SHARJAH // A turnout of more than 170,000 people is expected in Sharjah next week for the biggest tourist event on the emirate's calendar.
The Sharjah Water Festival 2010 (SWF) and F1 Powerboat World Championships will take place from December 2 to 11 at Al Majaz Waterfront and Khalid Lagoon.
Coinciding with the 39th National Day, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said yesterday the SWF is a reflection of the emirate's love for the sea.
"The Sharjah Water Festival has become one of the most iconic and prominent events on the emirate's calendar in recent years," said Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, the chairman of the tourism authority.
"It has become an extravagant family, tourist and sporting event that focuses on Sharjah's rich heritage, history and culture."
Activities include the Aga Boom circus act, the Sinbad diving show and a heritage village as well as children's entertainment shows, pirate shows, a pet show, puppet shows, theatre performances and a National Day parade.
To end the festival, the emirate will host the Powerboat World Championship for the 11th successive year. The race is the largest annual water sports event in the region, which takes place on December 9 and 10.
Hotels have already registered an increased occupancy, according to Selim al Hage, general manager of the Golden Tulip Hotel.
"We hope to attain up to 100 per cent occupancy, like we have done during previous festivals," he said.
A number of police patrols will be deployed to ensure safety, said Abdullah Sultan, the director of Sharjah Police's Public Relations and Moral Guidance department.
"Peace and safety for our tourist visitors is our major contribution [to the festival]," he said.