Khorfakkan Amphitheatre opens new window to Emirati culture - GulfToday

Khorfakkan Amphitheatre opens new window to Emirati culture


Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi with officials during a tour of the Khorfakkan Amphitheatre.

Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

The development of the iconic Khorfakkan Amphitheatre supports and promotes the emirate’s cultural and artistic landscape as part of Sharjah’s inclusive development strategy, said Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council (SMC).

During a media tour of the newly-opened amphitheatre in the city’s eastern region enclave, the SMC Chairman briefed media representatives on its unique characteristics including the world-class technologies that power the venue’s audio-visual and lighting systems to offer guests remarkable cultural experiences including live concerts. He also mentioned that the amphitheatre features state-of the-art cooling systems, which will allow it to host visitors and big events throughout the year.      

He said, “Historically, cultural hubs have played a key role in fuelling knowledge and creativity. Amphitheatres, in particular, have been serving as the gathering place for such pursuits, for centuries. The Khorfakkan Amphitheatre is a spectacular new addition to the city’s cultural and touristic landscape.

“A popular destination in Sharjah, picturesque Khorfakkan has served as a hub for people to explore art and culture, and connect with our natural landscape. This amphitheatre adds an accent to these experiences – opening a new window to the world to come and enjoy Emirati, Arab and international offerings right here in the UAE’s authentic locales.”

“The amphitheatre is a new milestone in Sharjah’s development journey, and will serve as a prominent tourist destination, stimulating new economic growth, and usher lucrative business and employment opportunities in retail, hospitality and heritage sectors,” Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed concluded, emphasising the key economic role the amphitheatre is expected to play.

Built on a total area of 190,000 sq ft, this stunning Roman-style attraction is Sharjah’s latest cultural and architectural landmark. Strategically located on an elevated hillock, at the foot of the Al Sayed mountain, the amphitheatre offers sweeping views of the Khorfakkan Corniche. This open-air semi-circular space boasts an imposing stone façade made up of 235 arches and 295 columns, and can host 3,600 people at a time.

Adjacent to the Khorfakkan Amphitheatre is a unique attraction, Waterfall Cave, boasting an intriguing cave-like design and situated inside a natural mountain cave, offering vantage views of the picturesque coastal city and its beaches. Equipped with the latest technologies, the attraction can be used for both business meetings and leisure.

More than 18,000 residents and visitors across the UAE visited the newly opened Khorfakkan Amphitheatre in Sharjah’s eastern region enclave, to witness the screening of epic period film, ‘Khorfakkan,’ produced by the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA), and take part in the inaugural festive activities held in the vast open-air venue from Dec.15-19.

At the Roman-inspired amphitheatre, a cultural and architectural landmark and one of the most prestigious development projects in the city, attendees relived the courageous heroism and sacrifices shown by their fellowmen during a ruthless Portuguese invasion over 500 years ago.

To coincide with the inauguration, a “Heritage Village” was set up at the site to showcase the rich variety of Emirati handicrafts and the original flavours of the local cuisine. Spectacular fireworks and a laser drone show were the other chief attractions during the five-day event.

Shot extensively over Khorfakkan’s shores, its farms, mountains, and other parts of the ancient city, the epic film is based on the historical book, Khorfakkan’s Resistance Against the Portuguese Invasion of September 1507, by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

The two-hour SBA production represents an accurate cinematic depiction of the historic event and highlights the epic resistance put up by Khorfakkan’s inhabitants as Portuguese naval commander General Afonso de Albuquerque and his forces sought to take control of the city.

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