Bedazzled by Sharjah Light Festival
Cited as the ‘Arab Capital of Culture’ by UNESCO in 1998 and ‘Islamic Culture Capital’ by ISESCO in 2014, Sharjah hosted the ninth edition of the annual Sharjah Light Festival from February 6–16, 2019.
Themed ‘Culture and Family,’ over 1.2mn visitors came to the creative extravaganza. The festival showcased the emirate’s cultural and architectural heritage. Spread across 17 venues (including Kalba and Khorfakkan), it was a dazzling affair with 20 shows in 11 days.
The creative team comprised light artists, lighting designers and engineers with over three decades of experience.
The festival opened with ‘Transmission’. Imagined for Sharjah Municipality, it was a tribute to Arabic culture and stories emerging from legends and mythic poets. It was conceptualised by Laurent Langlois.
The different shows highlighted the elements that make up the Arab world such as science, culture, environment, conservation, architecture, heritage, sports, music and more.
Bridge of Light at Al Qasba — the laser show here emerged from both internal facades of Al Qasba. The threads of light met and built a bridge over the water. It carried the message of paths we choose but eventually come home. It was created by Alexey Fedorov.
With free entry, each show lasted from 10–25 minutes and carried on till midnight. While some venues change, others are permanent. Al Noor mosque is among the favourite venues.
The festival closed with an Aquatic Parade at Khalid Lagoon. A fairytale opened with mist, muse, glowing silhouettes carrying luggage, aquatic heroes and ended with fire and petals swirling in the sky. This was created by Ilotopie.
As we watched the pyrotechnics and starry skies, the lavish banquet opened.
And even as we look back, the emirate is busy planning the next festival for 2020.