Sharjah – City of Art and Culture

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The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Arts and Culture

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Arts and Culture

Sharjah's colorful central marketplace

Sharjah’s colorful central marketplace

Immediately adjacent to the northern boundary of Dubai, the Emirate of Sharjah refuses to be overwhelmed by its glamorous neighbor. The half-hour drive from Dubai to Sharjah paints a different portrait of the UAE. A bustling modern city, albeit without the glitzy skyscrapers, surrounds a historical district that preserves the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the region. The museums of Sharjah are a great way for visitors to gain an understanding of the historical and cultural heritage of the UAE.

The Sharjah Art Museum houses a wonderful collection of art from 18th Century lithographs to works by contemporary artists. Many works from the Sheik’s private art collection are on display and the permanent collection is complemented by the works of talented contemporary artists and impressive temporary exhibitions. The lithographs and paintings by European artists who visited the region are world-class.

A short distance from the Art Museum, the Museum of Islamic Arts & Culture provides a unique glimpse into the artifacts and traditions of Islam. Over the centuries, Islamic scholars made important contributions in a variety of scholarly fields, notably science and mathematics. The modern museum brings the history if this often misunderstood culture alive in a way that is easily appreciated.

Few of the expatriates living in Dubai and even fewer of the visitors to Dubai take the short detour to this wonderful Emirate. If they ventured that short distance north, they would be richly rewarded.