In the UAE, Abu Dhabi is known as the capital and also the country’s center of business and economic activity, while Dubai is known for its Mega constructions and modern architecture. Sharjah, on the other hand, is called the UAE’s Capital of Culture. This predicate reflects Dr. Syeikh Sultan bin Hamad al-Qasimi’s love to art and culture.
There are a lot of museum in Sharjah, and two of them are the following.
1. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation
This museum has two main galleries and was inaugurated on June 6th, 2008. The first gallery is named “Abu Bakar Gallery of Islamic Faith,” and exposes the Five Pillars of Islam and Six Articles of Faith. Kiswah, the cloth of Kaabah, is one of the collection displayed here. We can also see multitude of Quran manuscripts
The second gallery is named “Ibn Al-Haytham Gallery of Science and Technology.” Here we can learn the contributions of Islamic culture in the fields of astronomy, medicine, geography, architecture, maths, chemistry, military, navigation, and engineering. Ibn Al-Haytham was a moslem scientist known as The Father of Optics for his works and researchs in the properties of lights.
On the second floor, visitor can enjoy the interior of the main dome that is designed to resemble the blue sky complete with the twleve astrological zodiacs. The dome, along with the many archs in the architecture of this museum, emphasizes the islamic architecture of Ummayah Dinasty, which was then widely used in Andalusia.
2. Al Mahatta Museum
This museum is placed inside the buildings compound that was once Sharjah’s old airport, and tells about Sharjah’s history of aviation. The exhibits of this museum are placed in on of its three showrooms. The main room displays some of the actual airplanes which played important roles in Sharjah aviation. The other two rooms reveal various things surrounding Sharjah’s aeronautics world.
Old Sharjah Airport itself was built in the year of 1932, and was the first airport in the gulf area. The airport was designated as transit port for the flight route between England and India. King Abdul Azis road, the highway in front of the museum, was once the airport’s runway.
In the two annexes, we can see dioramas and movie clips explaining the history of flight. There is also a mockup of the first cinema in Sharjah, that was also the first on in gulf area. With 10 dirhams entrance fee, I was amazed by the Sharjah’s glorious past.
Sharjah’s Interesting fact:
- Sharjah is the only emirate thet shares borders with the other six emirates.
- Sharjah was the first emirate that provided education for women in the year of 1942
- Sharjah’s old airport was the first airport in the UAE, and the cinema inside that airport was the first cinema in gulf area.