‘Summer Fun’ At Al Majaz Waterfront Attracts High Turnout Of Visitors

Visitors to Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah are currently able to enjoy a host of new activities on offer, with the premier tourist and leisure destination having commenced its exciting ‘Summer Fun’ annual programme which will run every weekend (on Thursday and Friday) up until the end of August.

Starting on the first day of Eid Al Fitr, Summer Fun at Al Majaz Waterfront features an array of specially devised happenings designed to provide an exciting environment for everyone, as well as highlight the beautiful landscape attractions that are a main feature of the popular attraction.

Summer Fun at Al Majaz Waterfront comprises a series of interactive shows held at its Mini Splash Park, one the destination’s key facilities. The first week of the programme witnessed a high foot-fall of visitors, with the entertaining performances that blend circus, art, theatre and music. Children in particular made the most of the face-painting, balloon-modelling and bubble-shows that are also on offer.

The annual programme’s activities are taking place from Thursday and Friday from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at the Mini Splash Park. Tickets are priced at AED 30 each.

“Summer is the perfect time for families to participate in the additional recreation and leisure activities that are taking place at Al Majaz Waterfront, with the time of year seeing children enjoying a long school holiday. The Summer Fun programme has been specially inaugurated to attract visitors and tourists to Sharjah’s unique destination and boasts numerous events and shows all taking place in a fun and engaging environment,” said Mohammed Fadhil Al Mazroui, Manager of Al Majaz Waterfront.

The Dhs120m Al Majaz Waterfront, Shurooq’s debut project, was opened in March, 2012, and is situated in Sharjah’s most vital and commercial district on the picturesque Khalid Lagoon. As one of the premier tourist and leisure destinations in Sharjah, it plays host to all major events in the emirate.

Al Majaz Waterfront houses many world-class restaurants and cafes, including: T.G.I Friday’s, Caribou Coffee, Pizzaro, Zaroob, Zahr El- Laymoun, Tim Hortons café, Cold Stone, ElManza, a fine dining Moroccan restaurant and Shakespeare and Co, and the newly opened Turkish restaurant Sautis. All of these overlook the breath-taking Sharjah Fountain. In addition, Al Majaz Waterfront offers a Splash Park, Mini Golf, Play Area and “ALWAN”, a unique activity centre exclusively designed for children to spend quality time with their parents or simply to have fun.

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Al Majaz Waterfront’s Eid Al Fitr Shows Put A Smile O`n Visitors’ Faces

Al Majaz Waterfront, Sharjah’s premier tourist and family destination, has celebrated the joyous occasion of Eid Al Fitr with an array of special activities under its ‘Summer Fun’ at Al Majaz Waterfront programme. Launched on Wednesday, the first day of Eid and running till Saturday (July 9), the schedule ensured that visitors to the popular location had a smile put on their faces with an array of fun-filled entertainment shows and performances.

Al Majaz Waterfront’s Eid activities, which were held from 5:00pm to 9:00pm each day over the three-day holiday, included bubble-shows, face-painting, balloon-modelling, silent performances from talented mime artists and entrance to the Mini Splash Park, all of which could be enjoyed for just AED 30.

After working up a healthy appetite from all the activities on offer, family members visiting Al Majaz Waterfront during Eid Al Fitr were able to enjoy its numerous world-class restaurants and cafés, including: TGI Friday’s, Caribou Coffee, Pizzaro, Zahr El- Laymoun, Zaroob, Tim Hortons, Cold Stone Creamery, fine dining Moroccan restaurant ElManza, Elevation Burger, and Shakespeare and Co., with all outlets overlooking the breathtaking Sharjah Fountain.

The AED 120 million Al Majaz Waterfront is a debut project from Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). Opened in March, 2012 Al Majaz Waterfront is situated in Sharjah’s dynamic and commercial district on the picturesque Khalid Lagoon. As one of the premier tourist and leisure destinations in Sharjah, it plays host to all major events in the emirate.

