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Gateway to The World: snap shots from the historic Sharjah air station Al Mahatta Museum displays rare photos of region’s first flight

03 October 2019

Al Mahatta Museum, which was one of the first airports in the region, is commemorating the landing of its first flight, with a gallery of never-seen photos of the airport during the “Gateway to the World: Snap Shots from The Historic Sharjah Air Station” exhibition. 

 
Al Mahatta Museum, which was one of the first airports in the region, is commemorating the landing of its first flight, with a gallery of never-seen photos of the airport during the “Gateway to the World: Snap Shots from The Historic Sharjah Air Station” exhibition. 
 
Running from October 2nd until the 31st, the exhibition  that coincides with UAE’s Civil Aviation Day, is organised by Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) in collaboration with Sharjah Documentation and Archives Authority, and includes rare photos of Hano plane, a part of the British Imperial airlines, which landed in Sharjah on October 5, 1932.
 
During the 1930s, Al Mahatta - meaning station in Arabic - served as a weather forecast centre and a staging post for commercial flights from Britain to India. 
 
Other photos on display document work life in Al Mahatta, the different types of planes that landed on its runway and the facilities affiliated to it during the 1930s, including the region’s first cinema, which was located inside the station.
 
The exhibition highlights the historical role of Al Mahatta as one of few aviation museums in the area that opened its doors to the public in 2000 and also as one of the region’s first airports opened in 1932. 
 
The event also sheds light on it’s unique place in Sharjah’s community as it not only served as a place that allowed passengers to board planes to various destinations but also as a social centre with a small cinema, sport recreational areas and a hotel-like rooms allowing passengers on long trips to sleep the night at the airport .
 
Following the exhibition’s inauguration, Historian Dr. Saif Al-Badwawi examined the role of Al Mahatta since its establishment, and the historical agreement signed by the then Sharjah ruler, Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi the second, with the British government. 
 
Mohammed Al-Mulla, who worked as a reporter at Al Mahatta in the 1950s, highlighted work proceedings at the station during that period.
 
In commemoration of its first flight, entry to Al Mahatta Museum is free on October 5th every year.
 
 

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