and major fairs were held at Dibba, bringing in merchants from as far as China.[15]

Advent of Islam

The arrival of envoys from the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 630 reportedly heralded the conversion of the region to Islam (See also the section History about a companion of Moḥammad in Al-`Ain). After Muhammad, one of the major battles of the Ridda Wars was fought at Dibba resulting in the defeat of the non-Muslims and the triumph of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula.

In 637, Julfar (today Ra's al-Khaimah) was used as a staging post for the Islamic invasion of Sasanian Iran.[16] Over many centuries, Julfar became a wealthy port and pearling center from which dhows travelled throughout the Indian Ocean especially to the neighboring land of Sindh, and its cities of Thatta and Debal.

Portuguese rule (1506–1620)

An 18th-century watchtower in Hatta

Portuguese expansion into the Indian Ocean in the early 16th century following Vasco da Gama's route of exploration saw them battle Safavid Persia up the coast of the Persian Gulf. In 1507, the Portuguese Captain Afonso de Albuquerque sailed a small fleet into the Gulf of Oman and the Straits of Hormuz seeking a way of by-passing Arab traders and taking control of the Indian Ocean to increase the amount of wealth flowing into the Portuguese monarchy's coffers.[17] Vasco da Gama was helped by Ahmad Ibn Majid, a navigator and cartographer from Julfar, to find the spice route from Asia.[18]

Afonso d'Albuquerque set sail in 1506, intent on founding a Portuguese empire in the Persian Gulf. The following year, the area of the Emirates soon became a target. After sacking Sohar in Oman, he pillaged and burnt to the ground the Fujairah port of Khor Fakkan, before overwhelming Hormuz Island. Over the succeeding decades the Portuguese invested considerable time and energy in trying to keep order along the coasts of Arabia, as local Emirati tribes rebelled against Portuguese control, and in fending off challenges from the Ottoman Empire. In the Emirates, Portuguese forts were constructed all along the East Coast beginning in the north at Dibba and proceeding south to Khor Fakkan, Fujairah, Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah. Remnants of the Portuguese forts have been located at Bidya and Julfar, but the ruins of the remaining ones continue to elude archaeologists and historians.

By the early seventeenth century, the Portuguese were beginning to suffer from the efforts of the East India Company and the Safavids to expel them from the region. They were dislodged from their base on Bahrain in 1602, from Bandar Abbas in southern Iran in 1615, and from Ras al-Khaimah in 1620.[19]

Saudi rule (1744–1891)

Between 1744 and 1891, the Emirates was officially part of the First Saudi State, and after the Ottoman–Saudi War, was officially part of the Second Saudi State. Despite this, the first and second Saudi states had very little influence and control over the Emirates. During this time, the Ottoman Navy tried to gain influence along the coast but the Saudi rulers were too busy fighting the Ottomans in the Hejaz and therefore could never have effectively ruled the Emirates in a traditional way, let alone come to their assistance and fight a two-front war. As a result, the Emirates operated independently from the capital city Diriyah during the first Saudi state and later from Riyadh which was the capital during the Second Saudi state. The Emirates also had an extremely high degree of autonomy. Not only could they negotiate treaties with outside powers if they wanted to, they also had their own militias and navies.[20]

After the Ottoman-Saudi War in 1818 which led to the collapse of the first Saudi state, the British eventually got the upper hand, but the region was known to the British as the "Pirate Coast", as raiders based there harassed the shipping industry despite both European and Omani navies patrolling the area from the 17th century into the 19th.[21] British expeditions to protect the Indian trade from raiders at Ras al-Khaimah led to campaigns against that headquarters and other harbours along the coast in 1819. The following year, Britain and local rulers signed a treaty to combat piracy along the Persian-Gulf coast. Yet according to the local Qawassim version, the piracy issue was a pretext. The British Empire tried to further establish itself in the Persian Gulf region and to secure it from any other European influence, particularly from France and Russia, not from local raiders. This version has been particularly well articulated by the current emir of Sharjah in his 1986 book 'The Myth of Arab Piracy in the Gulf'. From this, and from later agreements, the area became known as the Trucial Coast. Raids continued intermittently until 1835, when the sheikhs agreed not to engage in hostilities at sea. In 1853, they signed a treaty with the British, under which the sheikhs (the "Trucial Sheikhdoms") agreed to a "perpetual maritime truce." It was enforced by the United Kingdom, and disputes among sheikhs were referred to the British for settlement. The Battle of Mulayda in 1891 marked the formal end of the second Saudi state.[22]

