EMIRATE CONTINUES ITS MARCH OF PROGRESS ON ALL FRONTS; UNVEILS SEVERAL DEVELPMENT PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES FOR PEOPLE’S WELFARE
SHARJAH, January 2, 2017: His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, has asserted that Sharjah’s developmental march continues on all fronts, thanks to the Emirate’s practical plans and programmes which have contributed to quality achievements derived from the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
In a special report by Sharjah Media Centre, HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi said: “Work in Sharjah has been aimed at building humans and developing their knowledge, as well as the implementation of distinct developmental policies and stimulation of creativity and leadership, in light of the partnership between the Emirate’s public and private sectors and collaboration between its various institutions. This has resulted in important achievements matching those accomplished by the UAE in development and construction.”
He added: “In 2016, Sharjah continued to make achievements and launch initiatives in all educational, scientific, cultural, social, health, infrastructure and economic fields, complementing the Emirate’s vision and contributing to its overall development objectives.”
A Year of High Achievements
Sharjah has maintained its trajectory of growth throughout 2016, posting landmark achievements in various spheres – economic growth, infrastructure development, initiation of new projects, Emiratisation and generation of jobs etc. The Emirate has been recognised for these efforts and achievements bringing it numerous accolades and awards regionally and internationally.
Al Saja'a Industrial Oasis
Sharjah Asset Management, the investment arm of the Government of Sharjah, announced the launch of Al Saja'a Industrial Oasis project, one of the largest industrial projects in the region, as part of Sharjah’s vision to create a strong and diversified economy, and to further boost the competitiveness and prosperity of the Emirate.
The launch of Al Saja'a Industrial Oasis follows the visionary long-term plan of the Government of Sharjah, to launch several growth projects aimed at developing the industrial, real estate and commercial sectors, to address the growing needs of investors and owners in the Emirate, in addition to serving the ongoing industrial investment demand, where the Emirate of Sharjah maintains one of the finest industrial areas in the region.
Invest in Sharjah
Earlier this year His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, witnessed the launch of ‘Invest in Sharjah’, an initiative which aims to unveil the rich array of investment opportunities in the Emirate of Sharjah to businesspersons and investors across all sectors.
Hosted by Shurooq, the international conference was aimed at highlighting attractive investment opportunities, ease of doing business, incentives and immense economic potential and security offered by Sharjah, the only Emirate with access to both the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Gulf and with 3 world-class seaports and free zones, in addition to a world-class international airport and its own popular airline, Air Arabia.
With nearly half of the country’s manufacturing and industrial sector being based in Sharjah, the Emirate celebrated as the Cultural Capital of the Arab and Islamic world also happens to be the UAE’s manufacturing capital.
Major Service Projects Unveiled
His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah directed that a new bridge be built between Al Jubail Market and Al Layyah to form a non-stop extension to Maliha, Sheikh Khalifa and King Abdul Aziz roads.
His Highness also approved the setting up of Sharjah’s new exhibition centre between Al Seyouh and the University of Sharjah on Maliha Road over an area of 4.3 million square metres at a cost of Dhs400 million. 50% of the project will be completed with the opening of the 36th Sharjah International Book Fair this year.
Sharjah in Guinness Book of World Records
The University of Sharjah succeeded in entering the Guinness World Records by forming the world's biggest mosaic of CDs in celebration of the UAE’s National Day.
The stunning new Al Jubail Market, one of the biggest in the region and boasting world-class facilities, also entered the global record book with its world’s biggest lantern, which stands at the market’s entrance at a height of 15.5 metres and a width of 5.6 metres.
Education for People with Disabilities
HH the Ruler of Sharjah announced the provision of scholarships for students with special needs who wish to pursue their undergraduate studies in stages of diploma, bachelor's, and then through their post-graduate studies for master's or doctorate at the University of Sharjah. He also pledged to provide jobs for them in the Emirate of Sharjah. This was announced during his meeting with students of the University of Sharjah with special needs held in celebration of the inauguration of 'Resource Centre' for people with special needs at the University.
Year of Reading
HH the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah lauded Sharjah’s achievements in all areas during the 'Year of Reading', which he described as a national strategic treasure that would benefit many generations to come. He also praised the efforts exerted by the people of Sharjah and the keenness of the Emirate’s institutions towards excellence and work quality, while making the best use of human resources.
Under the leadership of HH the Ruler of Sharjah, the Emirate has taken bold strides towards empowering its people by encouraging a culture of reading with historic initiatives such as Knowledge Without Borders and gifting them the power of knowledge through education.
