Four reasons to visit Sharjah Heritage Days before it wraps up

More than 40 countries are participating in the annual festival that celebrates cultural diversity

Performances during Sharjah Heritage Days. Courtesy Visit Sharjah
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Sharjah Heritage Days will be concluding on Tuesday. The annual heritage festival, which is now in its 20th year, celebrates the cultural diversity and traditions of the UAE and the world.

It is taking place in the Heart of Sharjah historic district, as well as in other venues across the emirate, including Al-Bataeh, Mleiha, Shees and Al-Nahwa.

If you have yet to visit the annual heritage festival this year, here are a few reasons to visit the event before it wraps ups.

International participation

A robust international programme has always been a point of distinction for Sharjah Heritage Days, especially when compared to other heritage festivals across the UAE.

This year is no different, with the event featuring dedicated pavilions and performances from dozens of countries. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco are among the countries from the Arab world participating in the event.

Other countries include Korea, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Albania, Italy, Romania, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Brazil.

The guest of honour for the 20th Sharjah Heritage Days is Hungary. Austria has also been welcomed as a distinguished guest this year.

Cultural Organisations

Besides honouring the arts, crafts, dances and traditions of various countries, Sharjah Heritage Days is also hosting several international organisations that are doing their bid to protect and promote culture.

These include Unesco; the International Organisation of Folk Art; the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation; the International Council of Organisations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts; the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property; the National Museum of Antiquities and Heritage in Morocco; Centre for Chinese Cultural Heritage; and the Olympias Organisation for Folk Games in Italy.

The event provides the opportunity to see what these organisations have been working toward, and possibly participate in their initiatives.

Exhibitions and events

The programme this year includes several major exhibitions and family events. Local publishing houses have come together in Al Kotubeen Market for Old and Used Books. There are children’s theatre programmes, as well as a host of dance and musical performances.

The Baker’s Corner

One of the newest additions to the festival is the Baker’s Corner. It features several bakeries from all around the world, each of which are selling idiosyncratic baked goods unique to their part of the world. While the heritage festival has a strong food programme, its SHD Kitchen is what sets it apart from other heritage festivals, letting audiences try their hand and participate along with expert chefs during live cooking demonstrations.

Updated: March 19, 2023, 2:03 PM