x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Man-made island forms centrepiece of Sharjah’s Islamic Culture Capital 2014 celebrations

A Dh140 million man-made island will be the centrepiece of Sharjah’s celebrations as it takes the title of Islamic Culture Capital of the Arab region 2014.

The Al Majaz Island project will be the official venue of the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 celebrations. Courtesy Sharjah Media Centre
The Al Majaz Island project will be the official venue of the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 celebrations. Courtesy Sharjah Media Centre

SHARJAH // A Dh140 million man-made island will be the centrepiece of Sharjah’s celebrations as it takes the title of Islamic Culture Capital of the Arab region 2014.

The Al Majaz Island project, to be built in Khalid Lagoon in the heart of Sharjah City, was named as the official venue for next year’s events and forms part of a wider Dh273m development plan for the area including bridges linking it to the mainland and an open-air, 7,238-square-metre amphitheatre that seats 4,500 spectators.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, chairman of the Executive Committee for Sharjah’s Islamic Culture Capital organisation, said the emirate’s selection is the culmination of its numerous cultural and intellectual achievements and is in line with the vision of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah.

“Sharjah, with its people, scientific edifices, cultural platforms and historical character, has given joy a different meaning embodied in the knowledge it disseminates to continue to serve as a beacon of science among nations,” he said.

“Thanks to its abundant intellectual treasures, the emirate has managed to establish its cultural and Islamic identity so as to remain a source of pride for us, as well as for Arabs and Muslims.”

Sheikh Sultan was speaking at the launch of the official logo for Sharjah’s tenure as culture capital.

Each year three Islamic cities are selected from the Arab world, Africa and Asia to represent their region as the Islamic Culture Capital. Al Madina in Saudi Arabia is the current Arab capital.

According to the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (Isesco), the selection of Sharjah as the capital of the Arab region for next year is based on the emirate’s long history of science, culture and knowledge, as well as its one-of-a-kind buildings and architecture that show its history.

Dr Obaid Saif Al Hajri, director of the regional office of Isesco in Sharjah, said the Islamic Culture Capital programme aims to show the cultural richness of the Arab and Muslim world, as well as its material and moral diversity, while highlighting the history and civilization of Muslim cities in addition to the contributions made by their intellectual and scientific institutions.

“It is crucial to point out that this city boasts a prestigious position and a cultural role essential to spreading Islamic and human culture.

“The programme is regarded as one of the mechanisms to deepen Islamic cultural unity and appropriate the means to establish the immutable foundations of the cooperation among the member states to renovate the civilised construction of the world,” said Dr Al Hajri.

The Dh120 million amphitheatre on Al Majaz Island will host international cultural and art events and will include conference rooms and galleries, as well as a number of shops, restaurants and green areas. It will be connected to Khalid Lagoon Street by a Dh13 million footbridge.

ykakande@thenational.ae