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Al Noor Island Welcomed More Than 28,000 Visitors During It’s First Month

More than 28,000 people have visited Al Noor Island, Sharjah’s newest tourist and leisure destination in its first month since opening to the public. The island, which combines art and nature, was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah last month to coincide with Sharjah being selected as the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015.

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) launched Al Noor Island as part of its commitment to solidifying the emirate’s status as a leading cultural, tourist and investment destination in the region.

Mohammed Fadhil Al Mazroui, Manager of Al Noor Island, said, “We are already seeing the results of Shurooq’s outstanding efforts that has led to the Island attracting over 28,000 visitors and in such a short period of time. We want to make Al Noor Island the one landmark attractions for nature and art lovers and present a cultural image of Sharjah to the world.”

Al Mazroui said that the Island’s design and facilities have been inspired by nature and so the entire island has been built by adhering to international environmental standards in order to make Al Noor Island an ideal destination choice for Sharjah’s residents and visitors to relax. He also said that the motive behind the Island’s design was to create a peaceful and calm haven for visitors.

Al Noor Island houses state-of-art facilities including The Butterfly House, which is one of Al Noor Island’s main attractions. Al Noor Island also hosts eight unique sculptures by some of the world’s most famous artists including the egg-shaped OVO art Installation that has been displayed in leading cities around world and is also one of the reasons behind the tremendous footfall of visitors to the Island.

Al Noor Island is open from 9am-11pm from Saturday to Wednesday, and from 9am-12:00 midnight on Thursday and Friday. The Butterfly House is open everyday from 9am-6pm.

Strategically located in the center of Khalid Lagoon, next to Al Noor Mosque, Al Noor Island is a new tourist destination that keeps step with the development experienced by the emirate, reflects its unique architectural style and highlights its vibrant cultural and artistic stature. The island will stimulate Sharjah’s vibrant tourism sector, increase tourism and contribute to Sharjah’s vision to attract 10 million visitors by 2021.

Sharjah Targets More Tourists From Ibero-American Markets During Emirate’s Participation In FITUR Tourism Fair

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) will showcase Sharjah’s diverse tourism offerings to a crucial segment of the global travel market as it participates for the fifth year in the FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair, one of the most specialised tourism industry exhibitions in the world, which will be held in the Spanish capital, Madrid, from January 20 to 24, 2016.

Led by SCTDA, the Sharjah delegation at FITUR comprises Cozmo Travel, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA), Ramada Hotel Sharjah and Golden Tulip. The delegation will identify new tour operators and explore opportunities to establish new direct flight connections to Sharjah. The innovative Sharjah stand at FITUR, spread across 70 sq mts, will highlight the emirate’s unique cultural identity.

SCTDA has been participating in international forums and exhibitions on an annual basis as part of its efforts to strengthen the position of Sharjah in the international tourism market. As a global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound Ibero American markets, FITUR provides an ideal platform to exchange experience and discuss opportunities for collaboration with experts, investors and key players in the field of tourism. It also offers an opportunity to learn the best practices and the latest developments in the international tourism industry.

During its participation in FITUR over the past four years, SCTDA has been successful in introducing Sharjah as an authentic cultural family tourism destination to visitors from Spain and the Iberian Peninsula as well as those from South America.

Central and South America form crucial markets for Sharjah’s tourism sector, especially since these regions have direct flight connectivity to the UAE. Recent research has shown that a large number of tourists from South American markets make a stopover in the UAE, especially in Sharjah, on their way to Middle East tourist locations. With its wide tourism portfolio, ranging from cultural tourism to retail and medical tourism, Sharjah remains a major attraction for these tourists.

Considering that cultural tourism is the main attraction for visitors from these markets, SCTDA aims to attract more visitors to Sharjah and raise more awareness about the emirate as one of their favourite travel destinations.

SCTDA will make use of the Madrid fair to promote its various events, including Sharjah Light Festival, which will be held from February 4 to 13, 2016. The Authority will provide visitors with information and brochures on the tourism sector in Sharjah, and organise a number of activities for visitors.

