Sharjah Broadcasting Authority’s ‘Khorfakkan’ bags three awards at Athvikvaruni International Film Festival 2022

Khorfakkan, a debut film production by Sharjah Broadcasting Authority and based on a book by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has scooped three awards at the Athvikvaruni International Film Festival in India.

The epic film, based on the historical book, Khorfakkan’s Resistance Against the Portuguese Invasion of September 1507, won in three categories, including Best Asian Feature Film, Best Cinematography / Feature Film, and the Best Director / Asian Feature Film.

The Athvikvaruni International Film Festival is held annually in Chennai, the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which is home to the second-largest film industry in India.

Directed by Irish Maurice Sweeney and British Ben Mole, Sharjah Broadcasting Authority’s debut film production came to life in partnership with Get Go Films Limited. A team of more than 300 people, including Arab and Emirati artists and producers, worked on the film that was shot on the shores, farms, and mountains within the ancient city of Khorfakkan by Irish director of photography, Richard Kendrick. The venues were carefully selected to be as close to the actual sites of the 1,507 events, as possible.

The film was screened in cinemas across the UAE and on online platforms, in addition to being aired on flight entertainment channels on national and GCC carriers.

The film highlights the epic resistance by Khorfakkan’s inhabitants during a ruthless Portuguese invasion in 1507 led by naval commander General Afonso de Albuquerque. The story continues 27 years later when, on 13th February, 1534, Portuguese commander Don Georges de Castro, launched a failed attack on the city once again as the residents of Khorfakkan successfully resisted his efforts.

The film documents the prevailing situation and the local way of life in the city, in addition to showcasing the heroism and undaunting spirit of the city’s ancestors, which shone through the Portuguese invasion.

The film’s cast includes Syrian actor Rasheed Assaf, who plays the character of General Afonso de Albuquerque; Emirati actors Ahmed Al Jasmi, Mohammed Al Ameri, and Dr. Habib Ghloum; Syrian Qais Shaikh Najeeb; Mansour Al Fili, Abdullah bin Haidar, Abdulrahman Al Mulla, Mohammad Juma, Ashjan, Bodour, late actor Hameed Sambeej, Qasim Melho, and child artistes, Abdulrahman Al Muraqaba and Abdullah Al Jurn.

Ajman attracts 237,000 visitors in first 5 months of 2022

The hotel sector in the emirate of Ajman registered encouraging figures in the first five months of 2022, with the number of hotel nights totalling 373,000 until the end of May while the number of people visiting the emirate amounted to nearly 237,000.

Hotel occupancy rates during the first five months of 2022 reached 65 percent, underscoring the attractiveness of the emirate as a safe and exciting tourism destination, and tourist numbers are expected to rise during the summer period, especially with the start of the holiday season and summer vacations.

The UAE’s tourism sector is a cornerstone of the future economy, as well as a key driver of the development process, as part of the country’s long-term plans.

Therefore, Ajman has been keen to promote tourism, due to the vision and directives of H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, and the monitoring of H.H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman and Chairman of Ajman Executive Council, aimed at enhancing the sector’s stature on the global tourism map.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Khadija Turki, Acting Director-General, Ajman Tourism Development Department (Ajman Tourism), said the emirate’s tourism sector is receiving significant attention, given its vital economic role.

Turki stressed that the emirate has successfully attracted tourists and visitors from around the world, due to the significant development witnessed by the tourism sector and its ability to offer family, recreational and business tourism products and services. She then pointed out that the emirate has achieved progress in offering sports and adventure tourism.

Ajman’s tourism industry has witnessed remarkable advancement, consolidating its position on the world tourism map based on culture, heritage and entertainment due to its advanced infrastructure and innovative hospitality services, enabling it to attract and accommodate regional and international tourists, she added.

Ajman Tourism has adopted procedures for organising all types of expos and events in the emirate, and ensures ease of movement and access to facilities and events, in addition to offering various innovative solutions for investors in the tourism sector.

