Al Arsah (The Old Souq) is located in the heart
of old Sharjah.
Tucked away behind a row of shops,
cafeterias and a mosque on the waterfront, is
a narrow alley where vendors sell silver jewelry,
Indian handicrafts, Omani chests, daggers, Gulf
pearls and some antiques.
Art & Fine Craft
at every archeological dig are pottery jars used
for storing water and grain. Today, these are
still fired in man made wood-fuelled kilns. The
various shapes and sizes of the water, grain and
later oil jars, are displayed in the Heritage
Museum, (see Museums section). New locally made
pots are on sale in the Plant Souk, Al Soor.
The old Arabic
bridal chests which are becoming a rarity were
made throughout the Gulf, characterized by the
solid wood (usually teak or rosewood) with inlaid
brass decoration and often, secret compartments.
Smaller wooden chests, with carved decoration
only and many compartments were made specifically
for the pearling industry. Pearls would be graded
and stored in the boxes according to size, along
with scales and other pearling paraphernalia.
Weaving and embroidery
was used for dress decoration and practical purposes.
These traditional crafts are still popular pastimes
amongst the national women. The locally available
date palm fibers are woven to produce mats, baskets,
bags and bowls plus fans used for lighting fires.
There is a shop in Souk Al Arsah which sells these
crafts and you will also find them on sale in
the old Iranian Bazaar which runs parallel to
the creek. For further details, see Souks section.
The Sharjah Art
Museum, established in 1995 under the Art Directorate
of the Department of Culture & Information,
was housed in Bait Al Serkal, Al Shuwaihiyeen
area until 1997. The new building of the Sharjah
Art Museum was constructed in the area to integrate
with the heritage buildings. It was completed
and inaugurated on April 9, 1997.
Located in the
heart of Sharjah city and fully designated to
the fine arts and art-related activities, the
museum is displays a permanent collection of art
on the ground floor. Since its opening, thirty-three
solo and group exhibitions and other related activities
have been held at the venue.
Arts (House of Abdullah Al Sari)
Established in Sharjah in 1995 by the Sharjah
City for Humanitarian Services, Very Special Arts
was formed to enrich the lives of the disabled,
through enlightening and enhancing their artistic
The house of Abdulla
Al Sari has been transformed for this workshop
for the disabled.
- Helping the
disabled in integrating with the society through
enhancing their artistic talent.
- Promoting the
community awareness about the importance of
art as a means of expression and as an educational
tool in the rehabilitation program for the disabled.
- Bridging the
differences between the able and disabled by
providing equal opportunity in various artistic
- Providing special
training and technical assistance to the teachers
for the disabled.
- Holding local,
regional and international art workshops and
seminars at various levels for the disabled
and coordinating various similar establishments
around the world.