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FITUR is set to attract nearly 9,500 exhibitors and over 220,000 trade participants and potential travellers from 165 countries, offering SCTDA a major platform to promote Sharjah’s tourism products in the Spanish and European markets.

Al Qasba All Set For Sharjah World Music Festival 2016

Al Qasba, Sharjah’s premier tourist, leisure and family destination, will host a range of music concerts as part of the third Sharjah World Music Festival (SWMF 2016), taking place from January 7-12, 2016. The six-day music festival is organised by Furat Qaddouri Music Centre, and sponsored by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).

The music festival will feature an elite group of internationally acclaimed musicians from Italy, France and Hungary who will perform concerts that will include Jazz and violin pieces at Masrah Al Qasba -Theatre. There will also be free music evenings featuring local, Arab and international bands, at Al Qasba walkways during the festival.

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Italian Jazz musician, Stefano Di Battista will play the saxophone alongside French pianist and Jazz composer, Goilam Marsinak on January 10 at 9:00 pm at Masrah Al Qasba – Theatre, and together they will entertain fans with their jazz pieces.

Hungarian artist Jozsef Lendvay, one of the world’s outstanding contemporary violinists, will perform on Tuesday, January 12 at 9:00 pm. Lendvay will entertain classical and folks music lovers with his unique fusion pieces from Eastern Europe.

The six-day festival will feature free shows at Al Qasba walkways, near blocks C and D. Russian band, Vera Barnett Schuster, a Syrian band that includes Nour Al Amir and Zain Tafour, African Band, Brazilian Band, Bulgarian pianist Kalina Iordanova Simeonova, and cellist Clara Asuaje will be among the ones performing daily. The outdoor music evenings will take place between 6:00 and 10:00 pm. Furat Qadouri Music Centre’s Studio Talent Group will also be performing every day from 7:00 -8:30 pm in Block C.

Furat Qaddouri, artist and Manager of the Sharjah World Music Festival, said, “The Sharjah World Music Festival is a unique addition to the many art and cultural events held in Sharjah throughout the year. By organising this festival, we seek to engage the emirate’s tourist destinations, including Al Qasba, which attracts a large number of residents and tourists at this time of the year.”

“We expect this year’s edition to draw in a large number of residents from Sharjah and the UAE with the participation of internationally acclaimed artists and bands from both the Arab region and the world,” he added.

Other events at the festival include live street theatre shows, which will be performed by skilled artists from the Mirror Kingdom, who will entertain visitors in and around Al Qasba’s walkways with visual enactments.

There will be daily 20-minute-long shows from 7-9 January between 7:00 and 10:00 pm. Visitors of Al Qasba will have the opportunity to interact with the Mirror Kingdom’s four characters whose bodies will be covered in hundreds of mirrors from head to toe while they make stunning reflections and visual illusions.

A street theatre performance titled “Spark” will also be taking place on January 7 and 8, by five artists who will perform stunning musical sets of high impact drumming, dynamic choreography and beautiful lighting design. ”Spark” will combine static set-pieces, movement between sites and audience interaction, in four performances daily between 6:30 and 9:30pm.

Concert tickets are available at Al Qasba’s Customer Service desk, Al Majaz Amphitheatre, and Al Majaz Waterfront. Tickets are also available at www.ticketmaster.ae.

Organised by Furat Qaddouri Music Centre and sponsored by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), the first edition of the Sharjah World Music Festival took place in Al Qasba in 2014. As a result of the resounding success and increasing public attention, it was decided to expand the festival in the 2nd edition to include five venues, namely Masrah Al Qasba Theatre, Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasba, the Heart of Sharjah and the Flag Island.

Furat Qaddouri Music Centre aims to boost the cultural and art presence of Sharjah and the UAE in the world through this festival, which is the first-of-its kind in the region, simultaneously introducing the world’s different musical cultures to the UAE community. It also aims to add another gem to the emirate’s rich record of cultural, art and tourist achievements by hosting major art, cultural and heritage festivals throughout the year.

