• What to See


Preserved in time, this is Sharjah before the discovery of oil when it was the most important port in the region and wealthy on trade, seafaring and pearls.

Take a tour through the Heart of Sharjah Area and be inspired by the architecture and simplicity of a lifestyle that thrived long ago. Discover a world of knowledge with over twenty state-of-the-art museums and explore the history of Sharjah which dates back more than 6000 years.


Sharjah Maritime Museum

The Sharjah Maritime Museum was first opened in the Heritage Area in early 2003 to highlight the maritime life of the UAE. However, due to the importance of the sea and its significance in the region’s heritage, the museum was expanded and relocated in Al Khan in 2009. The sea has played a key role in Sharjah's development and was the primary reason for the first settlers choosing this site over 6,000 years ago.

In the museum you can explore traditional wooden seafaring dhows used for fishing, trading and pearling, each designed according to their use. See genuine Arabian pearls, discover how they were collected, measured and weighed. Admire the powerful wooden pulley blocks used to raise and lower sails and discover the local traditions for catching fish.

For more information Sharjah Maritime Museum

Sharjah Calligraphy Museum

The Sharjah Calligraphy Museum was opened in 2002 in the building of the house of Hamad Al Midfaa in the Sharjah Heritage Area (Heart of Sharjah). Enter this museum and you embark on a fascinating journey of discovery across centuries of Arabian heritage in the form of beautifully written script.

Created by local artists 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. Arabic calligraphy seen on canvas, wood, paper and ceramics will inspire you with its positive and living energy.

For more information Sharjah Calligraphy Museum

Al Eslah School Museum

Established in 1935 as the first formal educational institute to be opened in Sharjah, this school welcomed pupils from all over the Gulf region.

Experience school life as it was some 70 years ago while sitting at the wooden desks in the shaded classrooms and imagine attending an Islamic school. See images of the people that brought education to life and visit the Headmaster's Room to admire the Holy Quran stands made from palm wood. During term time, students from overseas would spend their nights in the upstairs dormitory.

For more information Al Eslah School Museum

Sharjah Art Museum

Walk into a world of artistic excellence and expression. Opened in April 1997 this is the largest art museum in the Gulf with both temporary exhibitions and permanent collections by renowned artists. Explore the history of the region through the Orientalist painters of the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as gallery after gallery of stunning landscapes, cityscapes and portraits painted in oil, water colours and acrylics, created by both local and internationally renowned artists.

For more information The Sharjah Art Museum

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization was renovated and re-opened in 2008 as a significant tourist landmark in the region, and the first of its kind in the UAE. Situated right at the historical heart of Sharjah on the Majarrah Waterfront, this fascinating Museum started its life as a traditional Middle Eastern souq or indoor market.

The museum’s predecessor was called the Islamic Museum, and was situated in one of the heritage houses in the Heritage Area. It was established in 1996, and continued to receive visitors until 2007, before transferring to its new location as the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.

The building now transformed into a state-of-the art cultural venue, the new Sharjah Museum of Islamic Cvilization, houses more than five thousand exquisite Islamic artefacts from all over the Islamic World, arranged according to themes over seven spacious galleries and display areas.

For more information Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

Al Mahatta Museum

In 1932 the first airport in the United Arab Emirates opened in Sharjah, used as a staging post for commercial flights en route from Britain to India.

From man's first attempts to fly to landing on the moon, explore the history of flight and the development of aviation in this region at the museum which is located in Sharjah's first airport building. Watch an interesting film about the daily life at the airport and Sharjah Town during the 1930's and experience first hand this fascinating period of Sharjah's history. Four of the original propeller planes, fully restored, stand guard in the hangar alongside the original refueling tanker.

For more information Al Mahatta Museum

Sharjah Science Museum

The Sharjah Science Museum, which first opened in 1996, now has more than 50 interactive displays suitable for all ages.

Bringing science to life, this museum has so many exhibits and interactive displays designed to stimulate and inspire the visitor.

Whatever your age, have fun discovering science with hands-on experiments and illusions, exploring colour, aerodynamics, cryogenics and physiology. Take part in Electricity demonstration, probe the secrets of space and test your reactions and strength. Even toddlers can discover their curiosity about the world around us, in their very own play area.

For more information Sharjah Science Museum

Sharjah Archaeology Museum

The Sharjah Archaeology Museum first opened in 1993. It was moved to its current location in 1997 and serves as a permanent archive for all archaeological findings recovered in the Emirate of Sharjah since the start of archaeological excavations in 1972.

Uncover the stories of Sharjah's very early history, brought alive in this interesting museum.

Explore the changing environments experienced by the region's inhabitants from the Stone Age to the present day through displays of artefacts, coins, jewellery, pottery and ancient weapons. Investigate a dig in progress, explore models of burials, houses and tombs and see the first forms of writing in this area.

For more information Sharjah Archaeology Museum

Sharjah Aquarium

The Sharjah Aquarium opened in Al Khan Old area in 2008. Covering an area of 6500m², and consisting of two floors equipped with 20 water aquariums, each of which is filled with 1.8 million liters of water, it is the largest government learning center in the UAE.

