The city of Sharjah is well known as a cultural capital of Arab countries. The city has several museums with fascinating exhibitions that offer a glimpse at each and every aspect of Arab life.
The Sharjah Heritage area is famous for its museums that include Bait Al Naboodah, Al Midfaa House, Al Hisn Museum and Souq Al Arsah.
Al Midfaa House:
There is an appealing restored building known as the Al Midfaa family house. It is situated in a quiet area behind the souq.
Souq Al Arsah:
Souq Al Arsah is situated just behind the waterfront in Old Sharjah. This old Souq has been restored in traditional style.
Bait Al Naboodah:
Originally, the venue was the house of the Al Naboodah family. This grand building has 16 rooms and has been converted into the heritage museum. Each of the rooms exhibit different themes which contain jewellery, costumes, traditional dresses and artifacts.
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Traditional Jewellery Museum:
This museum was founded by the Dept. of Culture & Info. Directorate of Heritage to demonstrate the historical and the artistically values of their tradition. The exhibitions portray a variety of silver and gold jewellery , encased with gems and pearls.
Sharjah Natural History Museum & Desert Park:
This is the best venue in Sharjah to learn about the flora and fauna of the Arabian Desert. It offers a great opportunity to observe exhibitions displaying artifacts according to their chronology in different halls. Exhibitions include, Diorama Hall, Interaction Hall, Geology Hall, Flora Hall and Marine Hall. Located about 26 km from the city centre, it also provides an elegant cafeteria and souvenir shop.
Sharjah Archeological Museum:
Located near the cultural square in the Helwan District, the Sharjah Archeological museum is a high-tech museum. It offers information about the concept of archaeology as a science with relevant excavations and operations. The exhibits of locally found antiquities and artifacts include jewellery, coins, pottery, tools and ancient weapons used by people of bygone eras, and they are displayed according to their chronology in different exhibition halls.
Al Mahatah Museum:
Built in 1932, the Sharjah Airport was used as a staging point for the Imperial Airways flights departing from England to India. The building of this old airport has been converted into a museum which has divisions and sections as follows: Aviation Division, Division of old innovations, crafts and professions, Old Sports Section, Transcription Section, Bicycles and wheels Section, Offices Section, Section of Chinese objects, Engines Section. It also provides several other facilities like shops for souvenirs and gifts, an information office etc.
The Sharjah Art Museum:
In 1995, Art Directorate of the Department of Culture & Information founded Sharjah Art Museum under the guidance of HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, the Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Located in Bait Al Serkal, in the Al Shuwaihiyeen area, it was inaugurated on April 9, 1997. The museum is granted with the facilities of an international art museum standards. This two storied building is spread over 111,000 sq. meters. It exhibits the permanent collection of artwork on the ground floor. Several solo and group exhibitions and related activities are also organized at the museum.
Sharjah Science Museum:
Sharjah Science Museum - is the only interactive hands-on museum in the United Arab Emirates. Opened in 1996, the museum is situated in the Helwan District adjacent to the Sharjah Archaeology Museum. It provides an exhibition hall and learning centre. It provides great opportunity to learn about science and technology through the demonstration tours about the Planetarium, Cryogenics, Static Electricity, Magic Show and Internet.
Sharjah Police Museum:
As the name suggests, the Sharjah Police Museum exhibits pistols, hand rifles, automatic weapons, batons, handcuffs and various riot and combat gear. Watch the changes done in the police uniform, holster and boots during the last 30 years. It also exhibits a 1960's Austin Minimoke, an original old police car.
Sharjah Islamic Museum:
The museum is situated in a historical 200 years old house, owned by the late Saeed bin Mohammed Al Shamsi. It was inaugurated on the 6th November, 1996 by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah.
A wide range of important Islamic artifacts and manuscripts expressing the supremacy of the distinct Islamic heritage are exhibited in the museum. The artifacts include clay, pottery and glass as well as metallic handicrafts inlaid with silver, gold and brass. It also exhibits silver and textile handicrafts, ornamentation tools, jewellery and various Islamic mints of Abba side and Omayyad eras.
The main attractions of the museum are the Shamsi House, Holy Kaaba Hall, Islamic Mints Hall, China and Pottery Hall, Arabesque Hall, Manuscripts Hall, Archaeology Hall, Science Hall and Metallic Handicrafts Hall.
Costume & Cosmetics Museum:
The museum showcases a variety of traditional dresses used by Emirate men and women. Also, the exhibits include bridal trousseau's, dressmaking procedures and local embroidery materials that illustrate the simplicity and complexity of the national attire.
Al Hisn Museum:
The museum is situated in a fort which was the traditional residence of the Al Qasimi Ruling family. Built in 1820, the fort was center of all activities in the Sharjah Emirates. This huge two storied fort hosts a museum that exhibits precious objects, mesmerizing old photographs, classic weapons and trading tools. The contents trace 200 years of Sharjah's history.
Watch the wonderful journey of currency and trading routes in the region. The exhibition displays the currency from Omanian Paisa coins dated 1299 to Maria Teresa silver coins produced in Austria in 1780 and on to the Indian Rupee, which was in use until the introduction of the new riyals in the 1960s. Today, the UAE has its own currency AED Dirham which was introduced in 1971 with the formation on UAE.