Sharjah’s Roman style amphitheater to serve as venue for international cultural and art events
Sharjah's Roman theatre will serve as a new international cultural spot for the city. (Image: Khaleej Times)
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The more than Dh140-million Sharjah Amphitheatre, a huge Roman-style theatre with state-of-the-art technology unprecedented in the Middle East, is nearing completion in time for the opening of the epic oratorio Clusters of Light on March 26.
The opening of the amphitheatre will signal the emirate’s celebration of the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture of the Arab Region 2014. Sharjah has earned this new title as it continuously honours the emirate’s contributions in preserving, promoting and spreading the culture of Islam.
The new technology which blends sound, lighting, and music in a spectacular fashion, with more than 400 animated lights, 120 sound speakers, and 21 projectors creating a unique effect, is built on Al Majaz Island project, which is the first of 24 heritage, tourism, cultural, and architectural projects of Sharjah this year.
Estimated to cost more than Dh140 million, the project is an open-air semi-circular theatre spanning 7,238sqm that can accommodate up to 4,500 people. It features a vast viewing platform through which artists can ascend, and is equipped with a high-quality and accuracy-advanced audio system that has never before been used in the region.
After the epic oratorio Clusters of Light, the amphitheatre will become Sharjah’s centerpiece of international cultural and art events to be hosted at its modern VIP conference rooms and galleries which are complemented with a number of shops, restaurants and green spaces.
Shaikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Centre and Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 Celebrations, said the Al Majaz Island project includes a Dh13-million bridge between the island and Khalid Lagoon Street.
“The Al Majaz Amphitheatre is more than 90 per cent complete.” Upon its completion, Al Majaz Island is expected to become a prominent tourism site, an ideal venue for future artistic, cultural and tourism movements in Sharjah and in the UAE.
“It will also contribute to securing infrastructure that promotes the global theatre movement, which will entrench the position of the UAE and Sharjah as a hub for international tourism. It will be a tourist destination that is culturally integrated,” said Shaikh Sultan.
He also said that Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment and e-Commerce company, has been chosen as the venue management for the soon to be completed Al Majaz Island Theatre for a period of three years. Currently, the Al Majaz Island Theatre is one of the most ambitious and significant projects undertaken in Sharjah.
It will also act as the hub for all of Sharjah’s numerous cultural activities aside from being the focal point for the celebrations of Sharjah’s 2014 Capital of Islamic Culture. “We knew from the off-set that the management of such an important venue would need the highest levels of experience and expertise,” he said.
The Sharjah Amphitheatre will serve Sharjah residents as well as visitors to the Emirate and the UAE. It is expected to host the best quality cultural performances from the region and around the world.
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