Sharjah Institute for Heritage draws curtain on 21st Heritage Days


SHARJAH: The Sharjah Institute for Heritage (SIH) concluded the events of the 21st edition of the Sharjah Heritage Days (SHD) under the slogan ‘Connection’, after 11 days from 22nd February to 3rd March, filled with activities, traditional dialogues, and accompanying cultural events distributed across six cities in the emirate: Sharjah, Al Hamriyah, Dibba Al Hisn, Khorfakkan, Kalba, and Al Dhaid.

This year, Jeju Province (South Korea) was the guest of honour, with notable government, popular, and international participation, and outstanding attendance by guests and visitors from across all the UAE and beyond.

During the 11 days, the Sharjah Heritage Days, under the supervision of about 130 researchers, specialists, and supervisors, held 362 events, including 38 cultural stories, 25 dialogue sessions, and 107 open competitive contests. There were 272 artistic performances presented by 36 art groups and the organisation of 9 exhibitions and about 21 specialised publications, and 5 new signings and launches, a
ll accomplished during 616,000 working hours, with 111,365 visitors and more than 700 guests and participating delegations.

Ahmed Salim Al Bairaq, Chairman of the Media Committee for the 21st Sharjah Heritage Days, Director of Corporate Communications at the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, along with Abu Bakr Al Kindi, the General Coordinator of Sharjah Heritage Days, honoured the sponsoring entities and all the committees and distinguished employees who stood behind the success of the events.

On this occasion, Dr. Abdulaziz Al Musallam, Chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage (SIH) and Head of the Supreme Committee for Sharjah Heritage Days (SHD), said, ‘We are pleased to conclude a successful season of the 21st edition of the Sharjah Heritage Days, and we are proud and delighted by the echoes it generated, which enhanced the status of our Emirati heritage regionally and worldwide. Undoubtedly, all achievements would not have been possible without the unlimited support of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muha
mmad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and the translation of his vision of the importance of the past in building a bright future.’

In the same context, Abu Bakr Al Kindi, General Coordinator of the Sharjah Heritage Days, said, ‘The organisation of heritage events befitting the cultural stature of the Emirate of Sharjah- in art, culture, and heritage-requires knowledge, artistry, and planning. We have made great, sincere efforts towards this, and we see the success achieved as a multiplied responsibility to maintain the achievements. We hope we have fulfilled our duties as we look forward now to the next edition with great zeal, ambition, and determination to continue the success.”

Additionally, the number of participants reached 600 exhibitors, representing 12 countries, and more than 30 governmental and supporting entities participated. Approximately 202 volunteers registered a significant number, totaling around 10,517 hours of work. Moreover, the SHD’ events on social media platfo
rms recorded more than 17,000 views by local, regional, and international followers interested in the field of heritage arts.

In an annual celebratory tradition, and with the presence of a group of researchers and specialists interested in local folk heritage, the cultural cafĂ© witnessed on the closing day a book signing ceremony for the 21st edition of the Sharjah Heritage Days. This book sheds light on the SHD’ activities, events, segments, and its artistic and cultural aspects. Several researchers presented their efforts in this book, expressing their hope that it will become one of the most important cultural heritage references in the future.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Xposure 2024: Emirati filmmaker traces her trailblazing journey into a male-dominated industry


SHARJAH: Emirati filmmaker Nahla Hamad Bin Fahad Almheiri said that we should always seek to transfer knowledge and transmit our experiences in a way that benefits future generations, during her talk ‘Empowering Female Voices’ on Sunday at Xposure International Photography Festival (Xposure 2024) in Sharjah.

In an engaging fireside chat with Dr Abdelsalam Alhammadi of Sharjah TV, the filmmaker recounted how she shattered the glass ceiling in the male-dominated film industry. A leading filmmaker and executive producer from Dubai, Nahla is celebrated for her groundbreaking contributions to the silver screen, which have won her international awards and recognition.

Nahla Al Fahad recalled how she grew up watching a lot of cartoons on television. Although no one in her family was into cinema; her passion for images and direction began with a Kodak camera. ‘I used to watch 40 films a week and capture numerous images on my camera,’ the young director, who is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Media from Derby Un
iversity, the UK, noted. ‘I recommend that parents encourage their children, no matter how young, if they show an interest in stories and animation,’ she added.

