Sharjah adopts new logo and identity

Sharjah has adopted a new logo and identity, which reflects all its visual and cultural components, expressing its cultural and artistic heritage.On Sunday, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, attended the launch ceremony at Al Noor Island. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi said: “The new identity represents a reflection of the wise and insightful vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, which made Sharjah a pioneering emirate with a global stature. The launch of the new identity embodies the spirit of the emirate and its ability to provide more in all fields, and provide the best services and incentives that support the continuous growth towards which Sharjah is heading."He also indicated that the new identity was developed according to the identification of the strengths and distinctive features of Sharjah, as well as its attractiveness for tourism, living, working, studying, and investing. It represents an open invitation to the world to explore the richness and diversity that Sharjah possesses, along with its tremendous opportunities and potential. It also provides a wide range of promising prospects across various cultural, educational, economic, social, and entertainment sectors.The Deputy Ruler of Sharjah toured the Noor Island, reviewing artistic displays that express the meanings and significance of the new identity of Sharjah. This identity was derived from the rich history of Sharjah and its distinctive features in various artistic, architectural, cultural, and other fields. It reflects Sharjah's progress towards the future with a proactive mindset based on knowledge, information, and technology.The new identity emphasizes the essential strengths of Sharjah, which are represented by its cultural, entertainment, and economic assets that distinguish the emirate. Through this identity, Sharjah seeks to solidify its position as a premier destination for living, tourism, and investment through a range of diverse initiatives and experiences.Sharjah is renowned for its urban development, rich cultural legacy, historical accomplishments, and expressions, as well as for having made a significant contribution to the advancement of industry and environmental sustainability in the United Arab Emirates. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named Sharjah the 2019 World Book Capital, among numerous other accolades and international recognitions. The emirate is also home to a large number of museums, art galleries, and cultural institutions that represent the region's authenticity, history, arts, and customs.

Sharjah hosts penultimate round of Mashreq Padel Tour in two days

The penultimate round of the inaugural Mashreq Padel Tour produced two days of pulse-raising padel action in Sharjah in what turned out to be a successful celebration of the world’s fastest-growing sport. Organised by the UAE Padel Association (UAEPA), the governing body for the sport in the country, the amateur event garnered unprecedented participation, further showcasing padel’s burgeoning popularity within the Emirates.The tournament was held at the World Padel Academy (WPA) in Sharjah from October 27 to 29, featuring intense competitions across two categories: UAEPA 100 – Open and UAEPA U16 – Boys. The UAEPA-100 Open event concluded with a thrilling final matchup, where Claudio bru casaseca and Javi Puerto emerged as champions, securing a commanding 2-1 victory over Sebastiao Mendonca and Ali Dawani. The winning duo walked away with a prize purse of Dh12,000, while second-place received Dh6,000.The UAEPA’s General Secretary Saeed Almarri, expressed his delight as the event successfully concluded. “The overwhelming participation and remarkable display of skill at the Mashreq Padel Tour have once again underscored the growing passion for padel in the UAE,” he said. “This event is a testament to the dedication of our players and the unwavering support from the wider padel community, not just here in Sharjah but across the Emirates.”Meanwhile, in the UAEPA U16 category, juniors showed a great performance until the final where Maktoom Alketbi and Hamad Alkokhardi claimed the win against Yousef Alhammadi and Abdulla AlAqili with 2-0 score.Saeed Almarri continued: “The success of the country’s first dedicated community tournament series for amateurs marks a significant milestone in the journey of padel in the UAE. In June 2019, the UAE Sports Ministry officially recognised padel as a sport with full government support, and Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum was entrusted with the role of being the first President of the UAE Padel Association. The official recognition and support have played a pivotal role in the growth and development of padel in the country, and events like the Mashreq Padel Tour are a testament to the sport’s rising prominence and the fact that noble efforts of the UAEPA are bearing the desired results.”The Mashreq Padel Tour will now move to the final leg of the season, scheduled to be held at Dubai’s NAS Sports Complex from December 8 to 10. The championship will feature three categories: UAEPA 10, UAEPA 100 Open, and Under 16 Boys. To find out more about the Mashreq Padel Tour 2023 or to enter a tournament, visit:

