Construction under way on the amphitheatre at the Buhairah Corniche in Sharjah. The open-air facility can accommodate 4,500 people. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Sharjah: Al Majaz Amphitheatre, which is phase one of Al Majaz Island project, is expected to open on March 26.

The Dh120 million Roman-style amphitheatre, covering an area of 7,238 square metres, can accommodate up to 4,500 people.

The open-air amphitheatre will be the official venue for the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture (SICC) 2014 celebrations and other international cultural and art events. Construction on the theatre started in November 2013 and took three months to be completed.

The first of 24 heritage projects to be rolled out in Sharjah this year, the amphitheatre is expected to leave a lasting impression on Sharjah’s cultural calendar as it welcomes a litany of arts events in the years to come.

Osama Samra, Director of Sharjah Media Center (SMC) told Gulf News: “The project, which is being developed at an estimated cost of Dh140 million comprises two phases; phase one is the open-air amphitheatre and phase two will include building different facilities, including restaurants, cafes, landscapes and conference halls.”

The Al Majaz Island project will also include a Dh13 million bridge between the island and Khalid Lagoon.

Opening ceremony

The opening of the amphitheatre will kick off the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 celebrations with a monumental artistic theatrical display called the ‘The Clusters of Light’.

The performance, which is written by the Saudi poet Dr Abdul Rahman Al Ashmawi and composed by the Bahraini artist Khalid Al Shaikh, will be the one of the largest theatrical and musical production to be made. It will include more than 200 performers from around the world and will be led by four Arab stars — Hussain Al Jasmi, Lotfi Bouchnak, Ali Al Hajjar, and Mohammad Assaf.

The event will also include an oratorio, which is a large musical composition for orchestra, choir, and soloists. The purpose of the event is to create a high-ranking artistic work serving Islam, clarifying its tolerant truth and promoting its human values represented by justice, love and peace, said Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Head of the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital Executive Committee in a recent statement. The opening ceremony will continue until April 5.

The SMC has also recently announced that it has signed an agreement with Live Nation Entertainment, a live entertainment and ecommerce company, for the venue management of theatre for a period of three years.