NAT 230619 Sharjah Ruler 3D Art VSAKLANI-6-1687191237450
Sheikh Majid Bin Sultan Bin Saqer Al Qasimi, Indian Consul General Dr Aman Puri, artist Davinchi Suresh and officials at the unveiling of 3D art installation of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah made with One Hundred Thousand books by artist Davinchi Suresh.. Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News.

Sharjah: The Indian expat community on Monday paid rich tributes to His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, by unveiling a 3D ‘portrait’ of him made from around 150,000 books.

The tribute to the Sheikh Sultan, who is known for his contributions to promote reading, came under the leadership of the Indian Association Sharjah (IAS).

The art installation measuring 75 ft x  42 ft x 20 ft was created by artist Davinchi Suresh from the south Indian state of Kerala, who worked for up to 12 hours a day for 8 days on the project.

The massive artwork was unveiled at a ceremony at Expo Centre Sharjah in the presence of Sheikh Majid bin Sultan bin Saqer Al Qasimi, Chairman of Districts and Villages Affairs Department in Sharjah, Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, senior officials from various government departments in Sharjah and the management of IAS.


The art installation will be on display for 10 days at Hall No 1 in Expo Centre Sharjah between 10am to 1pm and from 5pm to 8pm till June 29.

Words of gratitude

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Puri expressed his gratitude to the UAE leadership and Sharjah Ruler for their compassion extended to the large Indian expat community of more than 3.3 million in the UAE. He also praised Sheikh Sultan’s exemplary efforts in spreading knowledge and promoting reading.

The managing committee of IAS stated: “Sheikh Sultan is the epitome of knowledge and is renowned for his erudition. His vision to establish the Sharjah International Book Fair [SIBF] has inspired millions into the oasis of knowledge and entertainment. The 3D art installation is intended to promote and realise the vision of Sheikh Sultan to encourage and deepen the love for reading among children and adults.”

Advocate YA Raheem, president of IAS, said: “This humble tribute is a testament to our incessant gratitude towards His Highness [Sheikh Sultan], intended to highlight the efforts and vision of His Highness as the exemplary Ruler of Sharjah and the great author who contributed to enrich the world of literature, in addition to encouraging good reading habits in students and to promote art and teamwork in schools.”

He pointed out that Sheikh Sultan had donated nine acres of land to IAS in 1979 where the association established the Sharjah Indian School in 1982. “After that, he has offered support with land and money for many projects. It is only because of his benevolence that we are able to provide affordable education,” he added.

How students will benefit

TN Prathapan, a member of the Indian parliament, who flew in from Kerala to attend the ceremony, also conveyed his special gratitude to the Sharjah Ruler for ensuring the welfare of all residents, especially the large group of Keralites who live in the emirate.

He also highlighted that the 3D portrait of the Sharjah Ruler will benefit underprivileged students in rural India through an initiative that he had suggested after visiting the last edition of the SIBF, where he was gifted with books by several expats.

Raheem told Gulf News that majority of the books used for the art installation would be donated to school libraries in rural areas in India after the 10-day exhibition.

“We had started collecting the books for that project proposed by the MP and when we received such a huge volume of books, we wanted to acknowledge our gratitude to this land, especially to our beloved Ruler who has paved the way for it.”

He added that the initiative had received around 200,000 books, of which 50,000 were borrowed from the Al Qasimi Publications to match the skin tone in the portrait.

“We will return those books. The rest, which have been donated for distribution to students in rural India, will be channelised for that project. This art installation was a herculean task. We thank the artist and everybody who supported it,” Raheem said.

Around 1,000 students from the two campuses of Sharjah Indian School run by the IAS management were invited to the ceremony, which included cultural programmes by the students.

IAS has invited schools across the emirate to send their students to visit the exhibition and rekindle their love for reading. IAS is also eying to set a Guinness World Record for the first-of-its-kind art installation of a leader globally.