Al Mahatta Museum Sharjah (Dubai)
The main reason for visiting Dubai was to view the DC-3 at the Al Mahatta museum at nearby Sharjah; additionally it gave me the opportunity for a quick stop over at Dubai and explore the city.
Al Mahatta ('the station' in Arabic) Fort is located in central Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates just north of Dubai airport. The fort was built by the Ruler of Sharjah in 1932 to provide protection for passengers and staff of Imperial Airways. Sharjah was an overnight stop between Baghdad and Jodphur on the Imperial Airways Eastern Route from Croydon to Brisbane. The route was originally flown by Handley Page HP42s, with two weekly flights landing in Sharjah on Sunday and Wednesday evenings on the outbound flight and Wednesday and Saturday evenings on the return flight.
By 1938, Sharjah was no longer an overnight stop on the route although the Imperial Airways flying boat service from Sydney to London included an overnight stop in Dubai. The airport was used extensively during World War Two by the RAF and a new agreement was made with the Ruler of Sharjah establishing an RAF base, which remained in use through to British withdrawal from the UAE in 1971. No longer in use by Imperial Airways (or its successor BOAC), in 1951, it became the home of the Trucial Oman Scouts. The fort building became the Sea-face Hotel, and then from 1973 was used as a police station before falling into disrepair. Restoration began in the late 1990s and the museum opened its doors in 2000.
More information about the museum can be found here: http://www.sharjahmuseums.ae/Inner-Pages/Our-Museums/Al-Mahatta-Museum.aspx
Gulf Aviation Douglas DC-3A-456(C-47A) G-AMZZ
According to the Air Britain DC-3 bible this aircraft with c/n 12254 was delivered back in January 1944 to the USAF as 42-92452. It went to the RAF Montreal as FZ669 the following month. It spent some time in the Canadian Forces up until 1975 when she was sold to Aero Trades Western Ltd, Winnipeg as C-GCXE. Following period she carried HH-CMG/HI-502 tail marking and in 1993 received a US registration N688EA. During 1999 she was reported stored at Opa Locka Florida.
How it got to the Al Mahatta Museum in 2003 is unclear.
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