It has also maintained heritage buildings in historic areas, in line with international standards, and has opened major museums in the emirate, including the Ajman Museum, the Masfout Museum and the Manama Museum, which are considered leading tourism destinations in the country that attract tourists and visitors from around the world.

Abu Dhabi to celebrate Eid Al Adha with spectacular extravaganzas

Abu Dhabi will create an exciting line-up of festive experiences this Eid Al Adha, offering residents and visitors a weekend packed with unmissable events, from immersive cultural experiences to stunning fireworks, a family-fun gaming festival and unmissable ‘staycation’ offers.

Spectacular fireworks will light up the skies of Abu Dhabi Corniche, Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and Zayed City in Al Dhafra on the first day of Eid Al Adha at 21:00. In addition, Yas Bay will showcase a vibrant fireworks display on the first three days of Eid at 21:00 daily. Visitors can take in the views from the terraces of Yas Bay Waterfront and Yas Mall, making the most of the Eid weekend by participating in some of the retail and culinary deals on offer.

Straddling the Eid weekend, the 11-day Yas Gaming Festival will entertain families and youth with the latest video games and gaming tournaments. Starting on 7th July, visitors will be able to enjoy PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Xbox action, take on legendary games in the retro arcade section, or go head-to-head with friends in life-size racing simulators. The programme will also feature daily stage games and activations, including Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, daily prize quests and Cosplay competitions.

Key cultural sites across Al Ain will be also hosting community events steeped in Emirati culture this Eid Al Adha. Families are invited to celebrate the festive occasion at Al Jahili Fort, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Al Ain Palace Museum, Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, Al Qattara Arts Centre, and Al Ain Oasis, where they will receive treats and gifts for children.

Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, in collaboration with the Creative Space Studio, will host an Eid Studio event for families and friends to capture their picture-perfect moments. With the spirit of the historic house inspiring the cultural setting, the two dedicated studio spaces will be open from 17:00 to 22:00 on 9-10 July.

Five out-of-this world things to do at Dubai’s Museum of Future this Eid al-Adha

With a four-day public holiday starting on 8th July, now is your perfect chance to explore Dubai’s newest wow factor. Hard to miss, the Museum of the Future is in the heart of Dubai’s Future District, offering entertainment, education and a glimpse into the future for you and your whole family.

Here is a list of five things you can do at the Museum of the Future over Eid al-Adha.

Blast off in the Falcon Space Capsule to the Orbital Space Station (OSS) Hope on an odyssey of exploration. Get a good feel of humanity’s home in outer space and become part of our community. Onboard OSS Hope, you can learn more about what life could like on a huge space station in the year 2071.

Continue your voyage as you return back to Earth, where you can escape to a rainforest in the heart of Dubai.

Eid is a chance to pause and reflect on ourselves. The museum’s Al Waha experience is an opportunity for you to explore yourself and indulge in a world that simulates all your senses. You can embark on a journey centred around health and wellbeing.

Al Waha features a new world of therapies. You can explore feeling therapy, connection therapy, and grounding therapy to refresh and restore the natural balance from within.

If you’re looking to take a piece of the experience home with you, you can even create your own personal perfume, based on your unique personality.

A scent from the future, that you’ll never forget.

Described as the most beautiful building on earth, it’s no wonder that the Museum of the Future has become a favourite spot to snap selfies.

Get up close and personal with Dubai’s most impressive architectural marvel on the museum’s observation deck.

Another place you’re sure to remember is the Library, a spectacular DNA library of some 2,400 species on display from floor to ceiling.

While at the museum, don’t forget to treat yourself to a coffee from the future, served by our robot barista. As well as making memories, you can take them away with you.

You can buy mementos from the museum’s retail shop, which will take you back to the museum’s inspirational and immersive experiences anytime you like!.