Russian Dance Show “Kalinka” To Take Place In Al Qasba For A Third Time

Al Qasba, Sharjah’s popular family and tourist destination, will once again host the International Festival – Competition “Kalinka 2015”, bringing Russian and Polish dance and vocal groups to UAE audiences from November 5th to 6th. The two-hour event, from 7:30 p.m. onwards, which is set to take place outdoors in block (D) of Al Qasba is open to the general public and will be comprised of several traditional folklore dance and music ensembles.

The show will include the exemplary dance ensemble VESNUSHKI from the Irkutsk region of Siberia—a 45-year old ensemble that focuses on folklore dances displayed by a team of more than two hundred girls and boys aged 2 to 18; the municipal ensemble RUSSIAN RUZDOLIE, which consists of nine young singers performing folk and popular Russian songs; and the Children’s Choir of the West – Pomeranian University of Technology DON-DIRI-DON, which comprises 11 to 16 year olds specialised in singing well known international choir tunes such as Bob Chilcott’s ‘Can You Hear Me?’, ‘The Song of Crocodile’ and ‘Mamma Mia’.This celebration of Russian and Polish heritage is not only bound to entertain local and expat visitors alike, but inspire audiences to visit Al Qasba’s future arts and culture events and take further interest in global music.”

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Donned in handmade national costumes, the performers are poised to mesmerise visitors who will have an inside look on Eastern European culture through captivating movements, colours and sounds that highlight Russian and Polish tradition and history.

Al Qasba prides itself on giving its visitors the opportunity to enjoy culture, entertainment and leisure attractions representing the very best from the Arab world and beyond, as well as being an outstanding family-friendly venue with a range of activities that caters to people from all walks of life.

Al Qasbaboasts a range of state-of-the-art facilities and tourist attractions including, among others, various restaurants and cafes, the 250-seat Masrah Al Qasba theatre, Multaqa Al QasbaConference and Meeting Halls, Al Qasba Business Centre, Kids Fun Zone, Al Qasba Musical Fountain, the Eye of the Emirates Wheel, and Maraya Art Centre.

Sharjah Launches ‘Mclass’ Smart Hotel Classification And ‘Sharjah’ Mobile App

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) announced its new smart services, most notably the ‘mClass’ smart hotel classification and the ‘Sharjah’ Mobile App in seven languages, to enhance the tourism experience in Sharjah as it began its active participation at the 35th edition of GITEX Technology Week 2015 in Dubai from October 18 to 22, 2015.

Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, described GITEX as an ideal platform for government entities to inform the public about their latest smart services aligned to UAE Smart Government goals to save people’s time and effort and contribute to sustainable development process.

H.E. Al Midfa said the smart services provided by the Authority come under the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 which has adopted an innovative approach to tourism as a key pillar of the Vision. “Based on this pillar, SCTDA has offered smart services and solutions for the tourism sector in the emirate, and comprehensive information and facilities to visitors to make their visit a memorable experience,” H.E. Al Midfa added.

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The Authority announced on the first day of GITEX Technology Week its ‘mClass’ smart hotel classification application, marking a qualitative leap in the classification of its 105 hospitality facilities. The new smart application, which will be available for download on mobile phones, enhances interaction with hotels and evaluates their performance based on guest reviews.

On the occasion, SCTDA will launch its ‘Sharjah’ Mobile App which will be available in seven languages. It will also offer its ‘Sharjah Perfect Days’ app in seven languages to enable tourists to smart plan their Sharjah visit.

SCTDA showcased its existing smart applications, notably ‘Sharjah My Destination’ tourism portal that is currently available in seven languages. The portal provides comprehensive information to visitors and investors about the emirate of Sharjah and its major tourist locations. It also provides details about the major events and activities organised across the year in the emirate as well as its most important shopping destinations. The portal contains the latest facts and figures about the tourism sector in the emirate and facilities offered to investors.

