Who Ever Knew That You Could Learn About Arabs In The South Coast Of China?

The 1001 Inventions Exhibition Project Macao Science Centre explores the Golden Age of Arab Science

The Macao Science Centre in China was designed by Pei Partnership Architects in association with I. M. Pei.

by Staff Reporter

Culture 23 May 2019

The Golden Age of Arab Science was a massively influential period of history.

It was a time when culture, economics and science flourished in the history of Islam and across the Arab world between the 8th to the 14th century.

Scholars from all over the world, men and women from different ethnicities and religious backgrounds, got together to translate each other’s accumulated knowledge into Arab at the center of this golden period – The House of Wisdom also known as The Grand Library of Baghdad.

An Illustration of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. Illustration: Wikipedia

These thinkers, scientists and inventors came from southern Spain, eastern China and everywhere in between. Their work resulted in huge breakthroughs in a number of fields, where all discovered knowledge was collected and translated into Arabic.

Arabic was a the lingua franca at the time, which means that it was the most commonly spoken tongue. Considered as the language of science, poetry, literature and art, Arabic’s widespread use cemented this wealth of knowledge and discovery which defined the period as the golden age of Arab science.

If you want to learn more about the knowledge and inventions that came out of that time, all you have to do is head over to Macau in the South Coast of China.

Yeah, you read that right.

Known as the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau is an autonomous city on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. Other than its multi-cultural influences, it’s casinos, malls, islands and amazing views, it’s also well known for the Macao Science Center which opened ten years ago.

Currently on show at the Macao Science Center until the October 31, is an exhibition entitled, 1001 Inventions Exhibition Project.

The exhibition features over 60 interactive exhibits, short films, theatre and workshops introducing visitors to the rich history of the scientific development of the Golden Age of Arab Science.

Starting from the 7th century and covering the Middle East region, the exhibition showcases in so many different ways not only the legacy of the time period but how many of the inventions and acquired knowledge still impact our lives today.

Highlights from the Exhibitions:


Developed to be more precise and accurate, some of the world’s most sophisticated Astrolabes were developed during the golden age of Arab science. They are beautiful instruments historically used by astronomers and navigators to measure the altitude above the horizon of a celestial body, day or night.

Hang Glider and VR Flight Simulator

Inventor, physician, chemist, engineer, Andalusian musician, and Arabic-language poet Abbas ibn Firnas lived over 1,000 years ago in Cordoba (modern day Spain). Among his many achievements, his was one of the earliest documented inventions of some type of flying contraption.

Abbas ibn Firnas invented a form of a wing fitted onto his arms and would leap from the top of a hill in an attempt to glide or fly. This was basically an early form of a Hang Glider!

The exhibition will feature a VR flight simulator available for the public to experience the fun of flying.

The Elephant Clock

Designed in the 13th century by the polymath, scholar, inventor, mechanical engineer, artisan, artist and mathematician Ismail Al-Jazari, The Elephant Clock is a fascinating invention.

The water-powered clock was not only a mechanical masterpiece but a celebration of the diversity of humankind.

It used, as its timer, a bowl that would slowly sink into a hidden water tank. This invention was greatly influenced by ghatika a form of an Indian mechanism. Combined with this was an Egyptian phoenix, Greek hydraulic technology, Chinese dragons, Indian elephant and mechanical figurines in Arabian dress.

The clock reflected cultural and technological influences from across Muslim civilization, from Spain to China in both aesthetics and mechanics.

The Scribe Clock

Another masterpiece by Ismail Al-Jazari. The Scribe Clock is another masterpiece by is a small timekeeping device, which was usual for the time. It uses an innovative float-and-gear mechanism to tell the time where the pen in the scribe’s hand moved on the dial.

This method of time telling became a precursor for how modern timepieces indicate the time with the use of the hour hand.

Want To Go to 1001 Inventions Exhibition?

Well guess what? It might be easier than you think. This deal is pretty amazing.

The Mandarin Oriental, Macau recently launched a luxury accommodation offer for families.

The hotel is located close to the Macau International Airport, Taipa International Ferry Terminal and the HK-Macau-Zhujai bridge are super close!

The Mandarin Oriental, Macau is offering special packages to see the 1001 Inventions exhibition


If you book the 1001 Inventions Exhibition Project package you’ll be able to check out retail outlets within One Central Mall and riverside promenade in front of the hotel.

The 1001 Inventions Exhibition Project package is priced from HKD 2,455 (US 312.78) and includes:

Accommodation in a Deluxe City View Room

Three-course set dinner menu for two adults and two-course set dinner menu for one child at Lobby Lounge

Macao Science Center entrance tickets for two adults and one child (below 12 years of age)

Macao Science Center 3D Dome Show at the Planetarium for two adults and one child (below 12 years of age)

Exclusive savings and a welcome gift with any items purchased at Macao Science Center Gift Shop

Rates are subject to availability and valid until October 31 2019.

For more information and information visit: www.mandarinoriental.com/macau.

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