Sharjah is a symbol of culture, intellect and architectural revolution in the United Arab Emirates. Sharjah, with the meaning ‘Rising Sun’, dates back more than 6,000 years. In 1490 AD, Sharjah was mentioned in records written by the famous Arab navigator, Ahmad Ibn Majid, as he navigated the Gulf’s waters.
Today Sharjah is renowned for its leading role as a patron of fine arts and true cultural values. Sharjah is known for its ability to create a cultural identity that harmonizes between its Islamic roots, historical heritage, and contemporaneity while embracing the many humanitarian cultures. In addition to its historical significance, Old Sharjah became even more valued since its houses and buildings were transformed into art facilities, showrooms, calligraphy and decoration museums, and ateliers for calligraphers and plastic artists.
The area, with all its traditional buildings and unique character, became a unique venue tinged with the whispers of the past, where contemporary and folkloric arts are celebrated, and traditional flavours overlap in the old halls redolent with the essence and traditions of the bygone days.
Among the circles of intellect and knowledge, Sharjah’s name has become synonymous with its ruler and patron, His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who dedicated his life and efforts to add a rich cultural and intellectual flavour to life.
Sharjah is the third largest emirate and it is the only one with land adjoining the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
In 1998, UNESCO awarded Sharjah the title of the Cultural Capital of the Arab World, and in 2014 it received the title of the Capital of Islamic Culture.