Abu Dhabi: A museum showcasing Islamic art and culture from across the Islamic world officially opened in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Miraj Museum will feature the heritage and lifestyle of the people of the Muslim world, with hand-woven carpets, jewellery, paintings, calligraphy, and antique gold, among many other pieces of work.
Manzoor Ahmad Kachroo, Sales Director of Miraj, spoke to Gulf News about the opening of the museum. “We basically want to showcase Islamic art, so we sent our people for research in countries like Iran, Iraq, Egypt, India, and other places to collect the finest art. We found UAE the best place to display it because UAE has become the hub of tourism, you get all nationalities,.”
According to Kachroo, the museum showcases exclusive art, with some of the works on display being 100 years or older, as well as allowing tourists to buy artefacts based on the originals.
“When you go around the museum you will find artefacts which are exclusive. When tourists come in they would like to take a piece of art back home. Not everyone can spend a million dirhams, so we have small artefacts for them, customer-friendly goods, so they are happy they can go with something they can remember. There are some modern things in the museum, and there are old things as well which we don’t like to sell. We keep these because people would like to look at them. There are things that are more than 100 years old.”
Kachroo said such museums and displays were important as it allows the world to understand the Islamic world better, as well as getting rid of negative stereotypes about Muslims, showing that Muslims are involved in creating culture and arts. “That’s the basic idea, I have seen in our UAE showrooms people coming in who have said they only have one hour, but they have then spent the whole day fascinated by what they have looked at.” Kachroo also spoke positively about the UAE’s role in its commitment to helping showcase Islamic arts, believing the UAE can become a cultural hub for Islamic art. “We are very thankful to the UAE government. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai we have been very lucky to have had help from the government.”
“In India, in Agra we have the Taj Mahal. Any tourist who comes to Agra go to the Taj Mahal. Trust me, any tourist that comes to Abu Dhabi or Dubai they come to our place.”
Sami Zaatari is a trainee at Gulf News