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Nation Home > Spotlight
 
Sharjah Light Festival casts its magic spell

Lily B. Libo-on / 8 February 2014

History being retold in colourful lights on 12 iconic buildings in Sharjah over nine nights

The colourful light show on the new Sharjah Municipality building during the opening ceremony of Sharjah Light Festival 2014 on Thursday. — KT photos by M. Sajjad

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has taken over the city at nightfall, reinventing history and monuments to shed light on the emirate’s rich heritage and civilisation in a symphony of lights, images, sounds and colours at the 4th Sharjah Light Festival (SLF).

The nine-day festival, which had a grand opening featuring Sharjah’s new municipality building on Thursday, showcases this year the Islamic culture and heritage as the emirate celebrates being the “Capital of Islamic Culture” in the world.

His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of 
the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and other dignitaries attended the opening of the festival at the new 
Sharjah Municipality building.

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director-General of SCTDA, told Khaleej Times that 2014 is a special year for Sharjah. “We made the “Capital of Islamic Culture” our theme for the 4th SLF by showcasing the Islamic culture and heritage through these lights on different iconic buildings of Sharjah. We have a high number of iconic structures with unique architecture in the emirate that allows us to have a variety of different shows for the SLF,” Al Midfa said.

For over nine nights, from 7pm lights, sounds and images will change the architectural designs of 12 sites, including five mosques, three of which are located on the East Coast.

These are the New Sharjah Municipality building, Kuwait Square, Cultural Palace Square, King Faisal Mosque, Al Majaz Mosque, Al Majaz Waterfront, Central Souq, Al Qasba (internal façade), Dr Sultan Al Qasimi Centre of Gulf Studies, Dr Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Al Qasimi Mosque in Dibba Al Hosn, Hamza bin Abdul Mottaleb Mosque in Kalba, and Omar bin Al Khattab Mosque in Khorfakkan.

Talented artists from France, Switzerland, Brazil, Cambodia, the UAE and the UK 
have turned these sites into amazing combination of beauty, creativity and lights. 

Show time

Al Midfa said that all shows are from 7pm to 11pm, except during weekends when they will continue till 12 midnight, simultaneously in the 12 locations around Sharjah.

“But the three big shows are featured here at the New Sharjah Municipality Building, where the opening was held, and Al Qasba and the Central Souq. At the waters beside the Central Souq, there is a spectacular show of cars, bicycles and others moving in the waters,” he said.

In Al Qasba, families, which go there to dine can, at the same time, enjoy the SLF and the nine-day Art Exhibit on Lights now going on at Maraya Center. This features the works of artists from the American University of Sharjah and Higher Colleges of Technology starting at 7.30pm alongside with SLF for nine nights.

He said that by the next season, cruise liners calling at Khorfakkan will ensure the tourists will stay overnight there so they can see and enjoy the Sharjah Light Festival transforming Omar bin Al Khattab Mosque into a paradise of  lights. “This time, the cruise liners leave and sail from Khorfakkan  at 7pm so the tourists do not have the opportunity to witness the SLF.”

Al Midfa has encouraged all to enjoy the nine days of Sharjah Light Festival. “See the light effects on our monuments and feel your dream. Talking about it is different from actually witnessing the show. You may check on our website and see samples of the SLF shows at www.slf.ae. You can get the information of the locations of the shows, services and timings. I hope everyone will take advantage of the nine days,” he added.

A dedicated Sightseeing Bus will take residents and tourists to the SLF locations. “We are very practical, and we have made arrangements with the Sightseeing Bus to change the route of one bus and take the tourists and residents on a different route along the SLF locations,” Al Midfa said. - lily@khaleejtimes.com

 
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