The Tomorrow Today exhibition is not to be missed. Get up close and personal with the products and prototypes set to shape the future of waste management, environment, food security, agriculture, and city planning. You can experience all this against the backdrop of the museum’s spectacular interior, where flying robots float and glide from up above.

The museum’s Future Heroes zone is the ultimate learning experience for kids.

Designed for children under the age of 10, Future Heroes encourages young minds to make new discoveries about themselves and the world around them. The floor includes a range of educational and fun activities centred on several future-proof skills including curiosity, creativity, confidence, communication, and collaboration.

MENA Attractions & Destinations Forum 2022 set to highlight regions key attractions, destinations to drive tourism growth sustainably

To support countries in the MENA region rethinking their strategies and implementing new plans for reopening existing destinations and attractions in a safe and sustainable manner post the pandemic slowdown, MENA Attractions & Destinations Forum 2022 will be held on 28th and 29th September, 2022 in Dubai, UAE to explore upcoming cultural and leisure projects and ways to drive growth for the tourism sector.

The interactive forum will host over 300 international and regional stakeholders from key sectors, including governments, tourism agencies and consultancies, hotel chains, park owners and operators, museums, culture and heritage site authorities, technology and solution providers, and investment institutions.

With several global heritage and religious sites, modern attractions, and leisure destinations, over 50 million tourists visit the region every year.

The MENA region has received a growing inflow of tourists driving growth in attractions and destinations. However, some key challenges still hinder the region from capitalising on the industry’s full potential, especially with the changing demographics, infrastructure, weather conditions, and technology developments.

The forum will also focus on developing and rebranding destinations that cater to a diverse population, current innovative family entertainment and edutainment that meets visitor requirement, converting heritage sites into new attractions to cater to different population segments and capitalising on live entertainment to increase visitors.

Osama Khlawee, AVP Tourism Sites and Destination Development Leader, said, “Developing destinations entails planning defined areas to drive the evolution of vibrant destinations for tourists, ensuring compelling experiences, diversified tourism offerings, quality infrastructure, and services to attract people to live, work, and return to the destination. Taking full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities assuring proper management as well as marketing which are especially significant for destinations to attract fresh investments, develop value-added jobs, recruit new talent, and boost innovation.”

Richard Krent, Director for Development, Qiddiya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said, “Destination Development requires an intensity of creative artistry with a sense of joy that connects with its audience.”

Participants will learn about museums and heritage site developments in the MENA region, how to drive innovations in theme parks and water parks and get familiar with projects related to extreme sports and theme parks.

The jam-packed two-day agenda will feature a series of sessions by speakers from entities like the World Tourism Association, tourism ministries, cultural ministries and projects, Entertainment project developers and more who will be addressing key industry topics.

The session on modernising the region’s attractions and destinations will feature experts talking about expanding and upgrading existing facilities and sites to increase their capacity and attractiveness to tourists, how to convert temporary facilities into permanent entertainment zone and understand the role of travel agencies in driving attendance to the region’s destinations.

Speakers will also talk about enhancing the visitor experience in the region’s destinations and the role of eco-tourism in sustainable development projects.

The two-day event is organised and promoted by GM Events, a Dubai-based multi-faceted event management company of international repute, having organised numerous successful forums and exhibitions for different industries across the MENA region.

Shurooq unveils new adventure project adjacent to Al Soueifa Mountain, Khorfakkan

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has revealed details of its new adventure project coming up in the Eastern area of Khorfakkan, overlooking the serene Luluyah Beach and adjacent to the spectacular Soueifa mountain.

Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Shurooq, said that the project set for completion in fourth quarter of 2023 will comprise a zipline, giant swing, a dry-slide track, hiking tracks, mountain bike tracks, and varied amenities for visitors and tourists from the eastern region and across the UAE. The project also includes an observation deck and a restaurant on the mountain top that offers breathtaking views of the landscape and the adventure track routes.

