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Tourist Attractions

Sharjah introduces a new museum concept, a civilized one. In Sharjah, a museum is a reservoir of man's past inherited experience to nurture the ambitions of the present and next generation. It is a place where the entire family can visit and enjoy together the pride of the traditional past, to have fun and education through interactive "Hands-On" exhibits, to develop a future scientific profession and an analytical way of thinking.

Al Mahatah Museum
The development of aviation in Sharjah began in the second quarter of the twentieth century, exactly after 1930, when the project of Aviation Station (Al Mahatah) of the British Crown was established. Before this date, there were several stations or points through which the military and civil airplanes used to cross in their way from Europe to the south east of Asia, in particular to India and until Sharjah emerged as a safe linked point in this route.

Al Mahatah was a big project in which many buildings were constructed. One of these buildings was Al Mahatah Fort (the present museum). It was used as a motel for passengers in transit or residents for a short term. Besides, there was the control tower, land service center, maintenance workshops, number of hangars for airplanes and a large runway for departure and arrival, subway runway for parking and provision for servicing aircraft.

The project was planned and designed by British engineers, but was built by local people from Sharjah, whose efforts helped complete the project within minimum cost.

Now, according to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and under his honorable patronage, part of Al Mahatah Project, which was being called the old airport of Sharjah, has been converted into a unique museum for innovations and old industries. The museum will be officially opened on March 14, 2000.

Al Mahatah Museum comprises the following divisions and sections.
- 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

Besides these, part of the unique additions is a steam engine with carriages, the model of an original innovation dedicated to children to have an interesting and attractive trip into the past.

The museum includes a number of new services provided to visitors, such as Sharjah tourism and commercial promotion office, shops for the sale of souvenirs and gifts, information office, with information about facilities and publications of the Department of Culture and Information.

Discovery Center
From a toddler to 12 years of age, this really is the latest and greatest center for children. The Center opened in March 1999, this colorful 'scientific park' covering 3,800 square meters, provides everything children love to see and do in safe, supervised surroundings. Based on theme areas including Sports World, Body World, Water World, Build Town and Drive Town, children can touch, experiment, run and have fun.

In addition, the center offers a kiddy supermarket, bank, recording studio and a chance to put on wings and fly around the world.

Toddlers can enjoy their very own soft play area. School groups can benefit from reduced charges in the morning and organized activities, including the TV Studio Workshop.

Whilst it appears to be 'all play', the underlying aim is to teach youngsters about the biological, physical and technological worlds, in a practical way. There is so much to do and learn in this very active environment which not only entertains children but adults too!

The center has its own cafe serving a limited range of food and drinks, a gift shop and ample parking is provided in the grounds.

Sharjah Islamic Museum
Through the great efforts of the government of Sharjah, "The Media and Education" worked on rebuilding the house and renovating it to stand as a perfect complete museum in which some of the magnificent Islamic Antiques, which are said to be unique and extremely rare, are exposed.

Sharjah Islamic MuseumThe Islamic Museum is an edifice to civilization, a witness to the deep Sharjah roots in the Arab and Islamic culture and an emphasis to the legacy of the title Sharjah has recently earned as the "Capital of Arab Culture '98". His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, opened the Museum on 6th November, 1996.

The Museum exhibits a range of important Islamic artifacts and manuscripts expressing the supremacy of the distinct Islamic heritage. This range contains a number of scientific and literary religious manuscripts and several collections of the arts and crafts of the Islamic civilization, including clay, pottery and glass as well as metallic handicrafts inlayed with silver, gold and brass. The museum also exhibits silver and textile handicrafts as well as ornamentation tools, jewelry and various Islamic mints, dating to both Abbaside and Omayyad eras. These mints include collections of silver Dinars and Dirhams. Moreover, there are a number of scientific systems, especially astronomical ones. Other exhibits include archaeological findings dating from the Islamic era, found in varied excavation sites in the Emirate of Sharjah. They include arms and varied samples representing styles of the civilized Islamic life for more than 1400 years.