Nahla, who graduated from a Dubai college in Media Marketing and Advertising, first joined video clubs that produced short videos and commercials giving her the foundation for her gradual shift to cinema. The trailblazing Emirati voice believes that universities cannot teach everything and it is the practical experience and self-education that help you hone your skills and talent in the film field. She emphasised that interacting with specialists in a particular field is important, narrating how she overcame her shyness to acquire more knowledge from experts.

Nahla, who went on to produce award-winning movies such as The Tainted Veil which won awards at the International Film Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia and California, said people in the east are keen to know more stories from the Arab world.

Nahla works closely with Shams (Sharjah Media City) a
nd points out that Sharjah is ‘a city that believed in her’. She has produced numerous videos for awareness campaigns, including during the Covid lockdown years. She pointed out how the first film production for Shams on domestic violence, 218: Behind the Wall of Silence, had won three awards — Best Director, Best Actress and Best Asian Film — at the Amsterdam Film Festival in 2022.

The Emirati director was thrilled to walk through the halls of the Xposure 2024 festival, which houses such a wide variety of creations, observing that it is truly inspiring and motivating for filmmakers like her.

Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the exhibition is running from February 28 to March 5 at the Expo Centre Sharjah.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Fujairah Adventure Park officially opens its doors to visitors


FUJAIRAH: Under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, the Fujairah Adventure Centre announced the opening of the “Fujairah Adventure Park” on Thursday.

The park is set to become a premier tourist destination catering to adventure enthusiasts and sports lovers from Fujairah and across the UAE and beyond. The opening ceremony was attended by a distinguished gathering of prominent figures from the emirate.

Besides the grand opening that welcomed eager visitors, the park introduced fifteen cutting-edge activities and experiences, some setting new benchmarks in the Middle East. With a meticulous focus on quality, safety, and global standards, these attractions transform the park into a premier destination for all adventure aficionados seeking unforgettable and secure thrills.

According to Amr Zein El Din, Director of the Centre, the park adds a vibrant touch to Fujairah’s array of entertainment, sports, and tourist attractions. This positions it promi
nently on the regional and global tourism map.

Being the first and foremost specialised adventure park in the UAE and the Middle East, it magnetises thrill-seekers and activity lovers alike. A supervised haven for enthusiasts to indulge in their favourite pursuits, the park has already begun welcoming visitors today under the expert guidance of seasoned professionals.

Among the experiences was the unveiling of a groundbreaking one-kilometre zipline course, setting a new standard in the Middle East. This innovative attraction offers a multifaceted thrill ride with state-of-the-art technologies and top-of-the-line safety equipment, making it a standout feature in the region.

The event also showcased the introduction of the tallest giant swing in the region, towering at 22 metres to offer unparalleled thrills and adventure. Additionally, visitors experienced activities such as kayaking, archery, free fall, and other attractions, establishing the adventure park as a key highlight on the tourism map of the UAE
and the wider region.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Sharjah, Korea’s Jeju Province sign MoU to cultivate innovation, cultural exchange, sustainable growth


SHARJAH: Sharjah and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province of the Republic of Korea have recently joined forces to engage in deeper collaboration across key sectors of tourism, technology and cultural exchange.

Officiated through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed by Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Government Relations in Sharjah (DGR), and Oh Young-hun, Governor of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, this partnership symbolises a significant new chapter in the Sharjah-Korea relationship.

‘This MoU marks a momentous step forward in enhancing understanding and cooperation between Sharjah and Jeju, aligning with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah to actively establish intercontinental ties, promoting advantageous and sustainable partnerships with our international counterparts,’ said Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of DGR. ‘By combining our strengths, we unlock immense potential for mutual benefi
t, and we are confident that this partnership will lead to fruitful exchanges, innovation, and sustainable development for both our regions.’

The MoU welcomes a future between the two regions harnessing collaborative initiatives across diverse fields. In the realm of tourism, both Sharjah and Jeju are renowned, and share common ground regarding their wellness offerings where they will exchange best practices and promote joint marketing initiatives to attract visitors seeking holistic experiences. Technology and emerging industries present another exciting avenue for partnership as Sharjah, a hub for innovation, and Jeju, with its focus on smart city development, will share expertise in areas like renewable energy, exchanging cutting-edge solutions for sustainable living.