Sharjah International Book Fair
Sharjah International Book Fair, organised by Sharjah Book Authority, made landmark achievements during the 'Year of Reading'. The 35th edition of SIBF attracted 2.31 million visitors, a first in the history of book fairs in the UAE and wider region, while sales exceeded Dhs176 million. The official hashtag for the edition, #SIBF16, received more than one billion impressions from all over the world.
Having realised that education and knowledge are the key to development and progress, Sharjah has been striving to build a knowledge-based society and empower its people by investing in world-class education and encouraging a culture of reading across all age groups.
Arabic Language Academy
HH the Crown Prince lauded the recent historic initiative by HH the Ruler of Sharjah announcing the establishment of Arabic Language Academy in the Emirate, a first of its kind institution in the UAE dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Arabic language, which faces unprecedented challenges today in the land of its birth. HH the Ruler of Sharjah made the announcement during the World Arabic Day celebrations at Al Qasimia University in Sharjah, duly issuing a decree to the effect.
Lughati, the Sharjah-based initiative dedicated to supporting Arabic learning the smart way, unveiled ‘Lughati Cup 2016,’ a competition aimed at improving the Arabic language skills of primary school students in Sharjah. The initiative is in alignment with Lughati’s objectives to empower students through learning Arabic language skills and promoting Arabic as a culture and behaviour in all walks of their lives. The initiative to support Arabic language learning in Sharjah’s schools using new technology was launched by HH Ruler of Sharjah, in 2013.
First Reading Club
The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) launched its Reading Club initiative to encourage all its employees to read daily. This makes SBA the first government body globally that has included reading as a measurable goal in recruitment.
Best Symphony Library
Sharjah Public Library won the “Best Symphony Library in the Middle East 2016,” an award presented by the Arabian Advanced Systems “Naseej”. The awarding of the library operating under the umbrella of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), marks another important achievement for Sharjah’s literary and library sphere.
Sharjah Children's Reading Festival
With over 1518 activities, the 8th edition of Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, organised by Sharjah Book Authority, attracted more than 254,000 visitors from within and outside the country. HH Ruler of Sharjah directed the allocation of AED 2.5 million worth of books to enrich Sharjah’s public, school and university libraries. The initiative was in line with the UAE’s Year of Reading.
Commenting on the UAE leadership’s decision to celebrate 2017 as the Year of Giving, HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi pointed out that Sharjah has always been actively involved in charity and humanitarian activities in the region and around the world.
These activities will be carried forward in a significant way next year as part of the nation’s collective efforts for the Year of Giving. He pointed to the numerous charitable initiatives adopted by Sharjah under its visionary leadership, which is known for its keenness and involvement in humanitarian work at home and abroad.
March of Giving Award
In recognition of his strong humanitarian commitment and contribution, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah was conferred the “March of Giving” Award during the recent 10th Arab Creativity Award ceremony. Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Governor of Makkah Region and the Chairman of the Arab Thought Foundation presented His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan with the award.
Sharjah Documentary and Archives Authority
HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi issued Resolution No. 4 for the year 2016 announcing the establishment and regulation of the Sharjah Documentary and Archives Authority. The Authority aims to develop the documentary and archive system in the emirate and oversee the current and intermediate documents of stakeholders as well as provide technical support and expertise.
Sharjah Media City
Sharjah’s media sector witnessed numerous achievements and awards at the local and international levels in 2016. It also witnessed the launch of a wide array of major initiatives and projects aimed at its development both domestically and internationally.
HH the Ruler of Sharjah issued a decree announcing the establishment of Sharjah Media City Free Zone for developing talents and manpower working in the media and creativity fields. Allowing freehold access and ideal environment and facilities to international media and infotainment players and companies all under one roof, it is aimed at supporting and developing world-class media and high-quality creative content.
As the Emirate that boasts some of the first and original media initiatives in the region and home to the Arab cultural renaissance, Sharjah has a key role to play as an emerging regional and global media hub.
Investing in the Future and Women’s Empowerment
In a new milestone for the women of the Arab Region, “Investing in the Future- Building the Resilience of Women and Girls in the Arab Region” conference ended with the adoption of the “Sharjah Declaration for the Rights and Empowerment of Women and Girls” -- a comprehensive statement of commitments to achieve gender equality.
Organised by the Big Heart Foundation, a Sharjah-based humanitarian body dedicated to helping the vulnerable and people in need worldwide, and held in partnership with UN Women, the two-day conference brought together top government officials, civil society leaders and representatives of international and regional organisations to review and discuss the advancement of girls and women and the importance of ensuring a sustainable approach to development and humanitarian programmes maintaining the resilience of women and girls at the core.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, launched the ‘NAMA International Women Fund’ (NAMA Fund) and seed-funded it with AED 10 million. The NAMA Fund seeks to mobilise financial and human resources in order to elevate the status of women, and to support programmes for women's economic and professional empowerment, investing in initiatives, which hone their skills in community development.
