Sharjah: University City and Cultural Center


United Arab Emirates

April 6, 2016

My friend Jack in Chicago tries to visit a school whenever he travels to a new city.

So following Jack’s lead, in Sharjah I visited the Sharjah University City.

The University City was established in 1997.  The grounds are beautiful and the buildings are new, with both modern conveniences and traditional Islamic architectural motifs and colors.

More than 20,000 students from all over the world attend classes.

The campus complex covers 1600 acres or 2.5 square miles (647 hectares or 6.5 sq kilometers).

This huge campus development is located to the east of the city in Al Mowaileh, opposite Sharjah International Airport   and contains the American University of Sharjah (AUS), University of Sharjah (UOS) – Men’s College and Women’s College, and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).

The campus also houses the Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi Centre of Gulf Studies, Sharjah Police Academy, Institute of Training & Judicial Studies, Regional Centre for Educational Planning, College of Law and University City Hall.

The spring holiday was still in progress on the day I visited.   Very few students were on campus.  I did manage to speak to a few, mostly young women, in the Pharmacy School and the School of Medicine.

“Where are all the boys?” I asked one group of girls.  The girls told me that most boys do not study pharmacy or medicine.  They opt for engineering or business administration. (Masculine versus feminine professions?)

Later in the day I had a chat with a professor.  He confirmed the girls’ observations.  The Medical Sciences have an 80% female enrollment.  In Engineering and Business, the gender ratio is reversed.  The professor and I agreed that there is a great loss of high achievement and potential success as the result of the students’ (and parents’) traditional choices.  

Sharjah University was established under the patronage of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, as a non-profitable, legal, financially and administratively independent entity owned by the Sharjah Government.

A total of 86 academic degree programs including 50 bachelor’s degrees, 17 masters degrees, seven PhD degrees, one graduate and 11 associate diploma degrees.

In total Sharjah University has twelve colleges —  Pharmacy, Dentistry, Medicine, Communication, Law, Health Sciences, Engineering, Business Administration, Fine Arts and Design, Science, Arts and Humanities and Social Science, and the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies.

On campus, I also visited The American University of Sharjah (AUS). The courses include 26 majors, 53 minors at the undergraduate level, and 14 graduate degree programs.

AUS has four colleges:  College of Architecture, Art and Design; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Administration & Business; College of Engineering.

Top 10 countries’ nationals at AUS: United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon and the United States.  The College of Engineering has the highest number of students enrolled, 2,450, followed by The School of Business Engineering 1,379, College of Arts and Science 813, and the College of Architecture, Arts and Design with 628.

Total number of AUS students in the spring of 2015: 5,872.

AUS has 22 sport teams.


In the city of Sharjah, the Sharjah Cultural Square is situated at a beautifully landscaped roundabout (traffic circle).  The Square is more properly named the “Field of Culture.” 

At center of the roundabout stands a tall and dramatic sculpture of an open Book – no doubt a tribute to the Holy Koran.

The striking and majestic buildings around the “field” include the Cultural Palace, the Public Library, Government buildings and the Al Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal Mosque.

For more information about the Emirate of Sharjah:


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