The inaugural ceremony witnessed a breathtaking display of artistic creativity and masterful use of technology to tell the story of the rich Arab-Islamic civilization, Emirati traditions and Sharjah’s eventful journey and landmark achievements.
Blending art with the advancements in lighting and laser technology with the Arabs’ love of storytelling, European and regional artists and technical wizards once again created magic on the outer walls of Al Qasba near Khalid Lagoon and at 13 other landmarks across the emirate, casting a spell on the audience.
Dr Sheikh Sultan enjoyed the spectacular inaugural performance of the Sharjah Light Festival 2013, being held from February 7 to 15, and fascinating feats of international artists with dignitaries, special guests and members of regional and international media. He was accompanied by HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, and other senior Sharjah government officials and members of the media.
Earlier welcoming the Ruler at Al Qasba, Al Noman presented him with a special memento on behalf of the Authority. The SCTDA Chairman said that the SLF 2013 told the story of a great civilization with magnificent monuments, history, rich seafaring traditions, art, culture and heritage.
He said, “The legend of Sharjah, the Capital of Arab tourism and the Home of Arab and Islamic culture continues under the vision of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, as the interplay of light and colour brings out the beauty of the emirate’s architecture in its fine detail celebrating the cultural, educational and civilization treasure trove that is Sharjah.”
“The Sharjah Light Festival unveils its magnificent offerings once again this year with the emirate’s vibrant heritage, architecture, arts and Arab-Islamic traditions in the spotlight at 14 landmarks and monuments across the emirate, including in Khorfakkan and Kalba cities on the East Coast, in a fusion of lights, colours, and melodies,” said the SCTDA Chairman.
Al Noman said that the brilliance of the Sharjah Light Festival is only a minor expression of all that the emirate has achieved and proudly celebrates today—its legacy of science, culture and civilization to architecture that sparkle with light of intellect, scientific progress and culture.
“Our ancestors touched the peaks of progress and excellence from which coming generations will continue to benefit and this emirate of bright, sparkling minarets will continue to shine with its soul and intellect,” he added.
Al Noman pointed out that Sharjah’s tourism strategy was inspired and driven by the cultural vision and emphasis on the Arab-Islamic tradition and heritage by the emirate’s leadership.
“We pursue a tourism strategy that is inspired by the emirate’s vision and approach to culture. All our events and goals are driven by the same vision and orientation. We have put the right plans in place and continue our efforts to promote Sharjah at home and around the world through international events that have played a key role in making Sharjah the Capital of Arab Tourism,” he emphasised.
Thanking the Sharjah Ruler for his presence and constant support and the recent successes and accolades for the emirate, including the honour of Sharjah being chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2015, he said, “All this has been made possible, Your Highness, thanks to your visionary leadership and guidance. We have been guided and inspired by the same vision at every step in our efforts to enhance Sharjah’s position on the world map. The honour of your kind presence here today reinforces our pride and determination and drives us constantly to excel even more and continue to march on the path of progress and prosperity.”
Al Noman also thanked the SLF partners and sponsors and the media for their continuous support to initiatives to promote Sharjah. Thousands of people had gathered Thursday evening at Al Qasba and all around the Khalid Lagoon to greet the Ruler and watch the spectacular light-and-colour extravaganza being held for the third year.
The 14 venues of the Light Festival this year include Al Qasba External and Internal Façades, Sharjah Hisn (Fort), Masjid Al Noor, Cultural Palace Square, Al Majaz Waterfront, Khalid Lagoon, Masjid Al Majaz, Courthouse Complex, Central Souk, Sharjah Consultative Council and Kuwait Square, Sharjah International Airport, Masjid Omar Bin Al Khattab in Khorfakkan and Sharjah University Campus in Kalba on the East Coast. All shows are free and held daily from 7pm to 11pm and until 12 midnight during weekends.
First of its kind in the Middle East, the unique light shows, being produced by internationally renowned European artists and technical professionals, received unprecedented response last year with more than 200,000 visitors from across the country and beyond watching it.
Saturday, February 9- 2013 @ 12:22 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.