The baton relay marking the 100th anniversary of the UK’s Royal Air Force reached Al Mahatta Museum, Sharjah on Thursday where it was met by students from Dubai English Speaking College who heard about the museum and its history.
On 1 April 2018, one hundred years after the RAF was formed, a baton left London to visit more than a hundred sites in the UK and overseas which have an association with the RAF. Today (17 May 2018) it arrived at Al Mahatta Museum in Sharjah which was part of an RAF base (RAF Sharjah) from 1940 until 1971.
To mark the baton’s arrival the British Embassy arranged a short briefing for the students on Al Mahatta’s previous life before they were treated to a tour by the Sharjah Museums Authority of the museum’s exhibits which tell the history of flight in the UAE and the wider region.
Captain James Lowther, Defence Attaché at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi said:
Today Al Mahatta hosts a wonderful museum telling the story of aviation in the region. As an RAF base for more than three decades, Al Mahatta will always be an important part of the RAF’s story and a reminder of the rich and historic defence ties between our countries. For this reason, I am delighted that we were able to bring the RAF100 baton here and share this story with a group of engaging and enthusiastic students. I am grateful to the Sharjah Museums Authority for their support in commemorating this event.
Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Authority, said:
The Royal Air Force and Sharjah share a long and important history. The development of aviation in the UAE can be traced back to the establishment of the RAF airport at Al Mahatta. The Sharjah Museums Authority was therefore delighted to welcome the RAF100 baton on its journey from London and to be part of the RAF’s centenary celebrations. The Sharjah Museums Authority was therefore delighted to welcome the RAF100 baton on its journey from London and to be part of the RAF’s centenary celebrations.