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9 Major Festivals & Events in Sharjah

The residents of Sharjah are great connoisseurs of art and beauty and appreciate every aspect of their culture and traditions. The festivals and events in Sharjah are generally established on the fundamentals of Islam and hence, the people in Sharjah celebrate most events and festivals with devotion and sincerity.

Some of the prominent festivals that are included in the city’s cultural calendar are the Sharjah Light Festival, Sharjah Biennial, World Music Festival, Sharjah Heritage Days, and World Championship Week. The intention of including them is to promote the local culture and attract tourists.

Tourists plan to visit Sharjah during the festivals, whether they are regional or international. You can find several cheap flights to Sharjah. Some of the popular airlines operating flights to Sharjah from other cities are Air India Express, Air Arabia, Pegasus Airlines, IndiGo Airlines, EgyptAir, Air India, SalamAir, Jet Airways, Airblue, and Turkish Airlines.

There are regular flights from Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Trivandrum, Madinah, Al-Qassim, Kozhikode, Kuwait, Cairo, and Mumbai to Sharjah, as well.

Sharjah offers immersive and amazing surroundings on the streets and in art galleries during events that include celebrations that showcase Emirati heritage and UAE culture in Sharjah. When in Sharjah, you will come across a major event taking place that will allow you to explore the place, heritage, culture, and more. Moreover, families with children are mostly busy in the middle of the year because of several summer activities taking place.

1. Islamic Arts Festival

Under the guidance of the Directorate of Art of the Department of Culture and Information the annual Islamic Arts Festival, established in 1998, was organized, to illustrate diverse forms of conventional and modern Islamic art.

The variety of art projects held during the festival showcased the originality of Islamic Art and its capability to keep up with contemporary artistic trends. The festival helped showcase different types of lively Islamic Art through successive editions.

The current session of the Islamic Arts Festival chose the theme of “Graduate” as a point of reference and a manual for developing creative works. Nothing can be fully realized without a process of steady development, and no state can be fully achieved without the interweaving and complementarity of various components that make up its fundamental structure.

2. Sharjah Biennial

Sharjah Biennial is an exhibition of contemporary art visited by enthusiastic artists who want to realize their dream. This cultural festival, which is truly large-scale art, happens once every two years. The Sharjah Biennial, which is attended by the public, including tourists, carries a theme chosen by the Sharjah Art Foundation every year.

The Sharjah Department of Culture and Information first ran the Biennial, which was started in 1993. Only one artist was permitted from each participating country, and the Biennial’s initial focus was on encouraging traditional and local arts and activities. However, the planning of this global event was taken over by the Sharjah Art Foundation in 2009. 

In 2003, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi took over management of the Biennial. Qasimi, a well-known artist in her own right, opened the way for an approachable, artist-driven structure, with the participation of eminent curators from places all over the world. The Biennial now has a bigger role in showcasing unique artists and their perspectives through various performances and workshops. 

3. Folklore Poetry Festival

The Sharjah Folklore Poetry Festival is recognized for honouring poetry every year. You will come across poets from the UAE and GCC performing their work and discussing various aspects like societal values and Arab history.

The platform allows eminent members of society’s intellectual community to assemble during this time. You can also find Sharjah’s top poetry event during this time. The Sharjah Folklore Poetry Festival is organized at the Cultural Palace by the Sharjah Centre for Folklore Poetry at the start of February.

4. Sharjah International Book Fair

The largest Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is always held at the Expo Centre Sharjah in November. It includes 1.5 million titles and gives you opportunities to interact with popular authors. SIBF usually runs for two weeks and this time it was conducted under the theme “Spread the Word”.

The 12-day event welcomes several artists, publishers, authors, and creatives from as many as 95 countries across the world. The international book fair, which is run by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), provides visitors with the opportunity to interact with international screenwriters, Booker Prize winners, and artists, as well as learn about various nations through publisher pavilions, a cooking station, and a varied schedule of events that include plays, performances, and theatrical productions.

