There are so many wonderful things to do in Sharjah, and learning about city history is definitely one of them! Today, we explore some of the most beautiful historical sites, heritage sites, and museums in Sharjah, and tell you why it is worth a visit!
AL HISN MUSEUM
One of our favorite ways to go back in time in the UAE is to visit the Al Hisn Museum – an old castle still standing, one of the most beautiful museums in Sharjah. Simply put as one of the most important buildings in relation to the city’s heritage, the castle was built in 1823 and before it became a museum, it was the seat of the emirate government, prison, and residence of the ruling Sharjah family, the Al Qasimi family. Today, the building houses various exhibitions featuring Sharjah history with photographs, art objects, and contemporary accounts that will give visitors a unique understanding of the emirate. Some of the highlights of the museum include being able to understand what the inmate’s life would be like and the opportunity to learn how to make day molasses. Guests can also explore other weapons that would be used to defend the castle! The Al Hisn Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday through Thursday, and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. Children 12 years and under are free while adults pay for $1.36 (AED 5).
AL ESLAH SCHOOL MUSEUM
The UAE has always placed a strong emphasis on education, and a good example of this dedication can be seen at Al Eslah School. Founded in 1935, the school marks the first official Sharjah educational institution, attracting students from across the region. Visit it in the 21st century and you can see for yourself what scholars were like back in the day, with classrooms and re-imagining (including the Principal), Holy Qu’ran tents made of palm trees and photographs of students who visited the center. The Al Eslah School Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday through Thursday and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. Admission to the museum is free.
MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC CIVILISATION
Islamic history is part of the history of faith, regional culture, science, and art – and it is an exciting journey over time, indeed! The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Culture is a great opportunity to learn about this history, by engaging with more than 5000 works of art from all over the Islamic world. The art objects are collected in a variety of themes and are distributed in more than seven gallery and exhibition spaces, such as the Ibn Al-Haytham Gallery of Science and Technology (Unusual Quran), four paintings incorporating Islamic art from the 7th century AD to the 20th century), an impressive collection of early Islamic coins and even a temporary exhibition space. The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is open from 8 am to 8 pm, Saturday through Thursday, and from 4 pm to 8 pm on Friday. Children under the age of two can enter the museum for free, children between the ages of two and 12 will be charged $1.36 (AED 5) while those over the age of 13 will have to pay $2.72 (AED 10).
AL MAHATTA MUSEUM
This is for all the air traffic controllers out there! While Dubai International Airport tends to get the best PR, in fact, it is the Al Mahatta Museum that was the first UAE airport. The airport was opened in 1932 and used for passenger flights en route to India from the UK. The gallery has exciting details of what airport (and city) life was like in the 1930s, learn about the history of airlines, watch hard-fought aircraft close by and get a taste of the first UAE movie – which took the original airport building again!Al Mahatta is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday through Thursday and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday.Children under the age of two can enter the museum for free, children between the ages of two and 12 will be charged $1.36 (AED 5) while those over the age of 13 will have to pay $2.72 (AED 10).
MLEIHA ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREA
One of the best ways to experience the history of Sharjah by going into the wilderness is to visit the Mleiha Archaeological sites, built around the tomb of Umm al Nar-era. Archaeological excavations at the site have also yielded some interesting discoveries, such as Faya North East – evidence that modern humans lived between 130,000 and 120,000 years ago! One of the great things about Mleiha is that it is proud of its innovations and nature tourism, such as spraying lanes, while the center and exhibition space (full of objects and artifacts) have all been built taking in nature and the surrounding area. consideration. There is so much more to do in Mleiha than just a few excavated sites! There are many adrenaline-pumping activities in Mleiha, offering exciting ways to view various ancient sites, buildings while enjoying the best of the desert! Some of the activities offered include cycling, hiking, horseback riding, spelunking, stargazing, walking… you can spend the night under the stars in the camp! The date, times, and prices for the various services in Mleiha vary, so please contact them directly for more information. Is there anything more to miss from the fascinating historical and works of Sharjah that we have not included? Let us know in the comments below! If you are in the mood to learn more about the UAE’s cultural heritage, check out our guide to the Emirati culture, or visit some of the heritage sites in Abu Dhabi and Dubai