Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi
Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi receives the first joint Honorary Doctorate in Urban and Regional Development, from the University of Turin and Polytechnic University of Turin, in Italy on Friday. Image Credit: WAM

Turin: His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Turin, Italy, and the Polytechnic University of Turin, for his contribution to urban and regional development, and commitment to integrating architecture with sustainable technology solutions.

The Honorary Doctorate is a first of its kind, as it combines the recognition by the two universities for distinguished performance in urban development efforts.

Dr Shaikh Sultan expressed his pleasure and delight at receiving the award, adding, “It is an honour for me to attend this ceremony held in the magnificent Castle of Valentino among many distinguished academics and guests. I want to express my sincere appreciation to the University of Turin and the Polytechnic University of Turin, their faculties and committees who nominated and bestowed me with this Honorary degree.”

“This is a special day for me,” Dr Shaikh Sultan said, noting the history of the two prestigious universities and their impact on the sciences and technology fields.

Also, Dr Shaikh Sultan met with Professor Guido Saracco, Rector of the Polytechnic University of Turin. During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways to initiate cooperation across various academic fields, with a focus on architecture, infrastructure and sustainability development.

Dr Shaikh Sultan toured the university grounds, and visited its Clean Water Centre where he was briefed about the centre’s desalination systems and purification of water and wastewater technologies.

Established in 1859, Polytechnic University of Turin is Italy’s oldest technical university offering several courses in the fields of engineering, architecture and industrial design.

Book in Italian

Meanwhile, the Sharjah Ruler released the Italian version of his book ‘Taking the Reins’ (Hadith Al Thakira), during an event held at the Palazzo Madama, Turin.

Dr Shaikh Sultan said that ‘Taking the Reins’ complements his book ‘Self-narrative’, or ‘Sard Al Dhat’, which tells the story of his life since childhood until accession to power and the circumstances that led to changing his personality, especially after becoming the ruler of Sharjah.

He stressed the importance of the Italian culture and its rich value and thanked publishers for publishing the three parts of “Taking the Reins” in one book.

The book, narrates in the words of Dr Shaikh Sultan, the early journey of the UAE’s formation, the course of events that unfolded and resolutions that were taken from his point of view when he participated in the journey spearheaded by the late founding father, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan. “We stood beside him, backed him, supported him in many issues until he passed away, and we all mourned him,” he said.

“The book also narrates in a simple style the story of the late Shaikh Zayed and his experiment in the UAE,” he stated.

He hoped the book would help in the transfer of knowledge about the UAE’s pioneering experiments and thoughts of understanding, harmony and collective national work that could help the world overcome the obstacles it faces in its progress.

During the event, the Sharjah Ruler signed a number of copies of the Italian version of his book and gifted them to the attendees (senior diplomats, publishers and writers). The event also featured an art work forming the photo of Dr Shaikh Sultan in addition to a presentation on ‘Taking the Reins’, outlining its content and topics.

Dr Shaikh Sultan also toured a number of running exhibitions at Palazzo Madama, which displayed a host of paintings and art works.