Sheikh Fahim watches a cultural show at the ‘Sharjah Week’ in St Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.
Sohaila Ahmed, Staff Reporter
Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Department of Government Relations (DGR), has reaffirmed the strengthening relationship between the UAE with the Russian Federation, resulting from mutual interests.
The statement was made during ‘Sharjah Week’ celebrations, which began in the historic Russian city of St Petersburg, on Wednesday. The iconic St Petersburg Museum is hosting this weeklong Sharjah cultural showcase as a continuation of “Sharjah Cultural Days in the World.” The international cultural event was launched by Sharjah in 2002 to promote exchange of knowledge and expertise with cities worldwide.
Sharjah Week aims to take the longstanding Russian–Emirati ties to the next level, and showcase the emirate’s latest achievements in sectors of bilateral interest between the two cities; mainly culture, economy and tourism.
In his keynote speech to St Petersburg officials and the Russian community, Sheikh Fahim said, “Today marks a special day in Emirati-Russian relations. ‘Sharjah Week’ is a new turning point and an important step to continue our bilateral journey in investment, trade and tourism. We are now on a new path to strengthen this relationship through culture and heritage. A bridge His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, mandated us to build with St. Petersburg – a global beacon of culture, arts and theatre and certainly the cultural capital of Russia. Through this new project, we seek to strengthen the dialogue between Emirati and Russian communities.”
He added, “Sharjah is home to over 45,000 students and academicians; one of the many intellectual and cultural achievements that we pride ourselves on. Culture is Sharjah’s soul.”
Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi thanked the government of St Petersburg, and representatives of Sharjah government bodies, and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Russia, for all their efforts to bring ‘Sharjah Week’ to life in St. Petersburg.
The opening ceremony of ‘Sharjah Week’, was attended by Maadhad Hareb Al Khaili, UAE Ambassador to Russia; Sheikh Faisal Bin Saud Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Airport Authority; Abdulaziz Almusallam, Chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage; Abdullah Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Culture; Ali Al Marri, Head of Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies; Ahmed Saeed Al Ketbi, Head of the Office for Economic and Commercial Affairs, the UAE Embassy to Russia, and other representatives from the emirate participating in the event.
Russian attendees included Vyacheslav Kalganov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg; and Alexander Kolyakin, Director of Peter and Paul Fortres.
The Sharjah National Band wowed audiences with traditional Emirati performances, offering them a glimpse of UAE’s rich folk heritage. Attendees toured the Sharjah Week pavilions showcasing traditional Emirati crafts and folklore, Arabic calligraphy, and more.
The weeklong event will be featuring a diversity of programmes and workshops spanning culture, art and heritage; live shows and exhibitions highlighting milestones the emirate has crossed during its 40-year cultural journey; and showcase emerging investment opportunities in its strongly diversified economy.
Sharjah Week is organised by DGR in cooperation with Sharjah Culture Department, Sharjah Institute for Heritage, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Sharjah Airport Authority, Sharjah Museums Authority, and Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies.
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