Visit to 5 of Top Sharjah Museums, UAE

The most important destination in my itinerary of a city is visit to at least one of its museums. I find museums a great way to learn about the past of that city/country. They give hands on experience especially those based on science. Another important factor that attracts me to museum is their souvenir shops. I indulge in them wholeheartedly. So, when Sharjah tourism included visits to its museums I was more than thrilled.

Sharjah is 3rd largest of the emirates of UAE and has 16 museums! Each with a theme more interesting than the other. The Sharjah Museum Department (SMD) was established in 2006. Museums here offer a range of facilities, host several regional and international exhibitions. These museums also provide educational programs for all ages and abilities. I have here 5 of top Sharjah Museums.

Sharjah Heritage Museum

Heritage Museum of Sharjah has displays that trace UAE’s history, rich culture and traditions. The various themes on display here are: history, landscape, lifestyle, traditional knowledge, livelihood, and oral traditions. There are several eye openers, all so interesting too. It is a small museum and can be covered between half an hour to one hour. The themes are done in detail, the props arranged well, so the tour across them at a medium pace helps cover all.

I liked their jewellery section very much. They have displayed some old ornaments and explained in detail how the goldsmiths of yesteryear practiced the art of making ornaments. Textiles they used then were of cotton, wool and silk. The decorated expensive fabrics on display were mind-blowing!

It is interesting to note how they greet each other. Besides shaking hands, people of Emirates meet their relatives, friends or notable person by touching noses. They may also kiss each other on cheek, forehead or hand. While greeting thus they also say ‘as salaam alaykum’ and in reply as ‘wa alaykum as salaam’! I will recommend a visit to this heritage museum of Sharjah with kids.

Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8AM to 8PM, Friday 4PM to 8PM.

Entry Tickets: Children (under 2 years): Free, Children (2-12years): 5 AED, Adults (13+ years): 10 AED


Displays in Sharjah Heritage Museum.

People of Emirates meet their relatives, friends or notable person by touching noses.

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

Both exteriors and interiors of this museum building are impressive. Initially this building was a traditional covered market. It got converted to Museum of Islamic Civilization in 2008. Over 5000 exquisite artifacts and rare manuscripts from Islamic world are on display here. A learning experience of Islamic history, their religious places Mecca and Medina.

The must see section here is that of Kiswah – Black cloth used to cover Kaba the black stone at the heart of the Mosque in Mecca. It is made of black silk satin with gold and silver embroidery and features verses from the Holy Quran. I was so glad they allow photography. Most of us stood rooted at this place taking several pictures of this. We were told every year the cloth covering over the black stone in Mecca is changed and the black cloth covering is given away to museums or other important organizations.

Another must visit is the second floor. The ceiling here has a magnificent star constellation. Several of us took selfie here placing the mobiles on the carpet, hovering above it and clicking. The pics did come out well. The first floor has interesting rooms with displays of old pottery, weapons, clothes, scriptures, paintings and embroidery. They were used by people from Middle East, Africa and Europe. The souvenir shop here has lots on shelves including books.

Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday 8AM to 8PM, Friday 4PM to 8PM.

Entry Tickets: Children (under 2 years): Free, Children (2-12years): 5 AED, Adults (13+ years): 10 AED

Sharjah Indoor Archaeological Museum

This is a cool indoors museum with a good collection of very ancient finds. If you are curious about prehistoric finds then this is the place for you. Pre-historic here is from 125,000 years ago! Yes, that old! They have a good collection of coins, jewellery, pottery and ancient weapons. Each section has interactive displays which were very informative. We visited the Mleiha Archaeological Center. The staff here are knowledgeable. They explained the changes right from Paleolithic period to Neolithic, Bronze, Iron and on. It sounded so interesting I wonder why it didn’t interest me during the school days.

Graves discovered here were in well preserved condition. The burial chambers had skeletal remains, pottery and metal objects. While some of the graves had disturbed skeletal remains, some had undisturbed ones of at least 300 corpses. The ceramic finds here provided good matter to study.

One sight I can never forget is the remains of a horse and a camel. Both are given handsome forms, they are visible through a glass pane over which we walk. When you look down you feel you are standing on them. Their skeletons were discovered in 1994 in a grave in Mleiha.

Opening Hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 9am to 7pm, and Thursday to Friday, 9am to 9pm.

Entry Tickets: Dh25 for adults, Dh15 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under 3

Sharjah Aquarium Visit

Sharjah aquarium has diverse marine creatures in a well maintained marine environment. Entrance to this is combined with Maritime museum. Walking into it was like walking in to a different world altogether. There are several volunteers at work here hand to protect the various species and making the aquarium a safe habitat for fish to grow and reproduce.

Some facts: Sharjah Aquarium is the first and largest government educational center in UAE. Covering an area of 6500 m², it consists of two floors equipped with 20 aquariums, filled with 1.8 million liters of water.

