Monthly Archives: October 2016

Exhibition Of Unique Ottoman Artefacts Opens Today In Sharjah

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization today opened the doors to its brand new exhibition – a collection of rare and priceless Islammic artefacts dating back some 500 years.

The exhibition was inaugurated by H.E Abdallah Al Owais, President of the Department of Culture and Information. The exhibition was attended by Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, Dr Ulrike Al-Khamis Strategic Advisor – Islamic and Middle Eastern Arts Sharjah Museums Department, Dr. Viktória Horváth from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Dr. Zsombor Jékely Deputy Director Budapest Museum of Applied Arts, and H.E Osama Naffa, Ambassador of Hungary to the UAE.

Running until January 19, 2017, Spectacle and Splendour – Ottoman Masterpieces ffrom the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest features more than 50 spectacular Ottoman artefacts preserved in Hungary since the 16 th/17th centuries.

The collection of embroidered luxury textiles, bejeweled ceremonial weapons, elaborately decorated saddle cloths, silk garments and intricately woven rugs is being shown in the Arab world for the very first time. At the same time, the exhibition marks the first ever collaboration between the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization and the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest – one of the oldest and most important museums of its kind.

Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, said: This fascinating exhibition project with the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts yet again underscores our ongoing commitment to establishing ties with the worlds most prestigious institutions to bring exceptional collections to Sharjah and to foster intercultural dialogue through art and culture.

The exhibition also provides a unique and unprecedented opportunity to learn about a fascinating period in Islamic and European history and to embark on  a journey of discovery into a period of outstanding aesthetic sensibility and remarkable workmanship.

Spectacle and Spendour captures a particular period in Ottoman and Hungarian history when parts of the country, mainly the central and southern regions, were under Ottoman rule. During this time, it was common among the Hungarian elite to acquire the finest items from Ottoman workshops in order to display their power, authority and sophistication.

Many of the masterpieces on display entered Hungary as early as the 16th century as prized token of diplomacy, through trade or as war booty.  Some items were made in Hungary itself, the result of skills being transferred between different regions of Ottoman rule.

Highlights of the collection on display include a silk upper coat made for a young child, probably using the fabric of a Turkish ceremonial robe received as a diplomatic gift. Most fascinating is the intricate floral pattern that was popular in the latter 16th century, as well as the way silk was interwoven with silver and gold thread. The cut of the garment, too, displays the Turkish influence on Hungarian aristocratic costume of the time, such as the long, narrow ceremonial sleeves reaching down to the bottom of the costume.

Other particularly remarkable items include a collection of Ottoman ceremonial saddle cloths that were used in both the Kingdom of Hungary and in Transylvania. They provide examples of exceptionally skilled and intricate workmanship in decorating velvet and silk satin cloths with silver wire embroidery.

The bejewelled weapons on display include a gem-studded dagger, most probably made in an imperial Ottoman workshop. Making gifts of ceremonial weapons was a fashionable custom among European rulers as well as Ottoman Turks in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The rare ceremonial maces included in the exhibition are examples of what was once, around the 17th century, a symbol of power and wealth in Hungary and Transylvania. The sumptuousness of its material and ornament expressed the rank of its owner. The most prestigious ones were gilded, gem-studded maces, often of Ottoman Turkish origin.

The fascinating collection of ornamental rugs includes examples that were originally laid on the hot floors of Turkish baths, but were brought to regions of Hungary including Transylvania to decorate the walls of noble homes and hung in carriages.

Each of the stunning artefacts in the exhibition provides visitors with a gateway into the history of the Ottoman empire and its interaction with Eastern Europe, in particular Hungary and Transylvania. At the same time, they touch on key aspects of Islamic civilization at large, such as the symbolic importance of textiles and carpets, the exchange of diplomatic gifts, and horsemanship.

For those more interested in art and design rather than art history, the pieces also offer fascinating historical case studies of product design and the successful aesthetic combination of colours, patterns, textures and craft techniques.

