Sharjah International Airport
Sharjah International Airport is located in the city of Sharjah in United Arab Emirates. It is 15 kms (9.3 miles) away from central Dubai and is spread over an area of 4,950 acres or 2,000 hectares. A drive from Dubai to the Sharjah International Airport generally takes 15 minutes during free traffic time but can also take up to two hours in rush hour traffic. According to official statistics report of 2009 from Airports Council International, this is the second largest hub of airfreight in regards to cargo tonnage in middle eastern Asia. Sharjah International Airport has only one passenger terminal that is spread across an area of 105,300 square meters. This is also the home base for the low-cost air carrier Air Arabia.
The old airport in the city of Sharjah was much closer to the city center and had been in operation until December 14, 1971. Imperial Airways, a forerunner of British Airways, originally built the airport. They constructed an airfield in Sharjah as a stopover en-route to India and Australia. This airport had also been used by the United States Air Force during Operation Desert Storm. Due to the spread of the city and new developments, the airport had to be moved to its current location. The construction for the present airport started during 1970s and it was opened on January 1, 1977.
Several reputed passenger air carrier companies operate in and out of Sharjah International Airport on a regular basis, namely Airblue, Air India, Egypt Air, Jet Airways, Pakistan International Airlines, Saudia etc. and fly across the globe covering a wide range of destinations. In the past decade, the number of passengers passing through Sharjah International Airport has increased drastically. According to official statistics, 5,764,098 passengers passed through this airport in 2009.
Sharjah Airport Amenities
The airport offers a vast range of facilities such as banks, ATMs, money exchange centers, duty free shopping, medical clinic, special services staffs, kids play area, smoking rooms, a food court with a variety of cuisines, internet, mosque, travel agency, public phones, comfortable waiting area and assistance for the physically disabled people.
Due to the “Open Sky Policy” of Sharjah, it permits the Airlines Traffic rights without any hindrance. Sharjah International Airport boasts one of the most competitive landing and handling rates in the whole world attracting all major air carrier companies. It is supported by the most modern equipment and infrastructure to handle aircraft of all types. Sharjah International Airport is booming in its popularity throughout the world and as a favorite transit, departure, and arrival point for passengers.
Parking at the Airport
A wide range of parking choices is available for all travelers, from on-airport parking to off-airport parking. Many specials and discounted parking offers are provided for frequent travelers. An auto or an airport shuttle can be caught within a short distance from any parking bay. Passengers can leave their cars in the safe hands of the parking operators. The valet parking, which is known as meet-and-greet airport parking, is perhaps the most convenient parking, although slightly expensive compared to the regular one. For valet parking, the passengers only have to drive their vehicles to the airport terminal and offload their luggage. Once the luggage are offloaded the car keys can be handed over to the valet without any worries. After landing to the airport, the valet parking customers also do not need to walk a long distance to pick up their cars.