Sharjah prepares for milestone year as Islamic Capital of Culture

February 12, 2014 9:14 am

With over 100 events and 24 new heritage, tourism, cultural and architectural projects in the Emirate, Sharjah is preparing for a landmark year as the Islamic Capital of Culture 2014. Global visitors will have the opportunity to experience Sharjah’s unique cultural offerings throughout the year with a myriad of activities suitable for everyone from families to independent travelers.

Commenting on the tourism benefits that Sharjah’s role as the Islamic Capital of Culture 2014 will bring to the Emirate, Richard Gosling, general manager, Hilton Sharjah, said, “Sharjah has traditionally been the lesser known tourism treasure of the UAE. The Islamic Capital of Culture title this year will give us the ideal platform to showcase some of the wonderful experiences there are for both local and global visitors.”

His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCDTA) said, “Sharjah has been named the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 in recognition of its remarkable contributions in preserving, promoting and celebrating Arab and Islamic heritage, culture and landscape of world-class museums, magnificent mosques, art galleries, libraries and cultural centres. The new honour from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is yet another feather in the cap of the Emirate which was named the Cultural Capital of the Arab World in 1998 by UNESCO. The OIC title is a huge boost to Sharjah’s profile as a global tourism destination and home of authentic Arab and Islamic civilization. The Sharjah Government has lined up a number of special events and activities all through the year to celebrate the accolade.”

Some top tips for a visit to the UAE’s cultural capital:
Have-it-all from your hotel
Located in the heart of the Emirate, Hilton Sharjah is the perfect destination to experience true Arabian culture in the must-visit Emirate. Located on the stunning Sharjah corniche, just five minutes from the new Al Majaz Island and a 4,500-seat amphitheater that will host a wide range of local and global events in 2014, Hilton Sharjah is in prime position to offer guests a convenient base whilst staying in the Emirate.

The elegant hotel features two restaurants – the international Mojo restaurant and Iranian Shiraz – and two lobby lounges. To work off the excesses of the delicious local cuisine, guests can also stay fit and feel rejuvenated during a stay in Sharjah, whether using the hotel’s fitness center, squash courts and pools, or indulging in a treatment at the spa. Savvy travelers who plan ahead can now save on their stay at Hilton Sharjah with the “Book Early and Save” promotion for bookings made before February 28, 2014

Things to Do and See in Sharjah
As the Islamic Capital of Culture 2014, Sharjah is becoming known for its abundance of cultural and tourist attractions.

The Emirate is a perfect spot to travel beyond the UAE’s urban sprawl to unearth authentic Emirati beginnings. The historic old town is easy to navigate on foot, giving visitors the opportunity to saunter through the city streets to experience the bustling souqs, majestic mosques and some of the region’s most celebrated museums, galleries and exhibitions. Visiting the Islamic Capital of Culture, visitors will be delighted to encounter the vast array of educational institutions dedicated to Islamic faith, art and culture dotted around the city – including the insightful Sharjah Museum of Civilisation, Sharjah Art Museum and Shajrah Heritage Museum. To relax mid-afternoon, Al Majaz Park is a perfect spot; a waterfront landmark in Sharjah with international restaurants and cafés against a picture-perfect backdrop of the musical Sharjah fountain. To enjoy a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the city, visitors can take a spin on the landmark Eye of the Emirates, a 60 meter ferris wheel, located on the vibrant Al Qasba canal which also features a lively mix of restaurants, cafés and family-friendly fun all year round.

With events and activities planned across the Emirate’s key tourist attractions in 2014, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, SCTDA talks of an upcoming festival which is set to illuminate the Emirate this week: “SCTDA is celebrating its flagship event, Sharjah Light Festival, being held from February 6 to 14, under the theme of Sharjah, Islamic Cultural Capital for 2014. It tells the story of Sharjah and its rich Islamic heritage and cultural legacy using world-class art and modern lighting technology. This is without doubt the best time of year for international tourists to visit Sharjah and experience the fascinating history of Islamic culture and heritage.”

Whether guests are visiting with family or friends, this snapshot of attractions highlights Sharjah’s wealth of Islamic tradition and history rooted in the ever popular Emirate.

Everything from a quick bite to fine dining in the city center
As part of a cultural journey through Sharjah, visitors will encounter a variety of Arabic and Emirati culinary delights during their trip, starting with a hearty buffet breakfast, including a large selection of local specialties in Hilton Sharjah’s Mojo restaurant. For a taste of Arabic culture, visitors can take a break from seeing the sites and visit the popular Al Dallah Lounge to enjoy a wide range of aromatic coffee blends, homemade pastries and live entertainment.

To end a day packed with fun and entertainment, visitors should head straight to Shiraz restaurant to pick from a variety of Iranian specialities, including kebabs and home baked breads. With breath-taking views of Khalid lagoon, dinner at Shiraz is a set to ensure a memorable end to an unforgettable day in the Islamic Capital of Culture 2014.

For more information please contact:
Vesselina Karaizova
Hilton Sharjah
Tel: +9716519 222

Katie Fyfe
Grayling (for Hilton Worldwide)
Tel: +97143901634