Dubai: Staying true to its name, the first-ever Sharjah Events Festival offered diverse events for grown-ups and young visitors alike during its two-day run at Al Majaz Amphitheatre.
Stage shows, stunts, workshops, poetry, films and many other attractions pulled crowds to the venue on Friday and Saturday.
The free-to-attend festival was held to reveal the line-up of events planned for 2022 in Sharjah by 25 government and private entities, while offering activities for the whole family.
On Friday, the festival was inaugurated by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council. The festival is organised by Sharjah Events – an initiative of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) under the slogan ‘#SeeSharjah’.
Al Majaz Amphitheatre, set on an island in Khalid Lagoon, was decked in colourful lights, while a carnival-like theme pervaded its grounds.
Participants at an illustration workshop hosted by Sharjah Book Authority were encouraged to give free rein to their imagination. Leading the ‘Visual Content Industry’ workshop, Mexican illustrator Gerardo Suzan, told an audience of young girls and boys to use their creativity while envisioning the rabbit on the moon. To cultivating creative thinking, the illustrator allowed attendees to freely explore and create original drawings.
Nicolas Suzan oversaw the activities of the participants while also sharing tips for improving sketches. Every participant was gifted with a copy of a children’s story book about the Mexican city of Durango that he had illustrated.
Amongst other workshops was ‘Balance Your Focus’ by the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, which highlighted the importance of prioritising family needs.
The ‘Sign Language’ workshop, organised by the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, emphasised the importance of mastering sign language by parents of differently abled children. Other workshops included ‘My House is Safe’, ‘Narrator’s Session’ and ‘How to Say No’, by Sharjah Police.
A steel swing offered an experience of swinging through sheets of pouring water without getting wet. The waterfall moved apart when visitors swung through the air. The ‘Sharjah Swing’ was inspired by the Rain Room – a unique modern art installation in the emirate that allows visitors to walk in a downpour without getting wet, as the water falls around – but not over – the guests.
Young visitors raced against each other on stationary cycles. In teams of six, children lined up to take their place on the cycles as a facilitator instructed them on the rules of the game. With their feet firm on the pedals, participants tested their muscle and pedal power against each other.
Lights on three pillars on each side of the entrance of the Amphitheatre rose and fell depending on the power generated by the young cyclists, as the audience cheered the participants.
The lawns of Al Majaz Amphitheatre were transformed into an outdoor movie theatre setting. Hosted by FUNN – Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children – the movies chosen for screening represented diverse genres including shorts and animation.
A fast-paced show of adventure water sports by a team of marine enthusiasts charged out of the tranquil waters of the Khalid Lagoon surrounding the Al Majaz Amphitheatre. Led by professionals from the Sharjah International Marine Sports Club, the display of skills and stunts was the another addition to the festival.
Flying freely above water on a water-propelled flyboard, or manoeuvring top speeds on a jet ski, the certified riders offered glimpses of a water sports experience.