There were the usual clown fish, delicate seahorses, moray eels, sea rays and reef sharks. What fascinated me the most was a white turtle! The sight of the gentle creature resting on corals was mesmerizing.

Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday – 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, Friday – 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Sunday: Closed

Entry Tickets: Children (under 2 years): Free, Children (2-12 years): 15 AED, Adults (13+ years): 25 AED

Top Sharjah Museums

Sharjah Classic Car Museum

The last in this list but most favorite of mine! I got to see some swanky cars of yesteryear here. This museum really has a HUGE collection of old models of cars. I saw them in all colors; from orange to green to classic black. I did focus on the ornaments on the hoods of some of them. Do have a look at the form of a woman leaning forwards with her arms outstretched behind and above her. It is the Spirit of Ecstasy, the most famous bonnet ornament on RollsRoyce cars. Of course there were other hood ornaments too, a rare sight on cars these days.

The info on them put just by the car’s side helped understand and relate to the model of the car better. There is also a Corvair at the exit in which you can sit and pose for pictures. All other cars are out of bounds for visitors. I am sure children will love a visit to this.

Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday:8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Friday: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Entry Tickets: Children (under 2 years): Free Children (2-12years): 5 AED Adults (13+ years): 10 AED

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49 Responses

  1. This is so fascinating! I especially love the classic cars and seeing all the variety in them. Thanks for the info!

  2. Amazing, Great post and pics.

  3. Laura says:

    I’m a sucker for aquaria, so I guess I’d visit that one for sure if I would ever be in the area! The Heritage-museum looks great as well! Don’t know a lot about Islamic culture, so this would open a whole new world for me! Great post!

  4. Niranjan says:

    Sixteen museums is quite a treasure. Glad to know about these lovely museums and their displays.

  5. The heritage museum is amazing and the Islamic civilization museum is intriguing. As for the aquarium and the classic car museum was stunning! Would love to visit.

  6. Sharjah actually has so much more vibrance in culture.You can actually feel and see the appreciation for art in this emirate that is often ignored by the rest!

  7. The Museum of Islamic Civilization would definitely be the first I’d go to followed by the archaeological one. The carpet embroidery is fantastic!

  8. blair villanueva says:

    Now I learned that touching each others nose in Emirates is a sign of greetings (for blood-related relatives) No wonder most of them are blessed it beautiful nose 🙂

  9. Are all the 16 museums themed differently? I would love to explore the aquarium and the classic cars museum. Jewelry is one more thing I would love to explore 🙂

  10. Brianna says:

    Thanks for writing about somewhere in the UAE that isn’t Dubai or Abu Dabi!! I’m generally not big on visiting museums, but these I might actually try- especially the Heritage museum and the Archaeology museum. I’d enjoy the chance to learn more about the UAE culture through these places.

  11. This is a great list! We’ve only been to Dubai but failed to check out any museum around the area. Looks like my husband will fancy the Car Museum in Sharjah.

  12. Louiela says:

    oohhh… wow. I’d been here in UAE for 6 years and I really have no idea about these museums in Sharjah.. Thanks for sharing Indrani… I was expecting you would share in this post your selfie with the star constellation from the ceiling 🙂

  13. Victoria says:

    UAE is so beautiful!! It has way more to offer than dubai and abu dhabi and your post definitely sheds light on this!

  14. I also love museums! These look fantastic. The Kiswah is gorgeous, and I would love to see a white turtle. I have a weakness for the design of classic cars too. Looks like a great city for museum lovers.

  15. Marge says:

    I love museums! I love it as much as I love art galleries. I just think it’s the best way to get to know a place and I like checking out vintage stuff while imagining how the people back then used them. My favorite in this list is the Sharjah Indoor Archaeological Museum and if ever I go to UAE and I could only go to one museum, I’d make sure that it’s this one.

  16. This place is fascinating! Can’t believe there’s a place like that in UAE! Will have to stop by here whenever I will be traveling to the Middle East pretty soon! 😀

  17. sophie says:

    The photos are so fascinating! I loved the classic cars and the culture of UAE and variety in them. Thanks for the info! I might have to try this on my next trip! Cheers!

  18. I totally agree that museums are the number 1 place to check out on a trip! UAE is fascinating, I’ve never been but I surely will in the future!

  19. arv1 says:

    This is a cool post. I was just wondering what would interest me out of all these. I will surely visit car museum. Even aquarium looks like a great visit too!

  20. Great tips, very interesting museums, especially the one about prehistory and archaeological artifacts. The aquarium with all kinds of sea life – colorful fish and turtles is also great!

  21. Museums are definitely a great way to learn about a country. The Heritage museum looks amazing and it was interesting to learn how the locals greet their relatives and closed ones. The picture of Kiswah is remarkable and it was good to learn a bit about it. And Car museum is something we would definitely not miss.

