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Sharjah library has permanent home

Sharjah: The Public Library in Sharjah was set up in five different locations across the city before it found permanent residence last week at Cultural Square.

The library, which was known as Qasimi Library, was founded by Shaikh Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi in 1925 at Sharjah Fort. It was initially used by Shaikh Sultan Bin Saqr as his private library, along with another library in Al Bait Al Gharbi.

After the ruler died in 1951, the library was inherited by Shaikh Saqr Bin Sultan Al Qasimi who in 1956, moved it to a new building in the courtyard of Sharjah Fort. Over the years, the library was passed on to Shaikh Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, before it was inherited by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

The library was run under the administration of Sharjah Government and it was in 1971 when Dr Shaikh Sultan decided to have it under the umbrella of the Department of Culture and Information of the Sharjah Government.

Official name

The library was then moved to the Sharjah Municipality building, near Africa Hall, and was officially known as Sharjah Library.

Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Owais, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Information, explained that in 1984, the library was moved to the Cultural Palace and then in 1993 it was moved yet again to the area of Muwaileh.

"The library's last location was not easy for people to get to, and residents found it difficult because it was far out from the city. We then noticed that residents were not using it and that it was beneficial mainly to university students," said Al Owais.

"In 1981, there were only three bookshops in the city but now there are more than 250. Books are being heavily promoted in Sharjah, and His Highness is constantly searching [for] ways to improve the availability of books to residents throughout the emirate," Al Owais said. He pointed out that the new library is a two-storey building consisting of a sound-proof seminar hall equipped with presentation screens, a theatre, computers, televisions, a coffee shop.

There is also a hall for children aged between three to 12, which has educational toys, games and books.

In addition to providing a separate reading room for women, the library also offers audio books and books in Braille.

Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Owais, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Information, Sharjah Governemnt, explained that anyone interested in joining the library are charged Dh10 for a membership card and will have to pay a deposit of Dh150, which will be returned once the membership is cancelled.

"Throughout the year, the library will host a number of workshops and lectures. It holds approximately half a million books with over 100,000 book titles," said Al Owais.

The first floor of the library offers books that cover various topics and genres, such as social sciences, languages, Islamic studies, geography and history. Meanwhile, the second floor of the library includes a coffee shop and contains books related to Gulf and UAE studies, a rare collection of books, university letters, and books in several languages.


The library operates from 8am to 8pm, from Saturday to Thursday, and visitors can log on to for more information or call 065166888 / 065659995.

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