Sharjah is one of the seven Emirates that comprise the UAE. Since Dubai has risen to great heights among the seven Emirates, people seem to have little knowledge of Sharjah and have missed to see some of its beauty, thanks to the horrible traffic going into and out of the emirate.
We visited the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization located in an old area of Sharjah. The building was only the second of its kind in the Gulf region, after Sharjah’s “New” or “Central’’ Souq constructed in 1977, to use traditional, Arab-Islamic design elements in its ground-plan and décor.
The building with its impressive architecture and attractive design features was subsequently renovated and reopened in 2008 as the Museum of Islamic Civilization. Its most outstanding feature is its majestic, gilt central dome, decorated on the inside with an intricate mosaic depicting the night sky and the signs of the zodiac.
Here we learned a lot about Islamic culture. My mother became too engrossed with an image of pilgrims doing the Haj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Some photos of what’s inside the building:
Even if we went on a Friday (off day for most), the building was almost empty except for a few staff, us and a couple of tourists.
See? The halls look ghostly.
On the second floor, you can see the beautiful interior of the dome, decorated intricately to depict the night sky with glittering lights to form the zodiac. Sadly, I only brought a 50mm lens with me so it was impossible to get a full shot of the ceiling.
An old door:
Traditional utensils for Arabic coffee:
There’s some sort of cafe upstairs which wasn’t open. The chairs are exquisite.
Outside the weather was so nice, blue cloudless skies, typical UAE “winter” weather.
BONUS PHOTO: We passed by three men who had just finished with their Friday prayers at the nearby mosque. They didn’t seem to mind a stranger taking their photograph.
If you are living in the UAE, I’d suggest a visit to the museum on Fridays, preferably so you won’t have to endure the horrific traffic between Sharjah and Dubai on other days. However, the museum is only open from 4pm to 8pm on Fridays.
You can view the photo gallery from the main website here.