Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and with the support of H.H. Sheik Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the 2009 Etisalat-Sharjah Water Festival kicked off on 2 December at the Al Majaz Park, opposite Khalid Lagoon in the emirate of Sharjah.

Coinciding with the celebration of the 38th UAE National Day, the Etisalat-Sharjah Water Festival will sweep the emirate of Sharjah with “Waves of Fun” – water-themed entertainment shows by international performers, and the finale to the F1 Powerboat World Championships-Sharjah Grand Prix, hosted by Sharjah for the tenth consecutive year and taking place on 10 to 11 December 2009.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), has visited the Festival site to ensure that everything is on track ahead of the annual event, which is the biggest family entertainment event in the region, and that all necessary preparations to make this year’s festival a thrilling event, have been finalized. The Festival organizing committee accompanied Al Qassimi on his tour of the festival site.

Al Qassimi noted that the Etisalat-Sharjah Water Festival is an annual festival that offers world-class family entertainment and a variety of exciting events inspired by Sharjah’s culture and maritime legacy, as well as the Sharjah Grand Prix.

Thrilling events, water shows, international performances

The Festival’s organizing committee has organised a variety of activities and attractions designed to offer something for everyone, from children, to the sports-mad, to those who enjoy more relaxed entertainment. This year’s entertainment line-up includes top international acts, and performers arrived in Sharjah last week and have been rehearsing in the run-up to the festival.

The Etisalat-Sharjah Water Festival will take place at Al Majaz Park from 2 December, starting at 16:00 daily. Activities include the Sesame Street Performance, acrobatic diving shows, and government-run activities, which range from culture-focused activities presented by the Sharjah Museum Department and the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to contests and children’s shows organized by the Sharjah Municipality and youth centres, to military music shows by the Sharjah Police and specialised exhibitions and workshops for children presented by the Environmental and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) and the Arts Department.

Children’s entertainment shows are on offer at Mouj Land, and other Festival entertainment includes carnival parades featuring clowns and stilt-walkers, characters inspired by the sea, circus shows, bands and much more, and visitors also have the chance to stroll through the Night Souk in search of bargains, or visit the international food court.

The Festival is bracketed by two particularly special events – the official opening, which will take place this evening, will feature a once-off performance by the internationally acclaimed Italian orchestra I Cameristi Triestini, conducted by Maestro Fabio Nossal, while the culmination of the Festival is the F1 Powerboat World Championships – Sharjah Grand Prix 2009. For the tenth consecutive year, crowds will gather on the banks of Sharjah’s Khalid Lagoon to watch two thrilling races that will decide who is the ultimate winner.

The Etisalat-Sharjah Water Festival will run until 12 December from 16:00 to 22:00 Saturday to Wednesday, and 16:00 to 24:00 on UAE National Day (today), and on Thursdays and Fridays. Tickets are available at Al Majaz Garden, ranging in price from Dh5 for one person to Dh20 for a family of five.

Entry to the Sesame Street Performance costs Dh20 for Golden tickets and Dh10 for Silver tickets, with the tickets offering different advantages.