Sharjah – Keeping cultural traditions alive
We begin our cultural journey in Sharjah with its Heart – ‘The Heart of Sharjah’ has been painstakingly restored to give a feel of traditional life in the emirate. As the largest historical preservation and restoration project in the region, planned over a 15-year period, it will be completed by 2025. The project seeks to revitalize the heritage district as a vibrant cultural destination by showcasing its heritage with the restoration of historical buildings, constructing new structures following traditional Sharjah architecture and transforming them into hotels, restaurants, cafes, art galleries and markets, a place where one can experience Sharjah’s cultural and social fabric. Located in the area is also the Al Hisn fort that features the social history of the Emirates. Built in 1823, the fort was originally the residence of the Al Qawasim ruling family.
The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is fascinating as it features thousands of rare and important Islamic artefacts. Visitors can admire the timeless achievements of Islamic civilization and its universality, learn about aspects of Islamic faith, science, discoveries and culture, and cherish the beauty of Islamic art. The museum building is also worth noting, once a souk, its beautiful architectural details are now an ideal setting for priceless antiques.
At the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, you can visit a world of creativity and splendour to learn about the evolution of Arabic calligraphy over the years, through beautiful portraits depicting stunning calligraphic texts, letters and shape. The Museum also runs workshops where students are trained in calligraphy.
Then there is the Sharjah Art Museum which displays the contemporary art of local and foreign artists, a number of the artworks in the permanent collection at the museum are from the Ruler of Sharjah’s personal collection. This museum is housed in the arts area in a beautiful heritage building, in keeping with the classic architectural ethos of the emirate.
The emirate has a deep-rooted history, settlements and villages were built on its land thousands of years ago and the Sharjah Museum of Archeology preserves, interprets, and exhibits artefacts that have been found in Sharjah since the beginning of excavations in Sharjah in 1973 up until now. Visitors can explore the changing environments experienced by the region’s inhabitants from the Stone Age to the present day.
As part of its cultural and heritage preservation, the emirate also has a number of conservation sites where visitors can learn more about the flora and fauna of the area, including rare and unusual wildlife. Sharjah Desert Park is a wonderful example, as a family destination with a wide variety of birds, animals and flowers.
Sharjah has several note-worthy and inspirational awards to its credit, Culture Capital of the Arab World 1998 (UNESCO); Islamic Culture Capital 2014 (Organisation of Islamic Countries) and the Capital of Arab Tourism Award 2015 (The Arab Council of Tourism). The emirate is committed to disseminating Arab culture through its educational pursuits, surroundings and lifestyle and is the perfect place to experience authentic Emirati culture. Sharjah is the perfect example of a place where past meets present and the cultural values and heritage are truly part of everyday life…visit the Cultural emirate and immerse yourself in the art, science, values and traditions of the region.