With the return of the Sharjah Light Festival, this spring season is turning out to be all the more fun and exciting for the UAE residents and the thousands of tourists arriving in the region for the holiday season. The spectacular festival of lights and colour, SLF 2012, that opened last Thursday (February 9), has already got everyone thrilled in the emirate known for its year-long arts, cultural and heritage activities and fun and games for the whole family.

Sharjah Light Festival 2012

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Hosted by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, the SLF 2012 has turned out to be even grander and more exciting this year, with some of the best and brightest artists and performers from Europe and around the world joining the event.   While the renowned French event management company, Nomada, has putting together the whole show, each of the 12 locations is being managed by a separate group of artists and performers.

While Al Qasba as the main venue of the SLF 2012 action is attracting huge crowds, the other major show stealers include the performances at Al Hisn Fort in the heart of Sharjah, Al Majaz Waterfront and Al Majaz Mosque, Palm Oasis, Courthouse and Kuwait Square and Cultural Roundabout (also known as Quran Roundabout).

Al Majaz Waterfront and Mosque

The recently opened Al Majaz Waterfront and the landmark Al Majaz Mosque are two of the new locations added to the SLF itinerary this year.  TILT, a French group of artists known for their creative lightings, is showing its magic at Al Majaz Park Waterfront, besides Cultural Roundabout and Sharjah International Airport.  French artist Patirce Warrener, famous for his Chromolithe-Polychromatic Illumination technique, is using laser technology and artistic floodlighting to create a grand spectacle over Al Majaz Mosque overlooking the Khalid Lagoon at Buheirah Corniche.

Creativity at Courthouse

Renowned European artist Laurent Langlois is working up his creative magic and artistic brilliance at the Courthouse Complex overlooking the Sharjah Creek.  Using projected photographic images, the artist presents the striking monument in a totally new light.

Palm Oasis Waterfront, next to Al Noor Mosque of the Buheirah Corniche, is another major attraction overlooking the picturesque Khalid Lagoon.  Under the guidance of director Philippe Chetelat, video creations and projections by young artists from Sharjah University and the Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology are being showcased in traditional areesh houses alongside the Lagoon.

Al Hisn Fort in Limelight

Sharjah’s oldest landmark, Al Hisn Fort, once home to the emirate’s rulers, finds itself in the spotlight once again with Limelight, a Budapest-based group of artists, turning their attention to the fort.  Combining a creative and intelligent approach to lighting and video design, Limelight artists have turned the fort wall into a giant screen to present a breathtaking show every time. Not surprisingly, the performances at Al Hisn Fort in the Heart of Sharjah are attracting biggest crowds after Al Qasba.

Kuwait Square, Consultative Council

The landmarks of the Kuwait Square and the Sharjah Consultative Council have been transformed into surreal audiovisual wonders by French Tunisian artist Mounir Harbaouiis and graphic designer Shahid Abbas. An astonishing 12 minute visual turns the Consultative Council into a kingdom of colours and symphony of lights, taking the audience into a world of Islamic and oriental design.  No wonder the Kuwait Square these days is packed with people turning up and cars parked everywhere to watch the rare spectacle.

Cultural/Quran Roundabout

Same is the case with the shows at the Cultural Roundabout or Quran Roundabout as it is popularly known.   As last year, the popular landmark is hosting another extraordinary performance with TILT, the French group of artists who are also associated with Al Majaz Waterfront and Sharjah International Airport shows, illuminating the whole square like a large-scale light sculpture.  The Quran Roundabout is yet another not-to-be missed show of the SLF 2012.

Other notable locations of the SLF shows include the Golden Mile along the Khalid Lagoon and the Sharjah International Airport.  Curtain comes down on the light and colour extravaganza Friday night in a colourful ceremony at the Central Souk or Gold Souk next to Khalid Lagoon.

Özgür Töre is the founder and managing editor of award-winning travel news website; Focus on Travel News – ftnNEWS.com and Arab Turkish Travel Gazette – www.arabturkishtravel.com. Mr. Töre is the co-founder of RusTourismNews.com and UkraineTravelNews.com Mr. Töre is a board member of Association of Tourism Writers and Journalists (TUYED) in Turkey and International Tourism Writers Alliance. He holds a Master’s Degree in Project Management from Istanbul Kültür University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Istanbul Bilgi University.