Sharjah Tourism Travel Quiz

Heritage homes preserving traditions of 19th century Sharjah, reimagined into charming art and event venues

The Heart of Sharjah is home to a number of preserved heritage houses, some of which have been converted into museums and art galleries displaying the creations of the most famous artists from around the world, under the supervision and management of the Sharjah Art Foundation.

Bait Al Serkal

Bait Al Serkal (‘Bait’ meaning ‘house’) dates back to the nineteenth century with a nearly 150 year history. During the English colonial period, the house was converted into headquarters for the British delegate in the Gulf region, then it was converted into a hospital in the sixties of the last century, to witness the birth of generations of important figures in the history of the emirate.

Bait Al Serkal underwent restoration work between 1993 and 1995, along with a number of other heritage houses in the Al Shuwaiheen area and currently hosts the activities of the Sharjah Art Foundation, the Sharjah Biennial, and many exhibitions, events and workshops.

Bait Al Shamsi

Owned by the late Obaid Bin Hamad Al Shamsi and built around the year 1845, Bait Al Shamsi reflects authentic Arabic Islamic Architecture. Built on two levels, there are 16 rooms, three upstairs and importantly, the distinctive top ventilation-structures wind-towers known as 'Barjeel'.

After the 1997 renovation, 13 studios are maintained around the traditional courtyard, titled the ‘Hall of Arts” as they host professional artists practising their work. Contemporary artists, by invitation from Sharjah Directorate of Arts, come from all over the world to use the studios each year.

There is an air of tranquil creativity across the property during the day, while in the evenings the area becomes a hive of activity as the artists meet to discuss their work.

How to get there

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Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the UAE, its largest city and its most family-friendly destination. Experience a Sharjah museum, a desert safari and a Sharjah beach — the emirate offers things to do for everyone.