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Date Published: Thursday, December 18, 2014 The Sharjah Water Festival 2014 got off to a spectacular start on Wednesday with HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, formally opening the popular festival, hosted by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority for the eighth consecutive year, in the presence of HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, Brigadier Abdullah Mubarak Al Dukhan, Deputy General Commander of Sharjah Police, and a number of senior Sharjah government officials, dignitaries, visitors and media at Al Majaz Waterfront. The Sharjah Water Festival this year boasts several new international attractions and globally acclaimed fun events and entertainment activities for the entire family. Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi said Sharjah’s events like the Sharjah Water Festival, Sharjah Grand Prix, Sharjah Light Festival and other such international events have contributed to shining the light on the emirate’s tourism and cultural product, attracting large number of visitors from across the country and the region. Al Qassimi lauded the Authority for its continuing efforts to attract international visitors with world-class family festivals and events that have firmly established Sharjah on the world tourism map and celebrate it as the Capital of Islamic Culture and the Capital of Arab Tourism. HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority emphasised that the success and popularity enjoyed by the SCTDA events and festivals over the years have added to the Authority’s responsibilities, pushing it to come up with new and more outstanding events and activities year after year. He said that the Authority is committed to making all efforts to develop and upgrade the tourism sector and services in the emirate and bolster Sharjah’s unique cultural and tourism identity with strong focus on family festivals and entertainment. The SCTDA Chairman said that the Sharjah Water Festival which fills the UAE and the region with waves of fun in December every year and attracts thousands of visitors from across the region and beyond at the peak of holiday season, has earned itself a special place in the hearts of the residents and visitors to the emirate. Meanwhile with several popular international teams of performers and artists being roped in, Al Majaz Waterfront and Khalid Lagoon have become the centre of heart-racing action and excitement. With lots of thrills and never-before seen attractions being offered, the Water Festival is attracting a large number of families and visitors. Al Noman said that the high point of the Sharjah Water Festival was the grand finale of the UIM F1 H20 World Powerboat Championship, the Sharjah Grand Prix, on December 18 and 19 being held by the SCTDA for the 15th consecutive years in the waters of Khalid Lagoon. The Sharjah Grand Prix sees the top world champions of Formula One Powerboat racing fight for the crown of the World Championship and the event is covered live globally by international media. The Khalid Lagoon has once again been the cynosure of all eyes as motorsports enthusiasts, spectators and international media gather to watch international Formula One drivers and extreme water sports enthusiasts demonstrate their breathtaking skills. Al Majaz Waterfront, the main venue, is hosting family fun and wholesome entertainment with events and activities such as Sand Sculptures. Sand Sculptures is again a new attraction this year. International artists use their amazing talents and skills to build enormous sand sculptures while involving children and visitors in the fun. Al Majaz Waterfront, the main venue, also features a beautiful Heritage Village. Divided into three sections, the Heritage Village helps visitors discover the rich heritage of the UAE and explore with your children the popular culture, customs and traditions of the ancestors. The three sections include Heritage Majlis, Modern Age and Get A Taste of It. The Sharjah Water Festival was formally announced by the SCTDA at a press conference on December 10 in the presence of event partners and sponsors that include Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority) Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Police Headquarters, Department of Seaports and Customs, Sharjah, Sharjah Road and Transport Authority, Civil Defence Department, Sharjah, Sharjah Museums Department, Co-Sponsors Al Zahra Hospital, Media partners: Sharjah Media Corporation and Al Khaleej newspaper and official airline Air Arabia. The SCTDA has been promoting the Sharjah Water Festival all around the year in its participations in international travel and tourism exhibitions and events. The Authority also showcased the festival in road shows it organized in the GCC, Asian and European capitals. A special dedicated website in both Arabic and English offers all relevant info about shows and attractions on offer, show timings and site map.