The Must-Attend Events in the Emirate

World of Stories

THEATRE /  July 11 – December 20

Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Beauty and the Beast and Hercules are some of the classic fairy tales that will feature in a range of immersive theatre pieces for children at the Masrah Al Qasba Theatre from July to December. Using dance, music, magic and special effects, the shows will bring ancient stories to life for a new generation, teach children through theatre and spread the message that every child can “be their own hero.”

Sharjah Summer Festival

ENTERTAINMENT / July 15 – August 15

Escape the heat and ensure the kids have a summer they will not forget at Sharjah’s Summer Festival. The month-long event, now a summer calendar staple, kicks off on July 15th. The unique, family focused festival attracts both visitors and residents to entertainment, promotions, competitions, cultural activities and performances held across the city. Last year “Carnival” shows at Sahara Centre, City Centre Sharjah, Mega Mall and Zero 6 were a major draw. Details were being finalised as we went to press, but an impressive line up of indoor and outdoor activities looks set to top even last year’s edition. Check https://shjsummer.ae for this year’s festival highlights.

The Shadow Shepard, Xposure 2018 Overall Winner
The Shadow Shepard, Xposure 2018 Overall Winner

Air Arabia Curator in Residence

ART / September 28 – January 5

Sharjah Art Foundation, in partnership with Air Arabia, presents ’32: The Rescore, a research project and exhibition organised by Bhavisha Panchia, an art curator and researcher from Johannesburg, South Africa, who is Air Arabia’s second Curator in Residence. Panchia takes as her inspiration and starting point the First Congress of Arab Music, which was held in Cairo in 1932. The exhibition will feature a range of media including vinyl records, sound works, videos, performances and installations to show how music is an agent of political and cultural force. The exhition will be staged in Gallery 6, Al Mureijah Square.

International Film Festival for Children and Youth

FILM / October 13-18

The Sharjah International Film Festival for Children & Youth seeks to showcase the very best in filmmaking for, by and about children and young people. This year’s festival has been renamed and its scope widened to encourage participation by children, teenagers and young adults aged 18-30 in the world of filmmaking. The aim is to expand young people’s imagination, give them a platform on which they can make their voices heard and inspire them to become movie makers in the future. Last year’s event screened almost 140 films from over 50 countries. An impressive launch event hosted celebrities like Emirati director Abdullah Al Kaabi, Neel Sethi, who played Mowgli in the Jungle Book, and Bollywood superstar Karisma Kapoor. This year’s festival promises to be bigger still. It will include short and animated films, fiction and documentaries covering family issues, environmental concerns, the impact of technology, and creativity from global filmmakers.

Photo courtesy of Sharjah Book Authority/Facebook

Sharjah International Book Fair

BOOKS / October 30 – November 9

More than two million visitors attended the Sharjah International Book Fair last year, and as Sharjah celebrates its role as UNESCO’s World Book Capital 2019 the numbers are expected to be larger still. Publishers, writers, artists and performers from around the world will attend the Expo Centre Sharjah. Stock up on the latest releases, listen to some of the world’s most influential writers, and take part in a range of workshops. And if the Book Fair whets your appetite for all things literary, there are a host of events going on as part of World Book Capital from mobile libraries on the emirate’s beaches to the Sharjah Arabic Poetry Festival in January.

Sharjah FDI Forum

BUSINESS / November 11 – 12

Organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Invest in Sharjah, the FDI Forum has established itself as the largest foreign direct investment event in the region and hosts a range of high-profile speakers, experts and CEOs from the private and public sectors around the world. This is the fifth edition of the Forum and its aim is to extend and create opportunities for partnerships and joint ventures across a range of sectors, to explore investment trends and to enable business leaders to exchange knowledge, expertise and success stories. The two-day Forum will be held in the Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre.

Dubai Design Week

DESIGN / November 11 -16

Dubai Design Week is the largest creative festival in the Middle East and covers a range of design disciplines including architecture, products, furniture, interior design and graphic design. Highlights of the six-day programme include  Downtown Design, the region’s leading design fair; Global Grad Show, which brings together projects from 100 of the most innovative universities around the world; Abwab, a curated and interactive project which showcases original design from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia; and Making Space, a pop-up studio which offers practical design workshops run by designers and creatives. The event is held in Dubai Design District.

In Bloom is a light installation by Toy Studio, a London-based collective. The ornate star is a laser-cut, geometric sculpture made of powder-coated aluminum.

Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival

ART / Dates TBA

Since it was first launched in 1998, the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival has become the leading event for traditional and contemporary Islamic arts in the region. The 22nd season of the one-month festival will take place in December and has much to live up to. Last year’s event was better than ever. Over 160 workshops were held in subjects such as calligraphy, Islamic ornamentation and sand-writing. Highlights last year included Room of Mysteries at the Sharjah Art Museum. An exploration of Islamic numerology, it was a collaboration between British singer-songwriter Sami Yusuf and Emirati artist, filmmaker and poet Nujoom Al Ghanem, who is currently representing the UAE at the Venice Biennale. Enhancing the status of Islamic art on the international art scene, it is an unmissable event. Dates were yet to be confirmed at time of going to press.

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