Culturally, the agreement paves the way for enriching exchanges and educational institutions can leverage this opportunity to establish possible student exchange programmes and joint research initiatives, while building mutual understanding
and appreciation for each other’s heritage. The MoU also encourages the exchange of information and publications, enriching libraries and cultural centres with diverse perspectives from the two locations. Additionally, joint exhibitions, festivals, and seminars could provide platforms for communities to connect and celebrate their unique cultural expressions.

At the economic level, the MoU opens doors to enhanced trade relations, and by facilitating trade missions, business forums, and knowledge-sharing events, both regions can explore new business opportunities and investments, forging mutually beneficial partnerships.

The signing of the MoU marks a new chapter in the relationship between Sharjah and the Korean island of Jeju. With shared goals and complementary strengths, both regions are poised to benefit from increased collaboration, fostering economic growth, cultural understanding, and innovation in the years to come.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Saud bin Saqr attends grand opening of Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort


RAS AL KHAIMAH: H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, today attended the grand opening of the Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, the latest addition to the Emirate’s luxury hotel portfolio.

In statements marking the opening, Sheikh Saud outlined the emirate’s ambitious vision and emphasized a comprehensive strategy to solidify Ras Al Khaimah’s position as a global hub for business, investment, and tourism.

Highlighting the emirate’s strengths, Sheikh Saud spoke of its economic and tourism appeal, alongside a supportive investment climate across various sectors. He specifically mentioned the tourism and hospitality industry, a key focus due to Ras Al Khaimah’s strategic location, diverse landscape, modern infrastructure, and safe environment.

Seeking to attract global players, Sheikh Saud welcomed companies to establish headquarters and expand their investments in the emirate. He viewed their presence as a testament to the world’s confidence in Ra
s Al Khaimah’s robust and resilient economy. Moreover, he emphasised the opportunities available for regional and international companies to thrive and achieve sustainable growth within the emirate.

Concluding his remarks, Sheikh Saud reiterated the vital role of the hospitality sector in driving economic growth and enhancing the emirate’s tourism competitiveness on the global stage.

The 174-key resort features a range of room, suite and villa categories, including a selection of overwater villas. These abodes are designed out on stilts over the water, and come complete with a thatched roof, rustic aesthetic and even a private pool.

Source: Emirates News Agency

15 mega brands, 11 strategic partners to offer rare educational experience, exclusive deals at Xposure 2024


SHARJAH: The 8th annual Xposure International Photography Festival (Xposure 2024), organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), is gearing up to host a world-class trade show. It will feature 15 mega brands showcasing the latest technologies, along with exclusive deals, and 11 strategic partners to offer a unique educational experience for both seasoned and emerging photography professionals, as well as hobbyists.

The weeklong event taking place in Expo Centre Sharjah from 28th February to 5th March, will offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get acquainted with the latest hardware and software that is shaping the future of photography, film and other mediums of visual storytelling. The festival will witness the participation of industry-leading sponsors, trade exhibitors, and cultural and business entities that have created vibrant platforms for learning, networking and community building.

The trade exhibition floor at Xposure 2024 will feature an impressive array of leading brands in the indust
ry including Godox, Garage Studio, IDN GULF DMCC, Grand Stores, Future Art Broadcast Trading, MBUZZ Technologies, Advanced Media, and Hyper Jump Productions. Alongside displaying their cutting-edge products, these industry giants will also engage participants with enticing promotions, exclusive demonstrations, and activities.

Photography brand Leica will provide a prolific gallery showcase, and an exclusive Stage X session with Karin Kaufmann, Art Director of Leica Galleries International.

Fuji Film will entice participants with a fully equipped portrait studio and daily workshops on their exclusive stage offering hands-on learning opportunities for all; while Nikon’s stand will have product displays, a photo gallery, a fully equipped studio, and their pop-up educational facility, the ‘Nikon School’.

Featuring a continuous light system, a podcast studio and livestreaming, IbrandConnect is set to once again be a great attraction. Canon and Samsung return with cutting-edge workshops and will also sponsor sev
eral major categories of the Xposure Awards.

