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Exploring The Heart Of Sharjah

Sharjah Al Hisn Museum

I was lucky enough to work in collaboration with ‘Heart Of Sharjah’, during my recent trip to Sharjah, UAE. In this post I am going to tell you about the experience at Heart of Sharjah.

Heart of Sharjah is an ambitious heritage project, undertaken by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)

Project undertaken by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)
Project undertaken by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)

This heritage project is about restoring the traditional heritage areas of Sharjah and linking them together, to give the look and feel of Sharjah over half a century ago. This ambitious  15 years project, which is scheduled for completion in 2025 will restore and revamp the city’s traditional areas to create a tourist and trade destination.

My journey to this heritage place started from the Heart of Sharjah Discovery Centre. The architecture, the building materials, the colour, all these elements gave me the feel of olden day Sharjah, even before arriving here.

Welcome to Heart of Sharjah
Welcome to Heart of Sharjah

The information board gave me an idea about what I was going to explore in the next few hours.

Heart of Sharjah Directory list
Heart of Sharjah Directory list

This arched entrance next to this board,  led me to the Heart of Sharjah Discovery Centre. This is the place from where you get all the information regarding the Heart of Sharjah projects and all other necessary help to explore this heritage site. I was explained about the different phases of this 15 years long ambitious project, how it will look in 2025 and various other things by a very friendly staff. Later I was assigned another very friendly tour guide, to show me around the place and to explain me things.  In the mean time, I enjoyed the traditional Sharjah environment.

Traditional Sharjah architecture
Traditional Sharjah architecture

These hanging lamps can be seen almost everywhere.

Hanging lamps of Sharjah
Hanging lamps of Sharjah

By that time Ahmed, my friendly tour guide was all charged up to take me for the guided tour. He led me to this cute  yet powerful 4 wheeled vehicle for the tour. First we went to the events area where most of the events are hosted during special occasions. And then we went to see various environment, the people of Sharjah once lived. They have recreated those environment at the Heart of Sharjah. Mountain Environment

The Houses in the Mountains
The Houses in the Mountains

The Farm Environment

Farm Environment
Farm Environment

The Desert Environment

Oasis in Desert
Oasis in Desert
Houses made out of Palm leaves
Houses made out of Palm leaves

I clicked this picture of Ahmed, when I went inside one of the  houses in the mountain environment.

My friendly tour guide
My friendly tour guide

He was super friendly and super helpful. He stopped at each and every place where I wanted to take pictures and gave me ample time for taking pictures. And drove this small 4 wheeler to some places which I thought was impossible to reach. From here we headed to the Souqs.

Souqs ( Traditional Markets )

If you check the information board, you can find a few souks in this area.

Souq Al-Arsa

First we went to Souq Al-Arsa, a traditional market.

Souq Al-Arsa
Souq Al-Arsa

This is a wonderful place, if you are planning to buy some souvenirs to take home.

Inside Souq Al-Arsa
Inside Souq Al-Arsa

And most of the shops are very colourful and interesting.

A shop Inside Souq Al-Arsa
A shop Inside Souq Al-Arsa

On our way to next souq, some others too joined us for a quick conversation.

Colleagues having a conversation
Colleagues having a conversation

On the way to the next souq, I was introduced to a coffee shop, where the traditional people of Sharjah come to sit and relax.

Coffee shop at the Heart of Sharjah
Coffee shop at the Heart of Sharjah

At last we reached the other souq, which is soon to be operational, maybe by end of March 2015.

Inside the new souq
Inside the new souq
Doors of the Souqs
Doors of the Souqs

And then we returned from the Souq to see some museums.

On our way to Museums
On our way to Museums

Museums :

Al Eslah School Museum :

Established in 1935, the Al Eslah School was the first formal educational institute in Sharjah that welcomed students from all over the region

Al Eslah School Museum : A back bencher's view
Al Eslah School Museum : A back bencher’s view

Sharjah Calligraphy Museum :

If you are  particularly interested in the heritage of Arabic calligraphy, this is the place.

Sharjah Calligraphy Museum
Sharjah Calligraphy Museum

There can be some restrictions on photography at certain museums, though the brochure says photography is allowed everywhere. Certain people-in-charge doesn’t agree with the brochure though.

Sharjah Heritage Museum :

This is the place to learn everything about the distinctive heritage of Sharjah.

Sharjah Heritage Museum
Sharjah Heritage Museum

The whole museum is divided in to six distinctive galleries. ‘Landscape’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Celebrations’, ‘Livelihood’, ‘Traditional Knowledge’ and ‘Oral Traditions’ of Sharjah’s rich heritage.

Traditional Attire
Traditional Attire
Traditional Attire
Traditional Attire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  guided tour in that area was almost over. But I wanted to take more pictures. So I thanked my tour guide, clicked some of his pictures and headed out for my own explorations.

