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UAE National Day: Free entry to 200-year-old Sharjah Fort announced – News


The community will be able to reflect on the rich heritage and stories that the fort keeps within its walls.

Photos: Sharjah Museums Authority

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 6:05 p.m.

Last update: Thursday, October 12, 2023, 0:11

Standing tall for more than two centuries, the historic Sharjah Fort is a testament to the resilience and heritage of the Emirati community. Built in 1823, the fort, so steeped in history, is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a series of events.

The landmark will come alive with history as part of the UAE National Day festivities, with tours and special events, offering the community the opportunity to reflect on its rich heritage and the stories that the fort holds within its walls.

Entry to Sharjah Fort on December 1 and 2 will be free. Various cultural and entertainment programs will promote a deeper understanding of Sharjah’s modern history, the ruling family, daily life in the emirate 200 years ago and the rich history and restoration of the fort until its official opening in 2015.

Artifact Set

The fort houses a wide range of artifacts that serve as repositories of historical and cultural elements, safeguarding the heritage of the era.

A ‘dancing cannon’ or Al Raggas cannon, is one of the largest authentic cannons and is located in the courtyard of the fort. It dates back to around 1811. This legendary cannon is the symbol of Al Qawasim’s pride and military power. The city used to win all battles in which the Al Raggas cannon was used.

A pearl loupe kept in the Sharjah Fort was used to ensure the purity of the pearls and their values. Made of copper alloy with a small dial top handle, the magnifying glass was always stored in a sheepskin bag to protect it from cracking.

The royal bed displayed in the Sheikh’s room belongs to Sheikha Mahra Mohammed Khalifa Al Qasimi (1900-1987). It was donated to the Sharjah Fort Museum by Sheikha Meera Ahmed Rashed Al Mualla, mother of Sheikha Jawaher, wife of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council and ruler of Sharjah.

It is very high and consists of a staircase with four steps. The top of the staircase features a small closed door decorated with skillfully carved motifs and designs.

The Qawasim coin or coins were issued by Marduf Al Qawasim in the early 1830s. Copper coins circulated within the Qawasim territories of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Kalba, Khor Fakkan and Dibba.

The treaty of 1820 was signed by the British, the Qawasim and other Arab leaders. This treaty became the basis of all British relations with the Arab rulers of the region. A copy of the treaty is displayed in this gallery. The treaty generally benefited the British and imposed restrictions on the Qawasim and other Arabs. It destroyed the trade and maritime influence of the Qawasim and caused conflicts that resulted in the destruction of their ships and homes. The treaty of 1820 gave the British significant political power in the region, which lasted for more than a century.

The Quran stand on display in the Qawasim Hall dates back to the rule of Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi (1866-1868). It is made of wood and has Arabic inscriptions carved on both sides. One side reads: “Property of Khalid bin Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, dated 9 Muharram 1257”, which is the Hijri date (equivalent to 1841 AD). The other side is engraved with a verse from the Holy Quran: “Victory of Allah and a near conquest.”

The passport of Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr II, who was ruler of a Trucial State from 1924 to 1951, now the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A history lesson

A combination of soft, light brown gypsum and coral stones, abundant in the Persian Gulf, were used to build the fort.

Teak wood was used for the doors and the ceiling showed a remarkable geometric pattern, made from palm leaves and mangrove columns.

Throughout its history, the fort faced many challenges. In 1969, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, was in Egypt when he learned of his impending demolition.

This news prompted his quick return to Sharjah to save the remains of the fort, which were just a tower and two damaged walls.

After the restoration was completed, the fort was converted into a museum chronicling the rich history of Sharjah.

The fort has two levels, a spacious central courtyard and three defensive towers called Al-Mahlousa, Al-Kabis and Musharraf Square. It also includes a main balcony that houses the repentance wood previously used for punishments.

Lower level

The ground floor has been transformed into a seating area and comprises the arrest room, the Mahloussa prison, the armory and the Al Hisn gallery, which details the history of the building and the restoration phases.

Additionally, there is the Madbasa Gallery, where visitors can learn about the process of extracting date juice (commonly known as molasses), and the Al-Qawasim Gallery, which provides information on the history of Al-Qawasim and its interactions with regional entities. and foreigners.

Upper level

The upper level houses the Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr II Gallery, Al-Kabis Tower, the arms gallery, the Sheikh’s hall, Al Ghurfa (a room dedicated to meeting esteemed guests), the balcony and the Majlis dedicated to displaying documents historical and photographs.


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