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Light festival is Sharjah’s tribute to maritime legacy

Central Souk puts Emirati heritage of pearl industry in limelight, vows visitors.

The Central Souk, one of the most popular and recognized landmarks of Sharjah and the UAE, is once again in the spotlight with the return of the third edition of the Sharjah Light Festival.  The souk by the picturesque Khalid Lagoon has been one of the key venues of the Sharjah Light Festival since it debuted three years ago.

This year, the traditional souk is once again drawing hordes of visitors with its special shows based on the theme of sea and Arab and Emirati association with the seafaring traditions going back centuries and times immemorial.

The Emirati and Arab culture has always had a close bond with the sea. For centuries the Arab merchants have travelled on sea waves to explore and do business with the world. And the Emiratis have also been crucially bonded to the sea by their way of life that once depended on fishing, sailing and pearl-diving. And Sharjah being the Cultural Capital of the Arab and Islamic world, it epitomises and celebrates that tradition. The Sharjah Light Festival is the emirate’s tribute to our maritime legacy, said a statement by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority in a statement, which is hosting the SLF 2013 for the third year.

The Light Festival show at Central Souk this year creates the magic of what is called Wave Light Effects generating a fascinating illusion of the sea environment. The viewer is given to feel as if he or she is a diver, deep in a huge aquarium. A little pearl escapes its shell to discover the underwater world. The tale of pearly adventures is a tribute to Sharjah’s and the UAE’s rich history of pearl diving and pearl industry.
The underwater world is full of colourful playmates, fish of myriad colours, sea horses, bewitching jellyfish. But there are threats out there too like a monstrous sea snake who is out to get the adventurous pearl. Then there are giant, colourful inflated puppets who bring to life the fascinating and enchanting tale of underwater adventure every night at the Central Souk during the Light Festival being held from February 7 to 15.

One of the legendary shopping centres in the country for all kinds of bargains from gold jewellery to carpets to pearls to clothes and all kinds of memorabilia, the Central Souk has held a special place in the emirate’s history attracting shoppers and tourists from across the region and beyond.
Landmarks like Central Souk form part of Sharjah’s cultural and touristic landscape.  The Sharjah Light Festival is an initiative to highlight and celebrate such landmarks that make this beautiful emirate such an inviting and attractive destination for the tourists from across the region and around the world.  

Sharjah’s tourism strategy is closely associated and inextricably linked with its love of heritage, culture and tradition. This is what makes Sharjah the Capital of Arab Culture and Tourism.  

Besides Central Souk, the other venues of the Light Festival this year include Al Qasba External and Internal Facades, Sharjah Hisn (Fort), Masjid Al Noor, Cultural Palace Square, Al Majaz Waterfront, Khalid Lagoon, Masjid Al Majaz, Courthouse Complex, Sharjah Consultative Council and Kuwait Square, Sharjah International Airport, Masjid Omar Bin Al Khattab in Khorfakkan and Sharjah University Campus in Kalba on the East Coast. All shows are free and held daily from 7pm to 11pm and until 12 midnight during weekends.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.