]This exhibition is designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences, from those interested in Islamic art and culture to contemporary art and design practitioners,’said Ms Ataya. ‘We hope visitors will be inspired by the aesthetic subtlety of the designs and the way weavers, dyers, embroiderers and metalworkers went about their craft with such skill and dedication.

We thank our Hungarian colleagues for their outstanding support and commitment in staging this fascinating exhibition in Sharjah and hope that it will contribute positively to intercultural dialogue and an ever deeper appreciation of Islamic art and culture among our visitors.

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For more information about Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, please visit www.sharjahmuseums.

Al Majaz Waterfront To Complete Its New Extension By The End Of The Year

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), has announced that it will finalise the new extension of Al Majaz Waterfront, one of Sharjah’s leading family and tourist destinations, by the end of this year. Costing a total of AED 35 million, the Phase Two extension project that is currently 90% complete will add 53,000 square feet to the total area of ​​the Waterfront, taking it to 284,000 square feet.

The extension at Al Majaz Waterfront includes 12 restaurants and cafés – some of which will open for the first time in Sharjah. It also involves increasing the size of the Sharjah Fountain to overlook the series of dining outlets and extending the length of its running track. An extra 165 parking spaces are being added to accommodate the needs of the park’s increasing number of visitors.

“Since its inauguration in 2012, the 231,000 square feet Al Majaz Waterfront has established itself as one of Sharjah’s leading family and tourist destinations and one of the most popular attractions in the UAE. The park has witnessed increasing growth in its number of visitors and draws hundreds of thousands of UAE residents and tourists from across the globe. This underlines the importance of diversifying the tourism product in Sharjah and in providing world-class projects that cater to all family members visiting from across the emirates and internationally;” said Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, COO of Shurooq.

“With the rising number of visitors each year it was necessary for us to proceed implementing the second phase of the project, which includes adding more world-class amenities that will further facilitate the park’s growth. By the end of this phase we will have ensured that Al Majaz Waterfront provides services that meet the highest international standards in hospitality, tourism, leisure and family-based activities. These additions will meet the needs and expectations of visitors and enable us to elevate the aesthetic and cultural scene of Sharjah and the UAE,” he added.

For his part, Mohammed Fadhil Al Mazroui, Manager of Al Majaz Waterfront, said: “The new expansion adds to Al Majaz Waterfront a number of key facilities, most notably a range of cafés and restaurants. We are carefully selecting these to ensure that they will provide the same level of unique services that Al Majaz Waterfront has become renowned for and to provide even more options for our visitors.”

“We have also made some significant adjustments to the design of the Waterfront, increasing the length of its jogging track while maintaining the quality of its design so that it remains as a key sports facility for visitors and residents. In extending the track we took into account sustainability, comfort and safety as main considerations,” Al Mazroui added.

“With the increase in the number of restaurants overlooking the lake, it was necessary to extend the Sharjah Fountain so that the diners in all the outlets – both established and new – are able to enjoy their food with excellent views of the popular water feature. Not only have we increased the size of the fountain, we have developed it further by adding state-of-the-art a range of the latest visual and luminous display devices to offer visitors fantastic fun-filled shows,” he remarked.

To become a part of Sharjah’s exceptional Al Majaz Waterfront landmark, there are a limited number of outstanding investment opportunities still available to rent in the new extension. For more details, call +971 6 556 0777

Al Majaz Waterfront features numerous leisure and tourist facilities, such as restaurants, cafés, a playground for children and areas to exercise sport, which has made it one of the most important and favourite tourist destination for families from the UAE in general and from Sharjah in particular.

Al Majaz Waterfront hosts a variety of artistic and entertainment activities throughout the year, including film screenings, stage shows, roaming performers and firework displays to commemorate national days and festivities. In addition, cultural activities are held regularly at Maraya Art Park, which acts as a platform for regional and international outdoor arts projects.

