Free Entry to 200-Year-Old Sharjah Fort Announced for UAE National Day 2023
The Sharjah Fort, a timeless testament to the Emirati community's rich heritage and enduring spirit, has stood proudly for more than two centuries. Erected in the year 1823, this fort steeped in history now reaches its 200th anniversary, commemorated with a series of captivating events and festivities.
Celebrating Two Centuries of Heritage: Sharjah Fort
In honor of the UAE National Day, the iconic Sharjah Fort is set to come alive with history. On December 1st and 2nd, the fort will open its doors to visitors for free, welcoming all to embark on a journey into the heart of Emirati heritage. Special tours and events will provide a unique opportunity for the community to reflect upon the stories and legacy housed within the fort's ancient walls.
Cultural and historical exploration
The commemoration will offer a rich array of cultural and entertainment programs designed to deepen the understanding of Sharjah's modern history, the ruling family's legacy, daily life in the emirate from two centuries ago, and the fort's own storied history. Since its official reopening in 2015, following extensive restoration efforts, Sharjah Fort has been a repository of invaluable historical and cultural artifacts.
Artifacts of Significance
Within its walls, Sharjah Fort preserves a treasure trove of historical and cultural relics. One such artifact is the "Dancing Cannon," or Al Raggas cannon, an authentic and massive piece dating back to around 1811. This legendary cannon symbolizes the pride and military prowess of Al Qawasim, known for their victories in battles where it was employed.
The fort also houses a pearl magnifier, crafted from copper alloy and used to assess the purity and value of pearls. Safeguarded in a sheep-skin pouch to prevent cracks, it is a testament to the pearl diving heritage of the region.
A royal bed on display in the Sheikh's room once belonged to Sheikha Mahra Mohammed Khalifa Al Qasimi (1900–1987) and was generously gifted to the Sharjah Fort Museum. The bed, elevated above the floor and adorned with skillful carvings, features a small, intricately designed closed door at its pinnacle.
A significant historical artifact showcased at the fort is the Qawasim currency, dating back to the early 1830s and once circulating in the Qawasim territories.
The 1820 Treaty: A Pivotal Document
The fort pays homage to the 1820 treaty that the British signed with the Qawasim and other Arab leaders. This treaty laid the foundation for British relations with Arab rulers in the region, significantly influencing the region's political dynamics for over a century. It both benefited the British and imposed constraints on the Qawasim and other Arabs, ultimately altering their trade and maritime influence.
Quran Stand and Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr II's Passport
The fort's Qawasim Hall proudly displays a Quran stand from the rule of Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi (1866–1868), featuring inscriptions and a verse from the Holy Quran. Additionally, visitors can explore the passport of Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr II, who led a Trucial State from 1924 to 1951, a region that later evolved into the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In sum, the Sharjah Fort stands as a symbol of history, heritage, and resilience, inviting all to partake in its 200th-year celebration and bask in the richness of Emirati culture.