On Sidelines of ITB Berlin, Sharjah Tourism Makes a Pitch for Islamic Culture Capital Celebrations
Date Published: Friday, March 7, 2014 Al Midfa: This is the year of excellenece and achievements for the emirate at various levels On the sidelines of its participation in the ITB Berlin, being held from March 5 to 9, and promoting Sharjah’s tourism product, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority organized a special press conference on Thursday to highlight the spectacular celebrations being hosted by the Emirate to mark its crowning as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 by the cultural ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries. Speaking on the occasion, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said that this is the year of excellence and achievements for Sharjah at various levels in general and the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital celebrations in particular. Al Midfa expressed confidence that the Emirate will attract visitors from around the world in large numbers. Speaking in the presence of more than 70 representatives of German, European and international media and various stakeholders of the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality sectors, Al Midfa said that one of the highlights of the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital celebrations will be the presentation, Clusters of Light, by the German Orchestra Babelsberg led by distinguished maestro Christian Steinhauser. The inaugural performance will take place on March 26 at the Al Majaz Island Open Theatre. The Clusters of Light celebrates the life of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, with more than 200 international authors, musicians and artists participating in the unique production and it is the biggest of its kind theatrical event. This is an initiative by Sharjah to present the true picture of Islam and its values of humanity, peace, love and compassion. The presentation will transport the audience back to the journey of faith and struggle from darkness to light in the early years of Islam. Addressing international media, Al Mida pointed out that Sharjah has had a long history of association and partnership with the Berlin exhibition and has carved itself a distinct niche in the German and European tourism market with its successful participation for 17 years, earning itself many accolades and awards. Al Midfa emphasised that the Authority’s showcasing of Sharjah’s tourism experience over the years in the ITB and other exhibitions in Europe and around the world has helped the Emirate strengthen its share of international and European tourism market and won it many awards and laurels. At the conclusion of his speech, Al Midfa was pleased to invite the media to visit Sharjah to be part of its celebrations and more than a thousand special events and activities that the Emirate has lined up and study its culture, heritage and tourism experience. He drew attention to the diversity of Sharjah’s tourism product and its rich heritage, culture, museums, cultural centres, leisure options and a very diverse tourism landscape. On this occasion, a special film on the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture logo was also shown. The logo in its motif represents and celebrates the diversity, richness and openness of the Islamic culture, through its shape and fixed lines. The logo is a bouquet of assorted colors and varying motifs inspired by Islamic history and culture. The film also offered a peek into the new Al Majaz Island that will be the official venue and focus of the SICC 2014 celebrations and is expected to become an important milestone and tourist attraction on Sharjah’s map. The film also offered a historical overview of the Emirate of Sharjah and its remarkable development during the past few decades at all levels, not to mention a world-class tourism experience and services offered to international visitors and investors. The Press conference was attended by HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, HE Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson, Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority and HE Ali Salem Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Airport Authority and HE Marwan Jassim Al Serkal, Executive Director, Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority and a number of representatives of the Sharjah delegation participating in the exhibition. Sharjah is being showcased at the ITB Berlin once again from an attractive 403-sqm pavilion representing the Emirate’s Arab-Islamic heritage, culture, iconic tourist attractions and celebrated cultural events, festivals besides profiling the UAE’s traditions, folklore, cuisine and arts. The Sharjah pavilion is also offering the visitors with literature and promotional leaflets and brochures in English and German about Sharjah and all that it has to offer.