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City Centre Sharjah Offers An Exciting Chance To Visit Incredible Capitals Around The Globe This Season

City Centre Sharjah, owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa, offers mall visitors in the Emirate the chance to win an exciting trip to visit some of the world’s most captivating cities – London, Paris, and New York – to shop, eat and experience the local culture and entertainment.

Shoppers who spend AED 299 at any one of the diverse retail offerings will be able to enter a grand draw on 6th November and win a thrilling holiday to any one of the three glamorous destinations!

Upon spending the same amount at any of the mall’s participating fashion retailers, shoppers can also enter a weekly draw for the chance to take home the highly anticipated and latest in Apple technology mobile phones – the Iphone 7.

Morning visitors looking to shop during the week between 10AM – 12PM will have the chance to win instant prizes from Sunday to Wednesday! Winners will be rewarded with goodies such as discounted vouchers and Mall Gift Cards and families and children can enjoy the mall’s leisure and entertainment with tickets to Magic Planet.

“City Centre Sharjah is thrilled to be offering an innovative and first time travel experience for shoppers to visit leading fashion capitals of the world! In line with our vision to create great moments for everyone, everyday, we are delighted to enhance our traditional promotions with opportunities abroad and enhanced shopping and entertainment for all,” said Mohammed Al Rais, Mall Manager – City Centre Sharjah.

City Centre Sharjah reinforces its commitment to catering for its community, featuring over 120 value-oriented and affordable brands with additional retail outlets in the pipeline, diverse international dining and café options and a Magic Planet family entertainment centre,  continuing to deliver memorable moments to all.

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For more information, please visit: www.citycentresharjah.com and www.facebook.com/CityCentreSharjah

Al Qasba Goes Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness

Al Qasba, Sharjah’s premier leisure, tourism and family destination, has recently launched the ‘Pink Art’ initiative, coinciding with the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) taking place until 31 October 2016. The event is aimed at helping educate local communities about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and taking preventative measures.

As part of the Pink Art initiative, Al Qasba’s walkways, buildings and canal are dressed in spectacular pink, reflecting the universal colour designated to this cause.

The Pink Art initiative held under its umbrella the ‘Pink Ribbon Exhibition’, which displays two 3D pink ribbon sculptures, signifying the international symbol for breast cancer. The sculptures were designed by Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology’s students, who implemented their constructive ideas on the sculptures seeking to spread a noble message about the breast cancer.  The two sculptures are having an explanation about the core theme of the installations and the names of the students who designed them.

“As part of our social responsibility to supporting all themes and issues that address society’s well-being, we were keen to playing a key role in spreading awareness about breast cancer all month long. We have organised and launched an array of initiatives and events in support of spreading awareness around breast cancer, especially the preventive measures against it. Besides, partnering with our students indicates our efforts to build a keen and responsible generation,” said Sultan Mohammed Shattaf, Al Qasba Manager.

“The pink theme incorporating most of Al Qasba sights, follows the global trend of illuminating international landmark buildings pink through this month-long activity. We hope to draw a smile on the faces of those experiencing cancer and show that we are supporting them fully in their fight against it. We also hope that our initiative will promote a greater understanding of breast cancer within the community and encourage people to follow healthy lifestyles which have proven enormously helpful in decreasing the incidences of cancer,” he added.

Shattaf pointed out that throughout the year Al Qasba hosts an array of initiatives, events and activities which highlight its key role in bringing to the fore important community issues, seeking to provide the community with a better awareness and understanding of matters that affect their lives and well-being at all levels.

Al Qasba aspires to underline the importance of launching initiatives and activities of a humanitarian and philanthropic nature that have the intention of building a generation that is conscious about health and life.

Al Qasba offers an array of state-of-the-art facilities and tourist attractions, including restaurants, cafés, the Kids Fun Zone, the Al Qasba Musical Fountain, the Eye of the Emirates Ferris wheel, the Maraya Art Centre and two libraries, among other facilities designed to meet the needs of visitors of all ages.

