x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Aqua circus to make a big splash at Sharjah Water Festival

Thousands are expected to attend the Sharjah Water Festival as the emirate enters 2014 as the capital of Islamic culture.

Acrobats from the acclaimed Russian Circus on Water thrilled the crowds with a dazzling display of stunts, fire and water at the opening of last year’s Sharjah Water Festival at Al Majaz Park. This year’s event, opening on Wednesday, coincides with the F1 World Powerboat Championships. Mike Young / The National
Acrobats from the acclaimed Russian Circus on Water thrilled the crowds with a dazzling display of stunts, fire and water at the opening of last year’s Sharjah Water Festival at Al Majaz Park. This year’s event, opening on Wednesday, coincides with the F1 World Powerboat Championships. Mike Young / The National

SHARJAH // An aqua circus, petting zoo and ice rink will be among the attractions enticing visitors to this month’s Sharjah Water Festival.

Thousands of people are expected to visit Al Majaz Park for the event, which is one of the highlights on the emirate’s tourism calendar.

The festival, from December 11 to 21, coincides with the F1 World Powerboat Championships on December 12 and 13.

Organisers say this is particularly special for the emirate because it has been chosen as capital of Islamic culture for 2014.

“As the Water Festival returns to Sharjah, the emirate – already known for its colourful festivals and events – is getting set for the year-long celebrations of it being chosen as the capital of Islamic culture for 2014,” said Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, director general of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.

“More than 100 special events and 24 projects have been lined up highlighting Sharjah’s tourism, heritage, culture, infrastructure.”

Entertainment at the festival will include a petting zoo and an aqua circus featuring high diving and acrobatics over water.

There will also be a 360-square-metre outdoor ice rink, roaming carnival with street performers and other entertainment.

A public skate park is set to be another big attraction, the first one in Sharjah, organisers say.

Mr Al Midfa said the festival – the largest recreational event in the emirate – was a tribute to the position Sharjah has earned itself on the regional and global tourism map.

He said the authority had been running campaigns in cities across the Arabian Gulf and Europe.

“We have also been making efforts to showcase Sharjah’s festivals in local and international media besides inviting international media to come and witness the events and attractions for themselves,” Mr Al Midfa said.

“We have organised visits to schools across the emirate to promote the festival and various events and activities are on offer for younger visitors.”

He said safety was paramount and all appropriate measures had been taken.

Sharjah was named capital of Islamic culture for 2014 by the Organisation of Islamic Countries conference in 2009.

ykakande@thenational.ae