SCTDA also highlighted at GITEX Technology Week its Interactive Touchscreens offered at hotel facilities in the emirate. The touchscreens provide visitors detailed information in seven languages about Sharjah’s diverse tourism products as well as its cultural centres, geographical details and universities and restaurants.

As many as 2600 companies from 62 countries are taking part in GITEX Technology Week this year.

Kalimat Celebrates Hag Al Leila With Emirati Heritage-Inspired Book Reading Sessions

Kalimat, the Sharjah-based publishing house dedicated solely to publishing high quality Arabic children’s books, in collaboration with the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), recently celebrated “Hag Al Leila” with students of the Australian International School in Sharjah.

The three-hour programme included a number of cultural activities for the night of Mid-Sha’ban, in addition to reading sessions aimed at promoting a love of reading, and arts and crafts, which allowed children to demonstrate their skills in making bags and other Hag Al Leila gifts.

Speaking on the occasion, Tamer Said, Managing Director of Kalimat Group, said, “Many children in the UAE celebrate Hag Al Leila, a cultural day and opportunity to encourage children to read Emirati heritage-inspired stories and ancestral folk tales. We were pleased with the positive response from students of different nationalities to the exciting reading sessions.”

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The students enjoyed reading sessions of two of Kalimat’s books; the first was Mithana’s Chicken (Dajajat Mithana), which is based on Emirati culture and addresses the topic of loneliness. Written by Abdulaziz Al Musallam, the book tells a story of a lonely old woman who suffers from isolation and prays to have a mate. Finally, she raises a chicken and cares for her like a daughter. The book teaches students the values of treating people with kindness and compassion.

The second book, Abdulaziz Al Musallam’s ‘Ghaya and the Snake’ (Ghaya Wal Haneesh), tells a classic tale of the lovely Ghaya who fares badly at the hand of her stepmother but finds an unlikely saviour in a snake she encounters and takes pity on. The snake turns into a handsome young man who had been cursed by a wicked wizard. Ghaya and the man get married, and live happily ever after.

Kalimat Group is comprised of Kalimat, the first publishing house in the UAE dedicated solely to publishing and distributing high quality Arabic children’s books. Having released over 160 publications since its establishment in 2007, Kalimat focuses on producing books that children of the UAE and the region can relate to, with vibrant illustrations and stories that talk about the value of family, friendship, simplicity and happiness.

Horouf, another imprint of Kalimat Group, was established in 2013, and is dedicated to publishing printed books and smart applications that offer a modern integrated education system in the Arabic language that is first of its kind in the Arab World. Horouf’s solutions aim to pioneer a fresh, fun, and modern approach to Arabic education that helps build and develop the mental capacity of students.

Adventureland Hosts First AUS Driving Championship At Its Speed Kart Arena

Budding young race car enthusiasts had the chance to put their racing skills to the test earlier this month at a special track competition held at Adventureland. The popular indoor amusement and rides park, which is a key anchor at Sharjah’s Sahara Centre, hosted a two-day go kart competition at its Speed Kart Arena, with 60 American University Of Sharjah (AUS) students vying to be first past the chequered flag and earn the title of ‘Fastest Driver.’

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Organised in conjunction with the AUS Student Council, Adventureland’s unique competition brought together AUS student members to take advantage of the centre’s premium go-karting set-up, which is the first and only two-level indoor go-kart facility in the region. The contest saw the three fastest drivers from the first day go up against the three from the second day to find an overall winner, with the final top driver receiving a certificate in honour of their racing prowess.

As expected with the region’s huge love of cars and everything automotive, the track tournament was a huge success, with the races keenly contested by the enthusiastic participants. The event is set to be the first of numerous go-karting events and competitions that will take place at Speed Karts, with other schools and universities expected to establish their own racing contests for eager young drivers. Speed Kart Arena is one of the main attractions at Adventureland, which is also home to 17 other major thrills and rides.