5. Sharjah Light Festival

The popularity of light festivals, whether they are held in Sydney, London, Seoul, or Sharjah is owing to the magic of illuminations that transcends borders, time, faiths, and ages. The Sharjah Light Festival is held in February. Landmarks throughout the bicoastal emirate go off in a kaleidoscope spectacle of light, color, and sound. 

You will experience architectural wonders like the Al Noor Mosque, the Al Hisn Fort, and the House of Justice in a whole new way thanks to stunning light installations, video mapping, and site-specific projections created by an international lineup of talented artists. Join the crowds spreading out as the day turns to night in pursuit of the most alluring sights adorning the domes, facades, gardens, and minarets.

A lot of the designs are poetic and inspirational reflections of the local custom, history, culture, and natural world. Get on the festival bus that makes a merry circuit of the town to view them all conveniently. Even the east coast outposts of Kalba, Khor Fakkan and Dibba participate in this glistening fusion of art and science.

6. Sharjah World Championship Week

The Sharjah World Championship Week is a big attraction for individuals who enjoy outdoor adventure, particularly aqua biking and powerboat racing. It offers you numerous events related to art, cities, sports, or heritage to mark on your calendar.

The Sharjah World Championship Week, which features the 21st UIM F1H2O World Championship’s final leg, got underway under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council. The top 16 international racers are taking part in the Sharjah Powerboat Grand Prix on Khalid Lake.

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) hosted a press conference at Khalid Lagoon where the opening remarks for this year’s week of high-octane adrenaline were delivered in front of an enthusiastic crowd, racers, Nicolo Di San Germano, international promoter of Formula 1 Powerboat Racing, and Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, vice chairman of the Sharjah International Marine Sports Club (SIMSC).

7. Sharjah World Music Festival

The UAE will host a new music festival this January. Several international performers will perform at the first Sharjah World Music Festival from January 15 to 18. During the event’s opening on Wednesday, you can participate in the Iraqi oud virtuoso Naseer Shamma’s performance at the classic Al Qasba on the Corniche of the emirate. He will collaborate with Pakistan’s master of the sitar, Sharif Khan.

The European Fusion Band will support the Lebanese singer and poet Jahida Wehbe the following night. Vicente Allende, a Chilean flamenco guitarist, will perform on January 17 before Jordanian crooner Macadi Nahhas performs the event’s finale the following night.

Free performances will be held in Al Qasba on two outdoor stages, while paid events at Masrah Al Qasba will feature the top stars. The concert promises to be exciting for fans of international music, according to venue manager Sultan Shattaf.

The Sharjah World Music Festival, according to him, “will be a cultural celebration of the best music from the international stage, featuring music from as far away as Colombia and Japan, France, and Syria.” Everyone will find something to enjoy, from jazz and flamenco to the calming sounds of the oud and qanun.

8. Ramadan Nights

Tourists visiting Sharjah during Ramadan have reasons to rejoice. They can spend time shopping enjoying great discounts and bargains during ‘Ramadan Nights’ on groceries. There are more than 300 exhibitors offering goods during the mega sale at the Expo Centre Sharjah from 12th April to 26th April 2022 from 5 pm until 1 am every day.

One of Sharjah’s most eagerly awaited annual festivities, Sharjah Ramadan Nights 2022, is sure to be a blast for the whole family. The best local and foreign cuisine will be available at food stalls, food trucks, and distinctive pop-up restaurants. Foodies can indulge in traditional Emirati fare as well as regional specialties from the Philippines, China, India, and other countries.

The top national and international brands and designers are available for those seeking shopping therapy. For people of all ages and interests, the gaming area offers a variety of entertaining activities.

9. Desert Theatre Festival

This event, which is put on by the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, uses theater to portray local culture. Performers honor the Arab culture through social, folk, and technical elements. Legends from well-known storytellers and the color of artists are presented to viewers.

The main emphasis is on performance, poetry, and storytelling. The audiences were mesmerized by performances from the UAE, Kuwait, Mauritania, Jordan, Sudan, and Iraq last year. Although the line-up for 2022 hasn’t been revealed, you can be sure that the region’s best artists will demonstrate their distinguishing talents.

It is time that you book your flight tickets to Sharjah with any of the popular airlines operating their regular flights and be a part of the festivals with your families.