The historic Al Mahatta Museum, which chronicles the aviation history of the UAE and part of Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), highlighted the evolution and milestones in the country's aviation sector at the 2nd Global Aviation Safety Conference (GASC) for Humanitarian Air Activities in Sharjah, sponsored by the Department of Civil Aviation of Sharjah.
Opened in 1932 as the first airport in the Gulf region, Al Mahatta was used as a staging post for commercial flights en route from Britain to India. The airport buildings now feature exhibits depicting the history of aviation on the Emirate of Sharjah. Four fully-restored original propeller planes that belonged to Gulf Aviation are also on display in the hangar.
"The Global Aviation Safety Conference attracted a large number of international organizations specialized in the field of civil aviation industry. Through our participation, we reiterated the unique appeal of Al Mahatta Museum and its mission of mapping the rich history of aviation in the region," said Manal Ataya, Director General of SMD
"Al Mahatta Museum documents the past and Sharjah's pioneering successes in aviation. Visitors to the museum can also watch a film about the daily life at the airport and Sharjah town during the 1930s and experience first-hand this fascinating period of Sharjah's history," she added.
Al Mahatta consists of the control tower, ground services centre, aircraft service center, maintenance workshops, numerous hangars for aircrafts, and a large landing and take-off.
Under the directions and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, a large part of Al Mahatta was transferred into a distinctive museum to showcase inventions and old industries, including an aircraft wing that contains a model of the Al Mahatta plant, and a collection of photographs showing the history of the museum and the stages of its development. It also includes models of old aircrafts, including a model of the first plane that landed at the airport.
Al Mahatta Museum also includes a wing for ancient inventions, crafts, traditional occupations, pottery, and a section for bicycles, cars, and old engines, as well as models of old offices, and a model of Sharjah Cinema, the first cinema opened in the UAE in 1945.
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