Sharjah and its dependencies joined the United Arab Emirates on 2 December 1971. In 1974 construction began on an international hub on a new site 9 km or so away from RAF Sharjah
, which was becoming overrun as the town grew. Sharjah International was officially opened on 1 Jan 1977 and the RAF station closed shortly afterward. In 1984 a helipad and offices for the Police Air Wing were added and by 1993, hangarage for the Royal Flight were completed and the airport is a major cargo centre and has been expanding ever since.