Major attractions at the Museum include the Shamsi House, the Holy Kaaba Hall, the Islamic Mints Hall, the China and Pottery Hall, the Arabesque Hall, the Manuscripts hall, the Archaeology Hall, the Science Hall, and the Metallic Handicrafts hall.

Sharjah Archaeology Museum
His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Federal Council Ruler of Sharjah, has an overwhelming concern to science and culture and to establishing adequate edifice buildings for them. This is reflected by His Highness's guidance to set up a new building for the Sharjah Archeological Museum in order to be a place to preserve the rich inheritage of the forefathers, an educational venue for our children and an additional cultural tributary to Sharjah, the already rich "Arabs Capital of Culture".

His Highness also gave directions that archaeological exhibits be displayed in a creative style, avoiding monotony and inactivity, and on a basis that combines the traditional way of displaying with modern science and technology. So far, the new Sharjah Archaeological Museum is unique and different from all other archaeological museums in the world.
Archaeological items are classified and displayed in the Museum halls following a chronological order, starting with the earliest findings in the Emirate of Sharjah, up to the period preceding the advent of Islam. Display halls are equipped with computer systems, easy to use by the visitors to enable them benefit more information about the items on display and to provide children with interesting games related to the Museum archaeological exhibits.

Moreover, there are large cinematic screens on which the visitor can watch seven movies in Arabic and English about a series of events and human activities; all in a stunning and attractive way, instigating visitors to watch the museum displays.

Sharjah Natural History Museum & Desert Park
The Natural History Museum and Desert Park is a venue that provides people with a chance to learn about the flora and fauna of the arabian desert, while at the same time having a relaxing and fun time.

If people get to know the great variety of plants and animals and the amazing ways in which these have adapted to life in a dry, hot climate, they will start to respect and enjoy these gifts of nature.

A children's farm was opened in May 1997 to provide city children with a chance to have close contact with farm animals. A Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Animal started functioning in February 1998, but this is not open to the general public, because animals need peace and quiet to breed.

Towards the end of 1998 the Arabian Wildlife Center will be opened where people can observe and enjoy all the various species of animals that occur on the Arabian peninsula.

In accordance with the concept launched by His Highness, the Desert Park with its various departments will be a center for learning and enjoyment for people of all ages, as well as a place where original research can be carried out by the next generation of students.

Sharjah Science Museum
Sharjah Science MuseumIn 1996, the Sharjah Science Museum opened to become the only interactive hands-on museum in the United Arab Emirates. As well as providing exhibits and programs for the general public, the museum is committed to improving the science and technology learning opportunities for children in Sharjah, and the other Emirates.

Inquire-based workshops are provided to groups of children from the Sharjah Children's Centres, local and private schools from across the UAE, and teacher groups from the UAE Educational Zones, the museum hosts over 50,000 visitors every year.

Inspiring the children of Sharjah, and the United Arab Emirates as a whole, to pursue science, technology or engineering as a career, is a key purpose of this museum.

Sharjah Heritage Museum
The Sharjah Heritage Museum is a combination of several museums and includes:

Souq Al Arsah:
Old souq that has been restored with great charm and traditional style, located in Old Sharjah.

Bait Al Naboodah: Al Naboodah family house that has been converted into the heritage museum. Each room has a different theme, and displays jewellery, costumes and artifacts of the period.

Al Midfaa House: Al Midfaa family house, charming restored building in a quiet area behind the souq.

Al Hisn Sharjah: Al Hisn fort that was the traditional residence of the ruling family of Sharjah. Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qassimi "The First" built the fort nearly 200 years ago as the center of all developmental activities in the emirate. It displays contents that cover the history of Sharjah.

Hisn Kalba: Defensive fort, built near the UAE coast. It was used for control, reconnaissance and defense.

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