British rule (1892–1971)

The following year after the formal collapse of the second Saudi state, and primarily in reaction to the ambitions of other European countries, the United Kingdom and the Trucial Sheikhdoms established closer bonds in an 1892 treaty, similar to treaties entered into by Britain with other principalities in the Persian Gulf. The sheikhs agreed not to dispose of any territory except to Britain and not to enter into relationships with any foreign government other than the United Kingdom without its consent. In return, the British promised to protect the Trucial Coast from all aggression by sea and to help in case of land attack.[23] British suppression of piracy meant that pearling fleets could operate in relative security. However, the British prohibition of the slave trade meant an important source of income was lost to some sheikhs and merchants.[24]

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the pearling industry thrived in the relatively calm sea, providing both income and employment to the people of the Persian Gulf. It began to become a good economic resource for the local people. Then the First World War had a severe impact on the pearl fishery, but it was the economic depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s, coupled with the Japanese invention of the cultured pearl, that all but destroyed it. The industry eventually faded away shortly after the Second World War, when the newly independent Government of India imposed heavy taxation on pearls imported from the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The decline of pearling resulted in a very difficult era, with little opportunity to build any infrastructure.[25]

Dubai in the mid-20th century; the area in this photo now corresponds to the Al Ras and Al Shindagha localities of present-day Dubai.

Oil was first discovered in the 1950s. At the beginning of the 1960s, the first oil company teams carried out preliminary surveys and the first cargo of crude was exported from Abu Dhabi in 1962. As oil revenues increased, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, undertook a massive construction program, building schools, housing, hospitals and roads. When Dubai's oil exports commenced in 1969, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the de facto ruler of Dubai, was also able to use oil revenues to improve the quality of life of his people.[26]

In 1955, the United Kingdom sided with Abu Dhabi in the latter's dispute with Oman over the Buraimi Oasis, another territory to the south.[27] A 1974 agreement between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia would have settled the Abu Dhabi-Saudi border dispute; however, the agreement has yet to be ratified by the UAE government and is not recognised by the Saudi government. The border with Oman also remains officially unsettled, but the two governments agreed to delineate the border in May 1999.[28]

The British had set up a development office that helped in some small developments in the emirates. The seven sheikhs of the emirates then decided to form a council to coordinate matters between them and took over the development office. In 1952, they formed the Trucial States Council,[29] and appointed Adi Bitar, Sheikh Rashid's legal advisor, as Secretary General and Legal Advisor to the Council. The council was terminated once the United Arab Emirates was formed.[30] The development of the oil industry in the 1960s, encouraged unification of the sheikdoms. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and the British started losing their oil investments and contracts to U.S. oil companies.[31]

Independence (1971)

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the first President of UAE.

By 1966 it had become clear the British Government could no longer afford to administer and protect what is now the United Arab Emirates. British MPs debated the preparedness of the Royal Navy to defend the trucial sheikhdoms. Secretary of State for Defence Denis Healey reported that the British Armed Forces were seriously overstretched and in some respects dangerously under-equipped to defend the trucial sheikhdoms. On 24 January 1968, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced the government's decision, reaffirmed in March 1971 by Prime Minister Edward Heath to end the treaty relationships with the seven Trucial sheikhdoms that had been, together with Bahrain and Qatar, under British protection. Days after the announcement, the ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, fearing vulnerability, tried to persuade the British to honour the protection treaties by offering to pay the full costs of keeping the British Armed Forces in the Emirates. The British Labour government rejected the offer.[32] After Labour MP Goronwy Roberts informed Sheikh Zayed of the news of British withdrawal, the nine Gulf sheikhdoms attempted to form a union of Arab emirates, but by mid-1971 they were still unable to agree on terms of union even though the British treaty relationship was to expire in December of that year.[33]

