The Sharjah Broadcasting Authority has announced its biggest Ramadan line-up of TV and radio shows to date.
Set to air from the beginning of the holy month – most likely to fall on April 12 – 137 programmes will be screened across its networks. The move comes after MBC's online platform Shahid and OSN announced their Ramadan programming earlier this month.
Local, Gulf and regional dramas, including those from Kuwait and Syria, will be aired across SBA's three television channels: Sharjah TV, Al Wousta TV from Al Dhaid and Al Sharqiya TV from Kalba.
The remaining mix of programming – spanning culture, competitions and spiritual talk shows – will also air on the small screen, in addition to Arab radio stations: Sharjah Radio, Sharjah Holy Quran Radio and SBA's sole English-language station Pulse 95 Radio.
SBA director general Mohamed Hassan Khalaf said the decision to boost the Ramadan content this year, when in 2020 they released just more than 90 programmes, was made to appeal to broader audiences.
“The carefully crafted content for this year is in line with the spiritual and ethical values of the religious month,” he said.
"It also aligns with SBA's commitment to offer a diverse selection of quality content for our audience as they spend more time at home during the holy month."
These are some of the key shows coming soon to a small screen or radio near you.
‘Al Tawoos’ (Sharjah TV)
A provocative Egyptian thriller, Al Tawoos tackles sexual harassment in Egyptian society with star Jamal Soliman playing a lawyer involved in a case where the accused hail from a rich and powerful family. The series also looks at the societal harms caused by social media sites.
‘Al Kandoush’ (Sharjah TV)
This Syrian series was first announced in 2018. The drama was initially put on hold because of disagreements between the various production companies involved, however has since been put back on track.
With everyone back on the same page, viewers can revel in the stellar Syrian cast led by Ayman Zidan and Sulaf Fawakherji in a period drama that explores Damascene society in the early 20th century.
‘Matar Saif’ (Sharjah TV)
In this gulf drama, Kuwaiti star Saad Al Faraj playsplaying the role of a patriarch of a financially struggling Kuwaiti family.
Tackling different family dynamics, including those between parents and children as well as siblings, Matar Saif has the right amount of melodrama and heart to make this perfect Ramadan drama viewing.
The lifestyle programmes
Ramadan, Dhalik Al Zaman' (Wousta TV from Al Dhaid)
The title means "Ramadan, that time" and this programme asks seasoned Sharjah residents to reflect back on what life during the holy month was like back in the 1970s and 1980s.
‘Shoudo Al Huroof’ (Sharjah TV)
We flick through the pages of the UAE's cultural history as Sharjah Institute for Heritage director Abdul Aziz Almusallam dissects the works of some of the country’s most esteemed poets, to look at how their works have made visionary comments about local society today.
‘Wajhah’ (Al Sharqiya TV from Kalba)
Translated as "destination", each episode of Wajhah has a popular Emirati personality taking viewers on a tour of Sharjah's eastern regions while discussing their childhoods, setbacks and achievements.
‘Souk Al Qadim’ (Al Sharqiya TV from Kalba)
Set in the Khor Fakkan, Sharjah's coastal city, the programme is equal parts competition and travel show as host Omar Ahmed joins elderly residents on a stroll through the markets while quizzing them on the emirate's heritage.
The radio shows
Pulse 95 Radio
The northern emirate's only English-language radio station aims to be the place for non-Arabic speakers to gain insights on the holy month courtesy of morning and evening shows: The Morning Majlis (8am to 10am) and Night Karak (8pm to 10pm).
The station will also produce numerous one-minute explainers that will tell listeners all they need to know about the practices associated with Ramadan.
The Arabic-language station’s programming during Ramadan will span cultural and literary discussions, Emirati folklore and cuisine.
The popular morning talk show, Al Atheer, will also continue airing throughout the holy month.