Submerge yourself in the colourful, rich and diverse undersea world that is home to a variety of marine life native to the seas around us.

With over 250 species there is so much to see from the smallest clown fish and delicate seahorses to moray eels, rays and reef sharks. Take a journey underwater and discover everything from the larger ocean creatures to the smaller marine life to be found in the rock pools, coral reefs, lagoons and mangroves.

For more information Sharjah Aquarium

Sharjah Discovery Center

This children's centre is a great day's outing for the whole family with seven themed areas, packed full of ‘hands on activities' and plenty of fun.

Filled with action and entertainment, enter a colourful arena exploring the dynamics of water, the five senses, the art of travel and the mechanisms of building, become a star on TV, climb the wall and ‘shop till you drop' in the children's supermarket.

For more information Sharjah Discovery Centre

Sharjah Heritage Museum

The Sharjah Heritage Museum was re-opened in the Heritage Area (Heart of Sharjah) in 2012 as part of an expansion plan, the original museum first opened in early 2003. The museum is dedicated to highlighting Sharjah’s rich traditions, customs and culture as a source of pride and inspiration to the people of the UAE and its visitors.

Discover the ‘Landscape’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Celebrations’, ‘Livelihood’, ‘Traditional Knowledge’ and ‘Oral Traditions’ of Sharjah’s rich heritage as you take on a journey through the museum’s six galleries.

For more information Sharjah Heritage Museum

Majlis Al Midfa

The most peaceful meeting place is renowned for its remarkable round windtower, the only one of its kind in the UAE. Step back in time and enter a world where the men of the family and their male guests would gather to discuss affairs of the day. Amongst the many interesting items donated by the family, you will see a carved pearl chest, old books and manuscripts and a silver dagger with gold leave decoration.

The museum commemorates the late Ibrahim bin Mohammed al Midfa, a prominent intellectual figure who contributed ommensely to the cultural development in the UAE in general, and Sharjah in particular. In 1927 Al Midfa issued the first newspaper in the history of the UAE – the Oman newspaper; he subsequently issued Soutul Asafeer (the Sound of Birds).

For more information Majlis Al Midfa

Bait Sheikh Saeed Bin Hamed Al Qasimi – Kalba

No trip to Sharjah is complete without exploring the Emirate's East Coast. Sandy beaches, scenic mountains, lush mangroves and heritage sites await you. In Kalba, you will find a charismatic old fort and the prominent beachside residence of H.E. Sheikh Saeed bin Hamad Al Qasimi, both fully restored to display items of Islamic heritage and lifestyle, archaeological finds, weapons, agricultural equipment, in addition to a collection of musical instruments. Inland, in a beautiful setting overlooking the mangroves is Al Ghail Fort.

Owned by Sheikh Saeed Bin Hamad Al Qasimi, the house was built between 1898 and 1901, and was designed to preserve the artistic and traditional identity of the Gulf architecture and Islamic pan-Arabian style.

Built in a rectangular shape, the house is divided into two sections, eastern and western. The eastern section includes the Access, the Majlis, Morabba'a, the defensive barrage with its shooting outlets (Mazaghil) and the inner Majlis facing the shore. This section, which is separated from the other by a wall in the middle, is designated for receiving men and guests while the western section comprises the living units and serving facilities allotted for women, children and servants.

For more information Bait Sheikh Saeed Bin Hamad Al Qasimi in Kalba

Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn)

An Eye Opener to Sharjah’s Glory

Step back in time to experience the most important building in Sharjah since the early nineteenth century to the mid- twentieth century. Built in 1823, the historic fort still stands majestically in the Heart of Sharjah resembling the days it was used as the seat of Sharjah's Government, the residence of the Al Qasimi ruling family, and a jail.

On your journey through the museum you will encounter a variety of fascinating galleries that offer a wide range of photographs, objects, stories that provide visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the history that has shaped Sharjah and its people.

See how daily life was experienced within the fort and observe the astounding changes Sharjah has experienced over the last two centuries. Find out what prison life was like inside Al Muhalwasa jail, learn how to make dibs (date molasses) and have a stimulating conversation inside the traditional majlis (sitting room). You can also examine weapons similar to those once used to protect Al Hisn and discover defense strategies used by the sheikhs and their guards.

For more information Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn)

Bait Al Naboodah

Bait Al Naboodah opened its doors as a museum in 1995. The house originally belonged to the late Obaid bin Eissa Bin Ali Al Shamsi, nicknamed Al Naboodah, who was a prominent pearl trader that held commercial ties with India, Africa and France.Al Naboodah lived in this house, which was built in 1845, with his wife and seven children.

Here at this charming two-storey house from 1845, you can admire traditional Gulf architecture in an age before air conditioning. Built around a large courtyard you can see walls made from coral, admire innovative methods of ‘air conditioning' and unique decorative carvings, in both plaster and wood. Learn about daily family life and routines through displayed work by Arabian craftsmen in a bygone era.

For more information Bait Al Naboodah

For more information please visit Sharjah Museums Department:
Website www.sharjahmuseums.ae
Email info@sharjahmuseums.ae
Tel 5566002 6 971
Fax 971 6 5566003
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