Women Economic Empowerment Global Summit
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi announced the hosting of first edition of Women Economic Empowerment Global Summit in Fall 2017 by NAMA during a NAMA–UN Women roundtable.
It will be held on the sidelines of the second day of ‘Investing in Future’ (IIFMENA) conference in Sharjah. The main objective of launching “NAMA Fund” is to support local, regional and international efforts that help women to realise their chosen roles, and pave their way to develop as economic, social and professional decision makers.
Quarter of a Century Foundation
As part of her efforts for women empowerment, the wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued an administrative decree, establishing Quarter of a Century – Foundation for Creating Future Leaders and Innovators. Aiming to create a strategic umbrella for human capital, the decree will result in the integration and partnership of four Sharjah-based government entities -- the Sharjah Children Centres, Youth Centres, Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah, and Sharjah Tatweer Forum.
The initiative has been designed to start a journey of innovation and leadership for young Emirati generations whose growth and intellectual development stems from the values and norms derived from their national identity – a culture rich in Arabic and Islamic values and global humanitarian kinship.
Dedicated Court for Family Disputes
In 2016, His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi inaugurated a dedicated Family Court that is aimed at resolving domestic discord cases and family disputes in order to minimise divorce cases.
International Government Communication Forum
Sharjah has maintained its proud history of hosting world-class events with its annual spectacular International Government Communication Forum (IGCF). Initiated as part of the vision of HH the Ruler of Sharjah to boost the communication and relationship between the government and the people and hosted by the Sharjah Media Centre, the Forum every year brings together more than 2,000 world leaders, international media and communication experts and decision makers from across the region and around the world.
Since 2012, the IGCF has attracted world leaders like President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, former presidents and prime ministers and influencers from around the world. The Forum seeks to improve the government communication and the experience of governance itself by involving and empowering the people, the ultimate stakeholders. This is the first of its kind event in the region that is dedicated to government communication and even rewards the best practices in this field with its prestigious Government Communication Award.
Media Personality of the Year 2016
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation and Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, received “Media Personality of the Year 2016” award. Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League (AL), presented Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi with the award at a gala ceremony held at the opening of the fifth session of the Cairo Mondial for Media and Artistic Works, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi was selected for the award in recognition and appreciation of his constant support for the joint media work and in affirmation of the due media leadership of Sharjah and its institutions, as envisaged by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi.
Best Media Content Award for Sharjah TV
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minster of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, honoured Sharjah TV as one of 45 Emirati individuals and entities that made significant contributions to the Year of Reading at the ‘UAE Pioneers Award 2016’ ceremony.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation and Sharjah Media Centre, received the Best Media Content that Supported Reading Award, which came in appreciation of the efforts of Sharjah TV since its inception in 1989 to consolidate its position as a platform offering quality cultural value through a variety of programmes and coverage of life in the Emirate including development, intellectual and literary activities as well as interviews with some of the most renowned authors and intellectuals in the Arab world.
Xposure International Photography Festival
Sharjah’s first International Photography Festival, Xposure 2016, brought together an impressive array of events, exhibitions and activities and globally acclaimed professionals, artists and experts on a single platform. Inaugurated by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi and hosted by Sharjah Media Centre, the four-day event was one of its kind in the region, offering a broad range of photography events including exhibitions, workshops, seminars, presentations, competitions, and a trade show.
Supported by international professionals and industry experts, Xposure offered many exciting prospects to the people of Sharjah and the UAE to learn new skills and network with leading professionals and enthusiasts, along with the opportunity to see, handle and try the latest photographic products. Sharjah Media Centre unveiled Xposure as an International Photography Festival that will become an annual feature in the calendar of professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, filmmakers, students and educators from around the world.
Sharjah 24 English Launched
Following the massive success of its world-class dedicated news portal, Sharjah 24 in Arabic www.sharjah24.ae, Sharjah Media Centre launched the English version of its popular news portal, which is widely followed by the government departments, decision makers and people of the UAE and across the region.
UAE Innovation Week in Sharjah
Held as part of the UAE Innovation Week, the week-long event at the Expo Centre Sharjah brought together innovators, scientists, academic and scientific experts with college and university students from across the Emirate, in a celebration of the innovative and enterprising spirit that guides Sharjah and the UAE.
The students and faculty of the University of Sharjah, American University of Sharjah, Higher Colleges of Technology and other colleges and representatives of various government bodies and departments in Sharjah and UAE presented their bright new ideas and innovations during the week-long exhibition and conference that attracted tens of thousands of visitors throughout the week.