Sharjah Municipality building lit up with different themes on Wednesday evening. Kamal Kassim/ Gulf Today
The 10th Sharjah Light Festival opened on Wednesday with a captivating show at the Sharjah City Municipality building as the iconic structure gloriously lit up in a spectacular colourful display for the first day of the festival, organised by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA).
The opening ceremony was attended by Chairman of the Sharjah Ruler’s Office Sheikh Salem Bin Abdulrahman Al Qasimi, SCTDA Chairman Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, US Ambassador to the UAE John Rakolta Jr and several other dignitaries.
The festival promises 11 nights of unforgettable experiences as the shows will once again turn the spotlight on Sharjah’s 19 celebrated monuments, historic landmarks and culture. A group of internationally acclaimed artists use their creativity and some of the most advanced and sophisticated lighting techniques to cast the emirate in a spectacular array of colours.
“Once again, the Sharjah Light Festival celebrates the Emirate’s unique cultural status with international artists taking inspiration from its traditionally influenced architecture and unique artistic techniques,” said Al Midfa.
The SCTDA Chairman said that this year’s festival is special not just because of the landmark 10th edition, also because it has evolved a lot since its beginning ten years ago.
“Today we celebrate 10 years of this successful event, which embodies creativity in ideas, mission and art, relying on lights, colours, music and modern technologies in presenting the finest shows that transform Sharjah into a field of harmonious art curated by a group of international artists, with the notable participation of university students in the emirate,” he said.
He stressed that this year’s show highlights the celebration of 10 years of the Sharjah Light Festival, a unique and captivating festival for residents and visitors across Sharjah.
“Over the years, the Sharjah Light Festival has successfully provided an astonishing line up of light shows since its inaugural event in 2011. The highly entertaining and interactive festival has become a major tourist attraction in Sharjah, promoting the emirate’s landmarks while also highlighting the beauty of the architectural and engineering details of these buildings and monuments in addition to the emirate’s unique cultural and architectural heritage, further enhancing its global status as a popular family destination, in line with the goals of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021,” he said.
The stunning opening ceremony of the festival continued to confirm Sharjah’s adherence to its deep-rooted Islamic maxims, rich cultural heritage and the authentic traditions.
The opening ceremony witnessed a show entitled, ‘Glorious Sharjah,’ which brought together the four elements – water, fire, earth and air, in a dazzling show, taking the audience on a visual journey exploring the depths of cultural heritage in Sharjah and uncovering future horizons, to reflect that the emirate is a meeting place for culture and the whole world. The architecture unfolds element by element till the whole building seems to move away to find the first Emirati astronaut who floats in space surrounded by a visual allegory of Arab sciences and discoveries, a tribute to the achievements of the UAE and Sharjah’s dedication to future growth and development.
Throughout the festival, the Sharjah City Municipality building will disappear each night under touches of vivid colour reflecting the aesthetics of the UAE cultural heritage including Arabic calligraphy, Bedouin lifestyle, celebrating efforts to turn the desert into an oasis and achieving space technology. Outlines of Arabian horses and falcons are also traced onto the lines of the building highlighting its distinct design.
The Sharjah Light Festival is an innovative and exceptional approach towards promoting the emirate and contributes effectively to attracting more visitors from all over the world. The Festival embodies the unique infusion between the fine taste of Islamic architecture and the innovative lighting technology that highlights the uniqueness of Sharjah’s cultural heritage through the shows at 19 distinctive locations in the emirate.
The shows will continue to transform the selected buildings across the emirate into a modern-day icon, with intricate and precise shapes and formations displayed on the building’s facade. The shows will turn the buildings into a spectacular artistic icons when the light shapes and formations will be displayed on its interface.
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