Bahrain became independent in August, and Qatar in September 1971. When the British-Trucial Sheikhdoms treaty expired on 1 December 1971, they became fully independent.[34] The rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai decided to form a union between their two emirates independently, prepare a constitution, then call the rulers of the other five emirates to a meeting and offer them the opportunity to join. It was also agreed between the two that the constitution be written by 2 December 1971.[35] On that date, at the Dubai Guesthouse Palace, four other emirates agreed to enter into a union called the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain and Qatar declined their invitations to join the union. Ras al-Khaimah joined later, in early 1972.[36][37] In February 1972, the Federal National Council (FNC) was created; it was a 40 member consultative body appointed by the seven rulers.The UAE joined the Arab League in 1971. It was a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council in May 1981, with Abu Dhabi hosting the first summit. UAE forces joined the allies against Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

View of Sharjah city

The UAE supported military operations from the US and other Coalition nations that are engaged in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan (2001) and Saddam Hussein in Iraq (2003) as well as operations supporting the Global War on Terror for the Horn of Africa at Al Dhafra Air Base located outside of Abu Dhabi. The air base also supported Allied operations during the 1991 Persian Gulf War and Operation Northern Watch. The country had already signed a military defense agreement with the U.S. in 1994 and one with France in 1995.[38][39] In January 2008, France and the UAE signed a deal allowing France to set up a permanent military base in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.[40] The UAE joined international military operations in Libya in March 2011.

On 2 November 2004, the UAE's first president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, died. His eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, succeeded as Emir of Abu Dhabi. In accordance with the constitution, the UAE's Supreme Council of Rulers elected Khalifa as president. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan succeeded Khalifa as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.[41] In January 2006, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the prime minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai, died, and the crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum assumed both roles.

The first-ever national elections were held in the UAE on 16 December 2006. A small number of hand-picked voters chose half of the members of the Federal National Council—which is an advisory body.

Largely unaffected by the Arab Spring turmoil, the government has nonetheless clamped down on Internet activism.[42] In April 2011, five activists who signed an online petition calling for reforms were imprisoned. They were pardoned and released in November. Since March 2012 more than 60 activists (later showed evidence of being moved by Iran to create chaos) have been detained without charge (at the time) – some of them supporters of the Islah Islamic group. A member of the ruling family in Ras al-Khaimah was put under house arrest in April 2012 after calling for political openness. Mindful of the protests in nearby Bahrain, in November 2012 the UAE outlawed online mockery of its own government or attempts to organise public protests through social media.



Sharjah (/ˈʃɑrə/; Arabic: الشارقةAš Šāriqah) 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).[1] 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.

The emirate is a constitutional monarchy of the Al Qasimi dynasty. It has been ruled by Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi since 1972.



Older residential area of Sharjah, displaying the local architecture

Human settlement in city has existed for over 5,000 years.[2] Historically the emirate was one of the wealthiest towns in the region.[citation needed]

Around 1727, the Al Qasimi clan took control of Sharjah and declared the polity independent.[citation needed]

On 8 January 1820, Sheikh Sultan I bin Saqr Al Qasimi signed the General Maritime Treaty with Britain, accepting protectorate status in order to resist Ottoman domination. Like four of its neighbours, Ajman, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Qaiwain, its position along trade routes to India made it important enough to be recognized as a salute state.[citation needed]

