SHARJAH // At Sharjah’s annual stamp exhibition, hobbyists and traders gather to show off their collections, but it is not just stamps on show – old coins and notes also change hands.
The 6th annual exhibition is in full swing at Sharjah Mega Mall, where more than 240 stamp lovers, or philatelists, are displaying their collections. They gave come from across the country, the GCC and from as far as the United States.
So far, the collections on show at the exhibition, which runs until Saturday, are shedding light on UAE, regional and international postage stamps, rare currencies, coins and newspapers.
Trader Khaled Sabri, from Egypt, was busy at his booth showing visitors his stamps and currency.
“We use this exhibition to meet other philatelists, check out their inventories and trade and sell with them,” said the 25-year-old.
His display contained currencies dating to the 20th century. “I have Egyptian coins from 1916 and I also have a Russian 100 rouble dating to 1910,” Mr Sabri said.
The event attracted young Emiratis who are passionate about the country’s history and heritage.
“This is the third time I have visited this event with my friends. We end up buying unique Emirati items, like old coins and currency notes,” said Abed Omar, 30, who drove from Abu Dhabi with his friends to be there.
“Today, I sold a silver Dh50 and Dh100 coins to one of the traders, and in return bought old Emirati currency that I found with the traders.”
Bahraini trader Habib Tarada said his old stamps and currency tell tales of the region to those who are interested in history.
“Each coin, stamp, currency note has a story and a reason for its existence. I have currency dating back before the UAE union, when Qatar and Dubai released a joint currency. I also have ones released by Abu Dhabi emirate and Bahrain,” said the 60-year-old.
Mr Tarada said the exhibition is a place where he can meet friends and fellow traders. “It’s just a friendly gathering of like-minded people sharing their stories and their latest valuable historic possessions,” he said, on his fourth consecutive appearance at the event.
A complete set of Abu Dhabi emirate stamps dating to 1964 was one of the many items showcased by Pakistani Aziz Ul Hameed.
“What started as a hobby ended with me having a trader’s profession after I retired from my job back home. It is something I really love and enjoy doing,” he said.
An auction featuring rare postal stamps is also taking place on the sidelines of the exhibition.
Mohammed Al Murr, former speaker of the FNC, said the exhibition echoes the UAE’s history and achievements throughout the years, by showcasing an array of iconic stamps, postcards and collectables that represent eras of the country’s history and culture.
(via The National)