The seven emirates which form UAE are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain - and then Sharjah. The capital of Sharjah is also called Sharjah and lies just a bit north of Dubai. Though it's a real city, it's nothing compare to decadent big brother Dubai in terms of impressive skyscrapers and posh malls. Sharjah is just an ordinary Arabic city, some might even say a bit boring. That said, changes are on their way. The corniche is having a facelift, a couple of the souqs have been polished up or even rebuild, and the heritage area, with traditional houses, is undergoing a total restoration. A very welcome transformation for Sharjah, which is considered to be the cultural capital of UAE. If the 'real Arab' is more what you are after, head to the animal and pet market. A great place to wander around (if you are not too fuss about animal rights) and you might even see a few falcons for sale.