The UAE’s largest bookstore, Kinokuniya, will bring an incredible selection of books and book-signing activities to the festival.

As one of Xposure’s event partners, Adobe will lead the ‘Adobe Labs Masterclass Series’ upskilling attendees in film and post-production. The brand will also offer an immersive product display stand, allowing participants to learn more about the cutting-edge world of digital creativity.

With 90 solo and group exhibitions displaying 2,500 prints from over 400 renowned photographers, 66 workshops, 45 talks, 15 focus groups, and 50 professional portfolio reviews from over 150 of the world’s greatest visual storytellers, Xposure 2024 promises an immersive exploration of photography and other visual mediums.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Ajman Tourism concludes UK roadshow, elevating Emirate’s global appeal


AJMAN: The Ajman Department of Tourism Development (ADTD) completed a successful promotional tour in the UK to position Ajman as a top tourist spot. The campaign, conducted from 12-16 February 2024, aimed to build strong partnerships and enhance Ajman’s global tourism presence.

Led by Mahmood Khaleel Alhashmi, Director General of ADTD, the roadshow commenced in Glasgow, followed by tours in Birmingham and Guildford, England, with the participation of representatives from prominent tourism and travel companies in those respective cities.

During the roadshow’s peripheral events, ADTD entered into a memorandum of understanding and cooperation with Mezze Associates Ltd, a prominent consulting firm specializing in tourism and entertainment. This collaboration aims to enhance investment initiatives within the tourism sector.

A business lunch in London brought together top executives from leading UK Tour operators, discussing collaborative strategies to enhance the growth and sustainability of Ajman’s tourism sec
tor.

Expressing satisfaction with the campaign’s outcomes, Alhashmi emphasised the importance of partnerships with key industry players in promoting Ajman and attracting more tourists. He stated, ‘The cooperation agreement with Mezze Associates solidifies Ajman’s status as a distinctive tourist destination. We are committed to enriching the cultural heritage and tourism aspects that make our emirate a preferred choice for international tourists.’

Statistically, Ajman has experienced substantial growth in its tourism sector, with a remarkable 11% increase in hotel revenues, a 6% rise in occupancy rates, and an 11% surge in visitor numbers compared to the previous year.

ADTD aims to heighten awareness of Ajman as an appealing tourist destination, offering unique and diverse experiences aligned with the local culture and history. These efforts are anticipated to contribute significantly to the local economy, job creation, increased hotel occupancy, and further enhance Ajman’s reputation as an attractive touri
st destination.

Source: Emirates News Agency

SMA engages Sharjah Heritage Days with dynamic workshops, free museum access


SHARJAH: Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) is gearing up for active involvement in the 21st edition of Sharjah Heritage Days, a vibrant showcase of diverse heritage and culture, organised by the Sharjah Heritage Institute.

This year’s event themed, “Connect,” is set to captivate visitors from 22nd February until 3rd March in the historic Heart of Sharjah, an area celebrated for its rich cultural legacy.

Embodying the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who believes that “Museums are made to educate our children and our future generations.” SMA is dedicated to maintaining its spaces as dynamic venues offering innovative ways of learning, disseminating knowledge, and making cultural education accessible and engaging for all age groups.

Throughout the event, SMA will offer complimentary entry to its museums in the Heart of Sharjah, including Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn), Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, Bait Al Naboodah, and Hisn Khorfakkan. This gesture en
courages the public to explore extensive collections and partake in activities that vividly portray the UAE’s identity and rich history.

A highlight of SMA’s participation is the “Museums Express,” a pioneering mobile bus museum initiative. Operational on select dates at the Heart of Sharjah and Dibba Al Hisn, this initiative enables visitors to explore various Sharjah Museum collections, offering unique educational experiences on wheels.

In addition to free museum access, SMA is hosting diverse workshops, from crafting replica towers and doors at Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn) to painting traditional designs at Bait Al Naboodah; these workshops offer hands-on experiences rooted in cultural heritage.

Furthermore, SMA’s exhibitions deeply dive into Emirati culture and art, celebrating heritage through mediums such as photography and fine arts.

Sharjah Heritage Days, organised annually by the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, serves as a vibrant platform to acquaint current and future generations with the rich tradit
ions of the past, celebrating the authentic customs that define Emirati heritage.

Source: Emirates News Agency