Al Majaz Amphitheatre on Al Majaz Island has emerged as a major cultural and intellectual destination on the map of Sharjah and the UAE.
Built at a cost of Dhs140 million as the venue of the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 celebrations on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Al Majaz Amphitheatre has in a very short time established itself as the new iconic landmark of the emirate and a venue to host high-profile events and cultural activities.
With the much awaited concert by the internationally acclaimed Greek musical genius Yanni slated for November 6, 2015, the Roman coliseum-style Al Majaz Amphitheatre is set to herald a whole new era, showcasing itself as the most happening address and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) destination on the cultural and intellectual landscape of Sharjah and the UAE.
Built on the artificially created Al Majaz Island in the heart of Khalid Lagoon, Al Majaz Amphitheatre was inaugurated by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah on a grand note with the premiere of epic oratorio, Clusters of Light, on March 30, 2014, which heralded the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital 2014 celebrations.
The epic, Clusters of Light, was written by Saudi poet Dr Abdul Rahman Al Ashmawi and composed by Bahraini artist Khalid Al Shaikh. The opera celebrated the journey of Islam and narrated the biography of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, with emphasis on the message of peace and spirit of dialogue championed by the faith.
The same spirit of dialogue, reason and exchange of ideas was celebrated in the Ramadan Majlis sessions hosted by Sharjah Media Centre (SMC) at Al Majaz Amphitheatre this year. Those special evenings during the holy month of Ramadan brought together powerful decision makers, intellectuals, authors, entertainers and artists from across the UAE and from around the Arab world.
Underlining the significance of the new addition to Sharjah skyline, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, SMC said that Al Majaz Amphitheatre truly epitomises the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for Sharjah as the home of Arab and Islamic civilisation and culture and a great centre of knowledge and excellence.
“Al Majaz Amphitheatre represents the unique identity of Sharjah and a young nation full of hope and aspirations. It is a symbol of universal values such as tolerance, reason, peace and dialogue, values that are cherished by the great Islamic civilisation and which need to be renewed and reemphasised today,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi. “The project complements the cultural manifestations and heritage chronicling Sharjah’s story and reaffirms its influential role on the world stage,” he added.
At the same time, he added, with its world-class facilities and amenities and picturesque view Al Majaz Amphitheatre is also a tourist attraction and an ideal MICE destination to host international conferences, concerts and events such as the Clusters of Light or the upcoming Yanni concert.
Speaking about the island, which hosts Al Majaz Amphitheatre, the SMC Chairman said: “Al Majaz Island holds great promise as a prominent tourism site and as a venue for future artistic, cultural and tourism movements in the UAE in general and Sharjah in particular. It will also contribute to securing infrastructure that promotes the global theatre movement, entrenching the position of the UAE and Sharjah as a hub for international tourism. It is a tourist destination that is culturally integrated.”
With its amazing architectural design and blend of aesthetic grandeur, world-class amenities and state-of-the-art technology, Al Majaz Amphitheatre stands out as a one-of its-kind facility in the UAE and the region. In addition to the epic, Clusters of Light, some of the other memorable performances and events hosted by Al Majaz Amphitheatre and SMC include concerts by popular Arab singers such as Magida Al Roumi and Kazem Al Saher and the special performance of the musical, Shadows.
Al Majaz Amphitheatre was established under the supervision of SMC and completed in record time. The open-air semi-circular theatre spanning 7,238 square metres can accommodate up to 4,500 people. It features a vast viewing platform through which artists can ascend. It is specially equipped to host international events and conferences in the heart of Sharjah with a panoramic view of the stunning Khalid Lagoon. It boasts numerous facilities including conference rooms, VIP lounges and galleries, not to mention fully-equipped venues for backstage preparations.
Al Majaz Amphitheatre has already earned many laurels and awards including for Best Event Lighting Design for ‘Clusters of Light’ at the Middle East Event Awards and 2014 Award for Best Visual Spectacular at the Event Production Awards in UK.
The use of the latest technology by Al Majaz Amphitheatre is unprecedented in the Middle East, blending sound, lighting, and music to spectacular effect. More than 400 animated lights, 120 sound speakers, and 21 projectors combined with the most advanced audio system, never before seen in the region, create an incredible audio-visual experience. Al Majaz Island is linked to the Khalid Lagoon by a bridge. A marina has also been built to accommodate the large number of boats visiting the island.
At a time when Sharjah is being celebrated as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2015 by the Arab League, Al Majaz Island is also attracting attention as a tourist site. With its strategic location, spectacular view of the Buhaira Corniche and Venice-style restaurants, cafes and shops, Al Majaz Amphitheatre-Island promises to be the new attraction in Sharjah for families and visiting tourists.