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.
Sharjah Art Museum
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
Very Special 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 skills.
The house of Abdulla
Al Sari has been transformed for this workshop for
- 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 fields.
- 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.