Nice way to divide between original parts and fort reconstruction
Large parking lot next to it
Rather small place
Sharjah is very often underestimated as a touristic destination. In fact, it offers some very interesting museum. The most outstanding place is likely the Museum of Islamic Civilization (review coming soon) in the city and emirate North of Dubai. However, other places like the Classic Car Museum or the Al Mahatta Historic Airport have already been great visits to me. In this posting, I am taking you on trip into the museum located in Al Hisn Fort in the historic city center of Sharjah.
Sharjah Al Hisn Fort – Location & Admission
The Al Hisn Fort is located right in the center of the city. Other attractions like Heart of Sharjah or the Sharjah Heritage Museum are closeby. It was originally constructed in 1820 and majorly demolished in 1970. Only one tower and some walls are original, the remaining part is a reconstruction (which you can see in the pictures quite nicely). In general, you like travel by rental car or taxi in Sharjah. There is a major parking lot behind the fort.
Opening times of the Fort are 8:00 to 20:00 hrs daily. On Fridays, the museum opens at 16:00 hrs. In general, museum opening times in Sharjah are more exposed to religious habits, there are shortened closing times during Ramadan. Adult admission to the fort is 10 AED, roughly 2.30 EUR. There is a 20 AED Heritage Ticket, which includes the Al Eslah School Museum (closed at the time of writing), the Sharjah Heritage Museum, the Calligraphy Museum and Bait Al Naboodah, a traditional Emirati house.
Sharjah Al Hisn Fort – The Visit
The museum is covering two levels of visiting. The exhibits are located in the rooms in the wall of the fort, while the courtyard is open space. The first exhibit reminds you of the place’s prison facilities, before you get introduced to the history of the fort. Sheikh Khalid bin Muhammad Al Qasimi was studying in Cairo, when he heard of the demolition of the fort. He rushed back home and could stop the works. Thanks to him, there is at least one original tower left. Since 1997, it is a museum.
The museum continues to tell the story of the fort, but also the story of Sharjah. Typically, each room is focusing on a different story, sometimes motivated by the original usage of that place. One of the first rooms, for example, deals with the importance of naval trade for Sharjah and gives an overview of all people active in this region. Thereby, the museum does have original exhibits, but also gives a lot of information – which is generally in Arabic and English.
The upper floor hosts a couple of really interesting places. The weaponry does not only display different guns and pistols, but also illustrates the impacts of different kinds of ammunition. In a later room, you access living / sleeping quarters, which is very illustrative.
A very interesting idea is a touchscreen, which allows to share your experience with Shajah with other visitors. One of the last rooms you visit is a room which has been used for important negotiations.
Sharjah Al Hisn Fort – Services
The staff in the museum was very friendly and helpful. The entrance features a small souvenir shop. As quite typical in the United Arab Emirates, quite a share of the items you can buy are books to allow you a deeper study of the topics discussed in the museum.
Sharjah Al Hisn Fort – My View
If you are in the city, visiting the museum is a good option. It tells a nice story and the museum is well done. In contrast to other places I mentioned in this review, I would not call it a must-visit – but if you step through the (original) gates, you will definitely have a really good and informative time.