No1 Best Museum of Islamic Civilization, the Art Museum

Introduction Of Museum of Islamic Civilization

This week, I decided to step out of the bustling city of Dubai and explore the cultural treasures of Sharjah, the third largest emirate in the UAE. Known as the cultural heart of the country, Sharjah boasts majestic architecture, a vibrant artistic community, and, admittedly, challenging traffic systems that make navigation a bit tricky. Having first visited in 2005, before the advent of Google Maps and smartphones, I can attest that exploring Sharjah is now a much more accessible and rewarding experience.

Museum of Islamic Civilization

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

My first stop was the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. This stunning, long building houses an extensive collection of artifacts from Islamic countries, primarily from the Arab and Turkish regions. A dedicated room showcases Islam’s three holiest sites—Mecca, Medina, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. While I haven’t had the opportunity to visit these sacred places myself, seeing the old and new photographs and artifacts was a poignant reminder of their significance.

The museum’s galleries span various aspects of Islamic history, including art, ceramics, engineering, and astronomy. Despite not reading every single caption, I found the exhibits captivating. By the third and fourth galleries, post-COVID fatigue started to set in, but the interactive sections in the technology, engineering, and astrology displays were particularly engaging. These hands-on exhibits are perfect for both children and adults (I couldn’t resist pressing a few buttons myself).

I spent about an hour exploring the museum. Facilities include a large café, a small coffee shop, and classrooms for children’s activities—during my visit, a summer camp was in full swing. The museum was relatively empty, offering a peaceful environment to appreciate the artifacts without distractions.


  • Extensive collection of interesting artifacts
  • Quiet environment allowing for undisturbed viewing
  • No noisy crowds


  • Staff using one gallery for loud phone calls and videos
  • Underwhelming shop and café


  • Adult Ticket: AED 10 (August 2022)
  • Parking: Free

Sharjah Art Museum

Following my visit to the Museum of Islamic Civilization, I headed to the nearby Sharjah Art Museum. Another grand building, the Art Museum currently had only two open exhibitions, as temporary exhibitions were being prepared for the next season. Despite this, I enjoyed several beautiful landscape paintings and other artworks.

The experience was somewhat mixed. One section of the permanent gallery was unstaffed, allowing me to enjoy the art in peace. However, in another section, I was followed by a security guard, which was off-putting and gave the impression that I was suspected of improper behavior. This detracted from my overall experience, especially as I was the only visitor in that section.


  • Beautiful artworks by Arabian artists


  • Disconcerting experience with security


  • Adult Ticket: Free (August 2022)
  • Parking: Free (accessed through a barrier by a somewhat gruff attendant)

Additional Exploration

After the museums, I ventured to a nearby café, only to find it closed. The district around the Sharjah Art Museum, including the Sharjah Art Foundation, also seemed largely closed.

I then drove to the Arabian Tea House next to The Chedi. Known for its delightful meals, the Arabian Tea House did not disappoint. I opted for a hummus and halloumi wrap with rose jam—a surprisingly delightful combination. This spot is always worth a visit, particularly for breakfast.


  • Parking: Free (parked at The Chedi)


Visiting Sharjah’s museums was a refreshing change from Dubai’s fast-paced environment. While not every experience was flawless, it was still enriching to explore the emirate’s cultural offerings. For those seeking a quieter, more introspective outing, Sharjah’s museums provide a peaceful and culturally enriching escape.

I hope this overview helps fellow travelers and culture enthusiasts in planning their visits.


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