So many people visit Dubai, then stay at their resort most of the time with only a few outside travels to see the Dubai Mall + Dubai Fountain and Souq Al Bahar which are right next to each other. There is so much more to see than these few things! It makes me happy when people go a little further and see parts of Old Dubai (Deira). What I think is even better, when visitors make an effort to go outside of the Emirate of Dubai. See my list of 11 things to do in Sharjah.
Here’s a little explanation for my fellow Americans (and others): Emirates are kind of like the individual states. The Emirates have different rulers and names and a whole bunch of other stuff. There are seven Emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. I actually lived in the Emirate of Sharjah for nearly two years, but I typically say Dubai when I refer to my time there because it’s easier and more recognizable for others.
I tried to get to know Sharjah because there are some really interesting and fun things to do here, besides the fact that I lived there. It is easy to be blinded by all the glamour of Dubai and ignore the other Emirates. I unfortunately did not venture into the other Emirates much and I wish I had made more of an effort to do so.
A perhaps lesser known but still notable Museum in Sharjah is the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.
Sharjah is a very old Emirate with some of the oldest artifacts in the region. The Museum houses seven galleries with items such as woodwork, coins, art, science inventions and tools, clothing, pottery and more. There is a gift shop and cafeteria. The gift shops has some nice trinkets and treats, the cafeteria is not all that great though.
The building is long and noticeable as you drive past on the corniche. Across the street is a waterway and there are other museums and facilities nearby to visit as a tourist or local such as Al Hisn Fort and Blue Souq.
Some of my favorite things are the pottery, it is so neat how people from a long time ago could make items so intricate and delicate without the technology that we have today. I also enjoyed looking at the different handmade Quran’s on display. There were no printing presses back in the day so only the best calligraphers would write the Quran. They showed different writing styles of the time and popular design. Many had decorative shapes and borders with gold leaf. These books are works of art!
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