On 2 December 1971, Sheikh Khalid III bin Muhammad Al Qasimi (Sheikh Khalid III) joined Sharjah to the United Arab Emirates.[3] In 1972 the former ruler Sheikh Saqr staged a leftist coup and killed Khalid III. Saqr was unable to establish his rule and fled. Khalid III's brother, Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi, an author and historian, came to power.[4] In 1987 Sultan's brother Abdulaziz staged a coup while Sultan was abroad. Huge state debt was stated as the reason. UAE President Zayed vehemently denounced the coup, and a deal was reached for Sultan to be restored, while Abdulaziz would become the Deputy Ruler. Sultan, however, dismissed Abdulaziz quite quickly. In 1999, the Crown Prince (Sultan's eldest son) died of drug addiction while on vacation in their palace in England. Sultan made the decision to testify in front of a UK court. The new Crown Prince was appointed from a remote branch of the family.


Years of Reign Birth Death Name Notes
1727 c. - 1777     Sheikh Rashid bin Matar bin Rahma Al Qasimi  
1777–1803     Sheikh Saqr I bin Rashid Al Qasimi  
1803–1840   1866 Sheikh Sultan I bin Saqr Al Qasimi First time
1840     Sheikh Saqr bin Sultan Al Qasimi  
1840–1866   1866 Sheikh Sultan I bin Saqr Al Qasimi Second time
1866 - 1868 (14 April)   1886 Sheikh Khalid I bin Sultan Al Qasimi  
1868 (14 April) - 1883 (March)
1869-1983 jointly w/next leader
  1919 Sheikh Salim bin Sultan Al Qasimi  
1869–1871     Sheikh Ibrahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi  
1883 (March) - 1914   1914 Sheikh Saqr II bin Khalid Al Qasimi  
1914 (13 April) - 1924 (21 November)     Sheikh Khalid II bin Ahmad Al Qasimi  
1924 (21 November) - 1951   1951 Sheikh Sultan II bin Saqr Al Qasimi  
1951 - 1951 (May)     Sheikh Muhammad bin Saqr Al Qasimi  
1951 (May) - 1965 (24 June) 1925 1993 Sheikh Saqr III bin Sultan Al Qasimi  
1965 (24 June) - 1972 (24 January) 1931 1972 Sheikh Khalid III bin Muhammad Al Qasimi  
1972 (25 January) - 1972     Sheikh Saqr bin Muhammad Al Qasimi Acting
1972 - 1987 (17 June) 1939   Sheikh Dr. Sultan III bin Muhammad Al Qasimi First time
1987 (17 June) - 1987 (23 June) 1937 2004 Sheikh `Abd al-`Aziz bin Muhammad Al Qasimi  
1987 (23 June) - present 1939   Sheikh Dr. Sultan III bin Muhammad Al Qasimi Second time[5]


The city of Sharjah, the largest population center in the emirate

Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates, and is the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The emirate covers 2,590 km² (1,003 mi²) which is equivalent to 3.3 per cent of the UAE's total area, excluding the islands. It has a population of over 800,000 (2008).[1]

The emirate of Sharjah comprises the city of Sharjah (the seat of the emirate), and other minor towns and enclaves. The city of Sharjah, which overlooks the Persian Gulf, has a population of 519,000 (2003 census estimate).

Khor Fakkan beach

Sharjah City a sister city to Dubai and Ajmân (two fellow emirates) on both its borders. The three urban areas have now expanded to each other's borders. Sharjah is about 170 kilometers away from the UAE capital city Abu Dhabi.

Sharjah also owns three enclaves on the east coast, bordering the Gulf of Oman. These are Kalba, Dibba Al-Hisn, and Khor Fakkan, which provides Sharjah with a major east coast port. In the Persian Gulf, the island of Sir Abu Nu’ayr belongs to Sharjah,[1] and Abu Musa is claimed by UAE, but controlled by Iran. Sharjah has an exclave called Nahwa inside the Omani enclave of Madha which borders Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah.

Sharjah also encompasses some important oasis areas, the most famous of which is the fertile Dhaid region, where a range of vegetables and fruits are cultivated.