The project aligns with the directives of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to redefine the leisure and travel landscape of Khorfakkan and bolster the emirate’s position as one of the most appealing tourist destinations in the region, he said.

Al Qaseer remarked that the project enriches the expansive portfolio of integrated projects developed by (Shurooq) and offers comprehensive solutions to the ever-growing demand for tourism and leisure experiences in the East Coast. He pointed out that the project’s unique location, overlooking the serene Luluyah Beach, brings together entertainment, sports, leisure, and adventure at one destination.

Global Village announces new season date

The 27 Season of Global Village is set to begin on October 25, 2022, with exciting new attractions & entertainment, unmatched shopping, and culinary treats from around the world.

Emirates Literature Foundation releases full festival sessions from Emirates Litfest 2022 edition

Emirates Literature Foundation, home of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, one of the top literary festivals in the world and the biggest celebration of stories in the Middle East, brings some of the most impressive and compelling sessions from their 2022 edition to viewers fingertips via YouTube for free.

Panel sessions include Global Leadership: Work, Family, and our Future, with Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General Expo 2020 Dubai, and Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo. An out of this world dialogue about the best scientific discovery of all times with YouTube content creator, Ahmed El Ghandour, known as Da7ee7, Head of the UAE Astronaut Programme, Salem Al Marri, and professor and author, Serhii Plokhy.

Catch Sunday Times bestselling author, Dr. Rupy Aujla, and cookbook author, presenter, entrepreneur, and social media influencer, Zahra Abdalla, as they discuss modern ways of Cooking the Classics. East meets West where Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, prolific author and direct descendant of Charles Dickens, Daniel L Newman, author and Chair of Arabic Studies at the University of Durham, and Karim Hauser, Head of International Relations at Spain’s Casa Árabe, reflect on the long history of globalisation in context of art, literature, and food. Watch four masters of the crime thriller genre, Felicia Yap, Lucy Foley, Mark Billingham, and Polly Phillips, as they talk Originality in Crime Fiction. Enjoy Between the Covers, a riveting discussion with poet and novelist, Noor Naga, and editor, Selma Dabbagh, on erotic writing in Arabic literature.

Ahlam Bolooki, Festival Director, said, “We strive to make the literary landscape more inclusive and accessible to all by making some of the diverse and interesting conversations from the Festival available online. It is our mission to bring the joy of literature and literary conversations to everyone, and allow global audiences to enjoy the LitFest experience.”

The Foundation also shares in-depth conversations with writer and bloggess, Jenny Lawson, and with Emirati movers and shakers, Omar Saif Ghobash, the Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy at the UAE’s Foreign Ministry, and Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, founder, and chairman of Al Habtoor Group of Companies.

Entertain children with Aisha’s Pearl, a literary treasure from author, Julia Johnson, and illustrator, Maitha Al Khayat, that explores the tradition of pearl diving. Or for those that speak Arabic, enjoy the tale of Antar and Abla by Sanaa Chabbani.

Art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in discussions with Ken Arto, animator of popular series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Demonslayer and Jujutsu Kaisen, and Fadel AlMheiri, director of Catsaway, Abu Dhabi’s first animated feature film, on Anime Fan Club. And hear from popular Emirati actors, Dr. Habib Al Attar and Sameera Ahmed about the difficulties faced by creatives on Stigma in Art. And young (and young-at-heart) artists have the opportunity to learn art from Rob Biddulph, author, illustrator, and draw along superstar.

Poetry lovers can enjoy the world premiere of multi-lingual, multi-genre collaboration of Emirati spoken word poet, Dr. Afra Atiq, with Colombian American award-winning poet, Carlos Andrés Gómez, and singer, songwriter and music producer, Brent Shuttleworth. Or relive the magic of Desert Stanzas, a signature Emirates LitFest event of poetry under the stars with a heavyweight lineup of top-tier local and international poets and performers including Dr. Afra Atiq, Ahmed Al Ali, Brent Shuttleworth, Carlos Andrés Gómez, Danabelle Gutierrez, Elizabeth Acevedo, Nikita Gill, Noor Naga, Sascha A Akhtar and Zainab Arrefai.

