Airfield was used from 1932 by Imperial Airways, a landing strip and key refueling point for intercontinental stop-overs and postal service. RAF Sharjah opened in 1940 and the base was extended. It came under the administration of RAF Bahrain from 1950. In 1974, construction began on a new international hub at a site 9 km or so away. Sharjah International Airport opened on 1 Jan 1977 and the RAF station closed, with the base handed over to the Emirate of Sharjah. As the town of Sharjah (Ash Shariqah) expanded, it incorporated the main runway into its road system. Only the old control tower remained in 2002.