Reinforcing Sharjah’s position as the cultural capital of the region, Dr. Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, instructed the creation of the Qasba Development Authority, which will be responsible for the development of the Al Qasba Canal in Sharjah into “a destination of cultural variety and learning.” The Ruler also appointed Her Highness Shaikha Bodour Sultan Al Qasimi as Chairperson of the Authority.
The Al Qasba Canal, which will be renamed into Qanat Al Qasba, is considered to be one of the important landmarks of Sharjah and stretches over 1 kilometre linking Khalid and the Al Khan lagoons. It was inaugurated in November 2000 by His Highness Dr. Shaik Sultan and featured Islamic-designed buildings, which house educational and Islamic organizations as well as scientific and cultural institutes and semi-governmental associations.
Under the new authority, Qanat Al Qasba will be established into an area that will promote local culture and Arab heritage to all those living in and visiting the UAE, in-line with His Highness Dr. Shaik Sultan’s vision; establishing Sharjah as the Cultural Capital of the GCC.
“Sharjah has always been the capital of heritage and culture in the UAE, and the creation of the Qasba Development Authority is the first step into converting Qanat Al Qasba into a hub of integration, where all communities gather and interchange their cultural and artistic values,” stated Dr. Shaikh Sultan.
“We want to bring life to a place of beauty, and allow everyone in the country to value and experience it. Qanat Al Qasba will be an invitation to better understand a cultural heritage which is rich in creativity and craftsmanship. We want to promote a community worthy of associations – groups of individuals who would promote the flow of information and learning within specific disciplines,” he further added.
On her part, Shaikha Bodour highlighted her determination in transforming Qanat Al Qasaba into a base for arts and culture: “Qanat Al Qasba will rise into a community where different minds come together and are showcased for the world to appreciate, following the lines of my father’s vision.
“It will be the focal point of culture, offering the UAE’s residents and visitors a taste of the Arabian heritage in an environment which is enriching and inclusive. We have already initiated the planning and implementation process, putting into consideration all factors that will deem it attractive to visitors and assessing their expectations of the experience they will undergo at Qanat Al Qasba.”