  22. Shane Prather says:

    I’m not normally a huge museum person, but since I know so little about this culture and heritage, I think UAE museums would be fascinating. Such beautiful photographs!

  23. Wow so many interesting things to see there! I loved the picture of two men touching each other’s noses! i love museums especially the historical and cultural ones, I’d love to visit these!

  24. Those are really unique museums, I’m glad that I had the chance to discover them in your post! The car museum looks so great!

  25. neha says:

    The archeological museum and the aquarium particularly interest me. I feel all these museums of Sharjah are very well thought of, since each one covers a specific area of interest. Is there a combined ticket covering all available?

  26. I don’t think I have been to any museums in the UAE and I hope that I get to see at least few of them next time I visit. I would love to the cloth they use at Mecca. Another thing I would be interested is the classic car collection and maybe take my nephew to the aquarium.

  27. What a cool selection of museums! I personally love aquariums so would definitely do that one but the other ones sound amazing to learn more about the culture. So I extend my museum trip to a couple of days 🙂

  28. Ami says:

    Wow… These museums are just gorgeous… I would want to do the vintage cars and aquarium for sure.. Sharjah has grown so much since the last time I saw it

  29. This so intriguing. Love the vintage car museum. And the aquarium museum too with diverse marine life. This feels like a total time warp visit. We too love museums. Reading your post does make us want to plan a visit to Sharjah!

  30. They really have good quality museums and the entry cost sounds reasonable. Learning about ancient history is fascinating and museums can be a lot more accessable that just reading a book. The cars are beautiful as well, what a selection.

  31. Joanna says:

    I have never visited an Islamic Civilization Museum yet and I think that would make a great day activity. I know nothing about the Islamic culture but I would love to learn more. The Heritage Museum sounds like a great place to visit as well, with all those jewellery and textiles collections.

  32. Melissa says:

    Looks like an awesome collection Of museums. It’s so helpful that you include price info there too. I think I’d like the aquarium (I love fish), but all seem worth a visit

  33. Really interesting museums. I’m a real art buff, so it was a big pleasure to read your post 🙂 I would love to visit Sharjah Heritage Museum.

  34. Suruchi says:

    Wow. They all so beautiful and so are your pictures. The car one and aquarium is most interesting for me. Touching nose to meet relatives is very new to me but I loved that concept and those innocent smiles in the picture.

  35. Not one or two but five museums! I think this will teach one about the entire history of Middle East. The vintage cars are cool too. Wish one could drive one or two of them too.

  36. I love museums and to me they are the best way to start exploration of the city. The Sharjah Heritage Museum looks specially interesting. Bookmarking it for my future visit to the city.

  37. Ess says:

    This is so fascinating. The Sharjah museum of Islamic Civilization really stands out to me. I’d love to check out the Kiswah and the star collection!

  38. Raksha says:

    The sharjah classic car museum looks so cool. Museums provide great insight on the city or the country you are visiting. Always a great idea

  39. Good list, they sound interesting You can sometimes overlook the cultural side of the UAE with all its ,modern glamour.

  40. Jenna says:

    I always love visiting museums, too! They have a lot of museums, but it looks like you found five of the best for sure! I would love to visit the Heritage Museum of Sharjah and the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization–the history in both sounds so interesting!

  41. Maartje says:

    Wow I didn’t know there were so many museum options, did you visit all 16? I love your detailed descriptions and that you included opening hours and the prices of tickets! The jewellery section and the awesome black and white photo really make me want to visit Sharjah Heritage Museum 🙂

  42. I can admit that I do not know much about the countries in the Middle East. Visiting museums like the first three might actually improve that a bit. We will see if I ever go to UAE, it would be interesting. 🙂

  43. tNever venture in Middle East yetbut these museums seems interesting, those vintage cars are awesome too

  44. This is a very intereesting post! As someone who hasn’t been to the Middle East yet, I’m always fascinated by articles that discuss this area. Thanks for letting me know of these places. They look amazing.

  45. Actually I am not a big fan of museums, but when it comes to countries very different to what I see in Europe. And UAE is so interesting and exotic to me! The history museum can be good place to go. Or the one with cars:)

  46. Mansoureh says:

    I have been two times in Sharjah but haven’t visited any of these. I mostly passed the city. Next time I will stop and check them

  47. Megan Jerrard says:

    Such a diverse range of museums, I love it!I’ve been to the UAE, but only Dubai, so I would love to head back and explore other Emirates like Sharjah. Love that the museum line up is fascinating with everything from history and archaeology to wildlife and religious heritage too!

  48. When I eventually get to UAE I will definitely be paying these museums a visit. They all seem very interesting. I had no idea there was 16 of them!

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