His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi at the occasion.
The three-day cultural and heritage festival under the theme ‘Cultural Heritage Brings Us Together’ in the surroundings of a known heritage site in Kalba has brought thousands of residents and guests to enjoy and appreciate their rich history.
“There was no schedule for this particular festival but as soon we completed the restoration of the area, including 10 houses and three mosques along with the fort, we decided to have an event to celebrate the restoration of this historical area,” said Dr Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage and Chairman of the Higher Committee of Sharjah Heritage Days (SHD).
He further told Gulf Today on the sidelines of the festival that they were holding a heritage festival in Kalba at a different site but at the fort it is the first time. “It is the only festival under the ongoing Sharjah Heritage Days that has been inaugurated by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, even the opening of the historic Kalba Fort,” he said.
He further mentioned that the fort in Kalba is not only historical but also unique in its design. “There is not a single fort in the UAE like this as all its four walls have different heights which is unusual. Still we are figuring out why such a design was completed as there are no historical details in any historical document we have,” he said.
His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah got acquainted with the participation of productive families in the city of Kalba.
He further said that they have drawings of the area made by the Portuguese in the 16th century but all are common drawings so there is no mention of the unusual design of the fort.
Dr Al Musallam also said that they have presented the proposal of Kalba Heritage Museum and got approval. “We are thrilled to have the proposal approved from His Highness and work on this museum will start soon after the Holy Month of Ramadan. This Kalba Heritage Museum will be the unique and largest museum in the country to offer the history of the area as well as information on the rich culture and heritage of the surrounding areas,” he said.
The guests at the festival including dignitaries, representatives of different government departments, officials from the different countries and others were welcomed with Emirati traditional songs and performances, after which His Highness toured the various parts of the heritage area located at Khor Kalba where he was detailed by Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, about the types of participation and activities covered by the Sharjah Heritage Days and the environment that represents the nature of the area. He also briefed him on the pavilions that tell stories and tales of the past, and bring to mind the rich and authentic folklore of the city of Kalba, which was built with toil by parents and grandparents.
During his tour, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah got acquainted with the participation of productive families in the city of Kalba and the pavilions of a number of government departments. He was also briefed on the activities of the Child Village, and the programmes and activities of the Al Ayyam Theatre, which will house various performances to different members of the community throughout the days of the festival. His Highness also viewed a number of shows presented by several countries participating in Sharjah Heritage Days.
Present at the inauguration were Sheikh Saeed Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Deputy Head of the Ruler’s Office in Khorfakkan; Sheikh Haitham Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Deputy Head of the Ruler’s Office in Kalba City; and a number of senior officials and dignitaries.
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