Ahmed
Ahmed

And I walked around the place clicking pictures.

Souq Al Masqoof
Souq Al Masqoof

It was pretty interesting to capture the buildings, alley ways and streets of half a century old Sharjah.

Buildings of Olden day Sharjah

Buildings of sharjah
Buildings of Sharjah
Buildings of sharjah
Buildings of Sharjah

Streets of Olden day Sharjah

Streets of sharjah
Streets of Sharjah
Streets of sharjah
Streets of Sharjah
Streets of sharjah
Streets of Sharjah

Doors of Olden day Sharjah

Doors of sharjah
Doors of Sharjah
Doors of sharjah
Doors of Sharjah
Doors of sharjah
Doors of Sharjah
Doors of sharjah
Doors of Sharjah

And after a bit of walking I found another souq.

Souq Saqr :

Souq Saqr
Souq Saqr

Inside of Souq Saqr looked like this

Inside Souq Saqr
Inside Souq Saqr

After taking a few turns I found it. The best part of the whole exploration as far as I am concerned. Sharjah Art Museum.

Sharjah Art Museum :

Sharjah Art Museum
Sharjah Art Museum

Entry to this amazing place was absolutely free. And this place is so inspiring. If you are an artist, you must definitely go visit this place, while in Sharjah.

As I couldn’t understand the greater meaning of many of the minimalistic art works, I was given a guide book, that too for free at the reception.

Art works  were stunning, inspiring, creative and meaningful.

Admiring the art at Sharjah Art Museum
Admiring the art at Sharjah Art Museum

Some art installations were simple but amazing.

Steel Rings Installation at Sharjah Art Museum
Steel Rings Installation at Sharjah Art Museum

I was very satisfied and inspired after taking a tour of the Sharjah art museum.  On my way back to my place of stay, I found the Sharjah Fort as well.

Sharjah Al Hisn Museum :

Sharjah Al Hisn Museum
Sharjah Al Hisn Museum

As it was closed for renovation, I couldn’t explore from inside.  But it was a great day and great tour for sure.

Also there was some events related to Sharjah Biennial was happening. And if you are in Sharjah  From 25 March to 4 April, 2015 Don’t Miss out the delicious Sharjah Food Festival.

If you are visiting Sharjah, don’t miss to visit The Heart of Sharjah. It is very near to the Sharjah Al Jubail Bus station, even nearer to another bus station Rolla terminal. Sharjah international Airport is also near. Beautiful Sharjah corniche is at a walkable distance.

Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour. Again I would like to thank ‘Heart of Sharjah’ for all the help and support. Also for this opportunity to write about this wonderful heritage site.

More details can be found from here.

Heart of Sharjah

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42 thoughts on “Exploring The Heart Of Sharjah

  1. The virtual tour was incredibly informative and I felt like I was there exploring the heart of Sharjah myself 🙂 Very well written and the photos were phenomenal!!! <3 I'm happy to see how well they preserve their culture and art 🙂 Thank you so so much for sharing this brilliant post with us Jithin! 😉

    1. Glad you enjoyed this virtual tour too. 😉 Thank you so much for your kind words, as always 🙂 Indeed, they preserve their tradition very well. Visit soon 😀

  2. wow! The old buildings look so beautiful! Esp those doors. Reminded me of the Dubai Museum doors 🙂 I love souqs .. I can wander endlessly and get lost in them 🙂

  3. Absolutely captivating tour. I felt I was really in the ‘Heart of Sharjah’. The earthy tones in the photographs are delightful as is the lighting.

    1. Thank you Sona. Good to see you again. Hope you are doing good.
      Glad you enjoyed the virtual tour. Yes, the earthy tone is the main highlight. The total ambience of the post is decided by that tone 🙂

  4. This looks like such a fascinating place, steeped in history and tradition. So refreshing to see everything so clean and free of litter and graffiti.
    Thank you for sharing. Really enjoyed reading this! 🙂

    1. Yes, you observed it very well! It is maintained very well. There were paths everywhere so that this small wheeler can go around all the places in and around the Centre of Heart of Sharjah. 🙂

  5. This was an outstanding tour! So detailed, and rich with history. I can imagine if you stand in the middle of one of the passage ways, can you almost hear the echoes of the past? I would think so. Great and thank you!

    1. Of course, very true. I cant even imagine how it will look like after a few years. By that time you will really feel, you have time travelled back into those days!
      Thank you for reading 🙂

  6. They have put so much effort to preserve their culture and arts. Beautiful photos of the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum and the Art Museum. Really enjoy the virtual tour of the heart of Sharjah! Thank you! 🙂

          1. Wow! Your page is amazing and you have received a good response 🙂
            My bucket list keeps on changing so I may share it some day in the future 😉

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