Thursday, June 7, 2012

Weekend Trip to Sharjah UAE?: Check Out Bait Shiekh Said Bin Hamad Al Qaissimi Museum

Entry: Adults Dhs 3, Family Dhs 6, Children Free
Opening Time: 08:00 – 20:00, (Friday 16:00 – 20:00)Now, if you are one of those who doesn't have troubles in UAE, and doesn't have to apply for a visa to go there, I can suggest a few places worth checking out for something to do that you might not have already done over the weekend.

Kalba is the most southerly village in the United Arab Emirates and the location of an important mangrove forest. The quaint charm of this old fishing village is still evident in the streets and shops of Kalba. The fruit and vegetable market is located along the seashore with the fish market next door.
Two noteworthy attractions in Kalba are the restored House of Sheikh Saeed bin Hamad Al-Qassimi and the Al-Hisn Museum. The defensive fort, now the museum, was built 150 to 200 years ago to provide observation and defense.

A large settlement dating back to 2,500 BC is being excavated, which will provide more pre-historical data for Kalba.
A variety of necklaces made up of precious stones found in Kalba from the first and second century AD, shells and a selection of varied beads from graves excavated in Tarif in the area, a set of garnet beads with different forms and sizes found in the burial pit, Islamic coins, metal tools from an Islamic castle in Khor Fakkan, and 16th to 18th century Islamic pottery from the East Coast and much more.
These precious collections and the golden antiquity that goes with it have made this early 19th century house of Shaikh Saeed bin Hamad Al Qasimi a testimony to the good old days of architecture, politics, economic and commercial bloodline of its time.

Located in Kalba, Bait Sheikh Said Bin Hamad al Qassimi is a fully restored traditional home. The home now displays musical instruments, Islamic heritage artifacts, agricultural equipment, and other items providing a glimpse into life on East coast Sharjah. 


Standing through the test of time along the coast of Kalba City, this house has witnessed major political events, the most important of which was the signing of a British treaty related to the Eastern Region.

Given the heritage and the historical importance of the house, it has been restored with effective architectural technology using raw materials such as stones and plaster to become one of the heritage museums in Sharjah that tells a long history to the new generation and visitors.

Dubbed as Bait Shaikh Saeed bin Hamad Al Qasimi, the house opened as a museum on December 5, 1999. Touring around, visitors will discover that it has heritage collections ranging from the Shaikh Saeed’s room, a children’s room, a living room for children, a room for agriculture, a room designated for old pictures and mementos to a sitting room and a kitchen.

Archeological finds discovered in the Eastern Region of the emirate are on display in one room while Islamic heritage is featured in two rooms which have many traditional Islamic products and various collections that represent models of pottery, glass, metal arts and industries.

Mariam Al Zaabi, curator of Bait Shaikh Saeed bin Hamad Al Qasimi, says that the house was built sometime between 1898 and 1901 adopting the principles of Islamic and regional architectural design in order to preserve the unique Arab-Islamic architecture. “The rectangular-shaped house is divided into two sections: east and west. The eastern part comprises the sitting hall, square, Almzagl curtain and the internal sitting hall facing the coast. This section is exclusively designed for men and guests, and is isolated from the western part by a wall in the middle. The western side is designed exclusively for women, housing and services,” she says.

The museum is characterised by its rectangular rooms and carved walls as well as its perforated stucco ornaments and other interfaces of the rooms. “All rooms open directly onto the courtyard (Liwan). The interior walls of rooms feature closed windows, or wind towers called “Barjeel”, which is one of the important architectural elements of the building of walls from the outside and of the traditional Emirati houses.

“These barjeels add beauty to the shape of house facades, in addition to allowing the passage of air and light through the rectangular opening. All doors of the house are made of wood and decorated with famous heritage ornaments that are widely known in the area. The frames of those doors and the house with all its magnificent architectural components stand as a testament to the long history and authenticity of the region historically and culturally,” Al Zaabi says.

Visitors of all ages and nationalities come to Bait Shaikh Saeed. Foreign tourists frequenting the museum are from countries like Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the GCC.

Al Zaabi said the museum is also visited by researchers and students of universities and schools as well as families

The museum participates in several heritage-related events every year, including “Sharjah Heritage Days”, as well as many other events held in Kalba and the neighbouring cities of the Eastern Region. It has also hosted several events such as the National Day, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha, and International Museums Day.

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