Sharjah’s Museum of Islamic Civilisation, housing more than 5,000 precious Islamic artefacts, was opened last month by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. The museum is the first of its kind in the UAE and contains many objects that represent the work of the great Islamic scientists and artists. Some of the objects are displayed to the public for the very first time. The museum’s collection displays treasures from the advent of Islam until the present day.
At the opening ceremony Manal Ataya, director of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), said that the museum added a great deal to the profile of the department, and it was significant because of its interesting and rich displays emanating from Islam’s history from a vast area of the world extending from Portugal in the west to the borders of China in the east.
She believed that the museum would enhance communication with all the states of the region and would be a vital reference centre for researchers. Visitors will find work from Islamic countries representing all periods of Islamic history from its beginnings in the Arabia and Umayyad eras until the Ottoman and Mamluk eras, with distinctive features from each period.
The special exhibition of priceless Islamic masterpieces from the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, much of which has never been displayed before, was a good example of HH Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi’s determination to ensure that the Sharjah Museums Department worked with the best museums in the world.
The exhibition will be open for four months. This opening was part of the department’s strategic plan to open more museums which have so far included the Sharjah Old Cars Museum, the Botanical Museum and a special exhibition at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum on Al-Buhais18: Life and Death in the Stone Age, which provides a rare glimpse into the way of life and burial rites of the ancient people of this region. In addition the Sharjah Aquarium is also opening.
(See next month’s issue for more detailed information.)