The sessions are available in their entirety on the Emirates Literature Foundation’s YouTube channel where the Foundation is also sharing author interviews from the recent Festival. They encourage viewers to subscribe to their channel to receive notifications when new videos are released.

Abu Dhabi International Boat Show launches early bird ticket sales

The Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS), the UAE capital’s prestige boating, leisure marine and fishing show, has announced the launch of early bird ticket sales for the eagerly anticipated 2022 event. Organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), the fourth edition of ADIBS will take place at ADNEC’s brand new Marina Hall and on the water at ADNEC’s purpose built marina space from 24 to 27 November 2022.

Early bird tickets for the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show are now available until 20 August, 2022, at 50 percent off. The early bird ticket is valid for single day entry to ADIBS and will allow access to all areas and features of this exciting event.

Visitors will have the chance to view the latest technology in the world of boats, yachts, and maritime products, including fishing and water sports equipment. They will also be able to enjoy a variety of water sports events, and a range of fun and unique experiences in an interactive setting.

The exhibition is being held this year under the strategic sponsorship of Abu Dhabi Marine, and the Captain’s Club as the platinum sponsor. The exhibition attracts a group of exhibitors covering an area of more than 40,000 square metres, including Riviera Boat Industrial Investment that specialise in building yachts and boats, Yacht Controller – Middle East, Elcome, a marine electronics sales & service company, and Falcon Tenders in the United Kingdom, in addition to Master Systems for Systems Sophisticated marine navigation, fun world cruise boats, and Empire Marine International the exclusive distributor for many brands. In addition, there will also be Fast Marine Boats and cruise accessories, and Gulf Craft, the world’s innovative builder of luxury yachts and leisure boats.

The current edition will also see Hydra Marine Fishing Equipment, Evo Yates Dubai, which will showcase its 43-foot Evo R4 yacht for the first time in the exhibition, Gulf Marine Sports, Al Shahama Marine Equipment & Fishing Accessories Establishment, and Say Yates the German Yacht Manufacturing company, Al Jazeera Marine Services and Ship Chartering, Fliteboard Australia for Speedboats, SunReef Yachts International for designing and manufacturing luxury boats, as well as many companies specialised in the manufacture of boats, yachts, fishing equipment and marine sports.

Sharjah Munshid announces start of auditions for 14th edition

Sharjah Munshid has announced the start of auditions for its 14th edition which will kick off on Sunday, 21st August.

Organised by Sharjah TV, an affiliate of Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA), the programme has become a magnet for attracting talented vocalists and offers an unparalleled opportunity for aspiring ‘munshids’ practising the Islamic-inspired musical genre of ‘anashid’ to showcase their singing skills.

The platform has served as the launch pad for the musical careers of several exceptional young vocal talents since its debut edition in 2006.

The 2022 edition of Sharjah Munshid will conduct live auditions between 21st August – 4th September for applicants in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Oman, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, and the UAE.

As per the programme’s tradition, a jury comprising previous winners of Sharjah Munshid will evaluate the abilities and performances of the contestants.

Aspiring singers can participate in the upcoming edition by sending a video of their performances to the official website:, between August 20 and September 3, 2022.

Salem Ali Al Ghaithi, Director of Sharjah TV, said, “Sharjah Munshid has become a destination for exceptionally talented ‘munshids’ to showcase their prowess in a meaningful art and compete against counterparts from around the Arab world and learn different forms of singing. The programme which has a huge following enables participants to return to their home countries and highlight the art and the important messages it carries.”

In the following rounds, munshids from the various countries who have been short-listed will travel to Sharjah for a live broadcast of their performances.

The programme’s episodes will shine further light on the newly discovered talents, the audition process, and selection criteria before moving into the second round of the competition which will decide the winner of the 2022 edition.