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Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai Announced As Key Speaker At IIFMENA Conference

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, will be a key speaker at the second ‘Investing in the Future’ (IIFMENA) conference in Sharjah.

The second IIFMENA conference titled: ‘Building the Resilience of Women and Girls in the Arab Region’ is being organised by The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a Sharjah-based international humanitarian body dedicated to aiding vulnerable people worldwide. The event, being conducted in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), is being held in Sharjah on October 19 and 20.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah; and his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and Chairperson of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), the IIFMENA conference will provide a platform for engaging discussions highlighting the need to incorporate women and young girls into decision-making through economic empowerment, paying attention to their specific needs in education, skills-training and employment.

The two-day forum will bring together government officials, representatives of international and non-governmental organisations, advocates of gender equality, academics and a number of experts and media personalities from across the world.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Salam Ya Seghar – a TBHF initiative – said; “We are eager advocates of our girls’ right to education. The UAE, since its inception, has always stood strongly for this. Our efforts are in line with our leadership’s firm belief in knowledge contributing to building and strengthening women’s capacities, allowing them to effectively participate in community development. Educated women are better able to serve their families and nations and can work to a higher capacity to ensure stability and progress in their respective countries.”

Underlining the significance of and the symbolism behind bringing Malala Yousafzai as a key speaker at the event, Al Hammadi said; “Malala is a role model for girls and women across the world. Her fight against the oppressive forces creating roadblocks for female education and empowerment is one of the bravest the world has ever seen. Her determination and insistence in the process to the extent of being shot for her cause not only leaves an imprint on her nation and society, but on ours and on societies across the world.”

Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education in her native Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Northwest Pakistan. She refused the ban issued by the Taliban Movement in 2009 and continued to go to school along with a few girls who decided to hold on to their right to education. Her streak of defiance came out strongly in an Urdu blog she wrote for the BBC, reaffirming that her thirst for education was stronger than her fear of the Taliban. The blog marked a turning point in Yousafzai’s advocacy, which grew into an international movement.

Commenting on her participation in the conference, Malala Yousafzai, expressed her delight for being given the opportunity to talk about the challenges that face girls’ access to education in her country. She highlighted the importance of empowering girls to fulfill their wishes and effectively contribute to developing their communities and getting involved in the development process. She stressed that the impressive presence of international attendees at the conference will allow her to make the voices of her same-aged counterparts heard in order to ensure a better future for them.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi were named joint winners of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for their outstanding contributions and achievements in humanitarian work.

Participating at the conference also is Ziauddin Yousafzai, recognised for being a Pakistani diplomat, father of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, the current UN Special Advisor on Global Education and the educational attache of Pakistan in its consulate in Birmingham, UK. Yousafzai will be one of the key speakers during a panel discussion titled “Combating Violent Extremism”, which is set as the first roundtable panel discussion during the first day of the conference.

The second edition of the IIFMENA conference will strive to further cement the grounds that are being laid for women to be recognised as equals and as agents of change for peace and economic prosperity. The conference aims to support all women, including refugees and displaced persons, by working to meet their needs and to ensure full rights and justice for them.

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All institutions, organisations and individuals interested in registering for the second ‘Investing in the Future’ conference should submit their applications via http://iifmena.org before mid-October.

MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show

The MidEast Watch & Jewellery show held recently at Expo Centre Sharjah witnessed during its 41st edition an unparalleled success on both international exhibitors and visitors’ level.

Exhibitors of the show showcased the most prominent global brands in watchmaking and jewellery and the latest trends inspired by traditional and contemporary designs to offer the visitors of the show an integrated mix of jewelries to meet their taste and deliver to the needs of their occasions.

During the show’s 41st edition visitors had the chance to enroll in great surprises to win Diamond rings on daily basis and a jewellery set on the last day of the show, yet on the sideline of the show, a series of seminars and lectures were hosted to discuss the latest trends and developments in global jewellery industry.

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