Want to add a new dimension to your travel? Sharjah is known for its museums and you can find many of them in this emirate and especially if you happen to be traveling in the UAE in summer, this could work best! All the museums are air conditioned (so no worries there).
However please note that Sharjah is a very conservative emirate and visitors are expected to dress in accordance with the local customs – meaning, nothing skimpy, skin showing, above the knee, cleavage showing…you get the idea?
Here are some of them top museums that attract a lot of visitors all year round.
Sharjah Calligraphy Museum
(Ph 065694561; Sat-Thu 8 am – 8 pm, Fri 4- 8 Adult AED5, Family AED10)
This is the only museum in the Arab world devoted solely to calligraphy. Not surprising that it is located in the cultural capitals of the Arab world – this museum aims to instill the art of calligraphy in the people and visitors of Sharjah and to set new standards both locally and internationally. A visit to the museum is like embarking on a fascinating journey of discovery across centuries of Arabian heritage in the form of beautifully written script. Created by local and well-known international calligraphers, significant works of art from the Arab world demonstrate the complexity of this vibrant art form and its historical and Islamic foundations.
Sharjah Art Museum
(Ph 065688222; Sat to Thu 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only)
The Sharjah Art Museum showcases contemporary art by local and foreign artists. It is also the home of the Sharjah International Art Biennale, a bi-yearly exhibition of international contemporary art and performance. This is undoubtedly one of the UAE’s largest and most impressive galleries and has permanent exhibition of 18th- and 19th-century oil paintings, watercolours and lithographs from the ruling family’s collection; curators also mount changing shows of local and international contemporary talent.
Sharjah Archaeology Museum
(Ph 065665466; Sun-Thu 9- 1pm, 5- 8pm, Fri 5- 8 pm; Adult AED5, Family AED10)
A permanent archive for all archaeological material recovered in the Emirate of Sharjah, this museum aims to preserve, interpret, and exhibit its collections and to disseminate knowledge about them in a manner that encourages appreciation, learning, and enjoyment of Sharjah’s archaeological heritage. If you are lover of UAE history this is the place to go. Artifacts from Stone Age to present day are displayed here.
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
(Ph 06 5655455; Sat to Thu 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8 pm only)
Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is a fascinating place for any visitors with an interest in the faith, as there are handwritten Qur’ans, letters from the Prophet Muhammad to other leaders and various artifacts from Mecca itself. Also a comprehensive display of Arab handicrafts.
Al Mahatta Museum
(Ph 065733079; Sat – Thu 8am – 8pm, Fri 4pm – 8pm; Adult AED5, Family AED10)
This museum offers important insight into the history of aviation and in the development of traditional society in the Emirate of Sharjah. In 1932 the first airport in the United Arab Emirates opened here Al Mahatta was the first airport in the United Arab Emirates and was used as a staging post for commercial flights en route from Britain to India. At the museum you can watch an interesting film about the daily life at the airport and Sharjah town during the 1930’s and experience firsthand this fascinating period of Sharjah’s history. Four of the original propeller planes, fully restored, stand guard in the hangar alongside the original refuelling tanker.
Sharjah Maritime Museum
(Ph 06-522 2002; Sat-Thu 8am-8pm, Fri 4-8pm)
Wooden dhows, fishing tools, devices used in pearl diving and historic photographs of grizzled old sea captains pay tribute to the key role the sea has played in the emirate’s heritage. It’s right next to the Sharjah Aquarium, where ethereal sea horses, charming clownfish, spooky moray eels, prowling reef sharks and 250 or so other underwater species never fail to amuse, enlighten and entertain.