Salim Saeed Al Midfa appointed as CEO at Sharjah Asset Management

Sharjah Asset Management, the investment arm of the Government of Sharjah, has announced the appointment of His Excellency Salim Saeed Al Midfa to the role of CEO of the Corporate Communications department and Customer Service sector.Al Midfa takes on the role following years of dedicated service as the CEO of Rafid Automotive Solutions. His tenure was marked by notable achievements, where he contributed significantly to the company's strategic plans, overseeing the development of strategies, projects, and brands under the Rafid umbrella.His Excellency Waleed Al Sayegh, CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, praised the remarkable achievements of Rafid Automotive Solutions under Al Midfa’s leadership. “His Excellency Salim Saeed Al Midfa has played a pivotal role in the success of Rafid Automotive Solutions in a way that enhances the competitiveness of the local economy, by attracting inward investment, contributing to the growth of Sharjah. Under his strategic leadership, Rafid has been at the forefront of introducing innovative solutions within the automotive sector, aligning seamlessly with the vision of Sharjah Asset Management, which aims to foster a conducive environment for diverse investments and sectors, thereby facilitating growth”, he said.Al Sayegh highlighted the many milestones that Rafid has achieved over the years, notably the comprehensive repair services for dnata's ground handling equipment at Dubai Airport. Additionally, Rafid has established numerous cooperative partnerships locally and regionally, through strategic facilities boasting advanced infrastructure and modern equipment, all adhering to international standards and quality standards.Expressing his gratitude, Al Midfa extended his thanks to the leadership of Sharjah Asset Management for their confidence in his expertise and journey, now culminating in this service-oriented role. He praised the unwavering support Sharjah Asset Management has shown to all its subsidiary companies and national employees to further enhance business growth, development, and performance excellence. This commitment aligns with the overarching vision of the company, which strives to drive economic and social progress.Al Midfa joined Sharjah Asset Management in 2016 as the General Manager of Rafid. His extensive experience spanning over 15 years across various domains, including his roles at United Arab Bank as the head of the credit cards department and overseeing marketing, customer service, and government relations, led to his eventual promotion as the CEO of Rafid.

Eminent communication & media personalities judge Sharja GCA

 Sharjah : Eminent personalities across the fields of media, journalism, communication strategists, and academics are featured on the distinguished jury of the 10th annual Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA), organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB). The prestigious award is accepting submissions until August 15, 2023, and aims to draw in communication trailblazers and visionaries from diverse fields, both within the local domain and on a regional and international scale.In view of the new disruptive competition categories in sports, culture, and media and the award’s goal of honouring and highlighting the best communication practises with tangible impact on communities and sectors in which they operate, SGCA has formed a higher committee comprising the heads of sub-committees. The sub-committees bring together academics and experts with specialised competencies in award categories such as campaigns, public practises, official spokespersons, programmes, and personal practise to evaluate and judge the submissions within their respective categories.The SGCA Higher Committee features HE Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi, Director General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM), who held multiple media positions through which he represented the UAE in many countries around the world. Ali Jaber, Director of MBC Group and Dean of the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communications (MBRSC), American University in Dubai. Shihab Alhammadi is the Director of the Sharjah Media City Free Zone Authority (Shams), who has greatly influenced the founding and growth of the Sharjah Media City through technological solutions.Media experts who serve in the higher committee include Dr. Ali Qasim Jawad Al Lawati, President of The Royal Academy of Management in Oman and one of the key experts in government sector modernisation in Oman. He is also the Senior Advisor and the Head of the Think Tank Unit at the Diwan of Royal Court in Oman. Mohammed Majed Al Suwaidi is the Director of Sharjah Sports Channel (SSC), with an experience spanning more than 15 years through which he presented a number of TV programmes like "Fe Hadret Al Ketab", "Watani", "Ma’a Al Mas’ool", and others.The jury members also include Mona El-Shazly, an Egyptian TV Host and prominent journalist who has left her mark through her various programmes and interviews, like "Al Ashira Masa'an" on Dream TV and "Ma’akom Mona El-Shazly" on the CBC TV channel. The media personality Sami Al Reyami, who held several media positions, and wrote a plethora of published works and columns that focus on local affairs.The higher committee encompasses Dr. Yasar Jarrar, Author of "The Sheikh CEO", and a former Strategy Director at the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The committee also features Saudi writer and journalist Dr. Ahmed Abdel Rahman Al Arfaj, who has published a number of papers, books, and articles in various newspapers and magazines. He presents the popular "Ya Hala Bel Arfaj" weekly programme on the Gulf Rotana TV channel. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the King Abdulaziz Centre for National Dialogue.Tariq Saeed Allay: We seek leading expertise in Arab media to keep up with the development the award is witnessing.H.E. Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, said: "Since its inception, the SGCA has emerged as a groundbreaking international platform dedicated to advancing communication and the tools used to engage with the public and shape public opinion. With the growing interest in the award and increasing participation of communication and media champions worldwide, we recognise the importance of harnessing the expertise of prominent media personalities and communication practitioners, along with other influential figures, to ensure world-class evaluation and judging processes that keep up with the high number and quality of the submitted projects."The SGCA continues to receive submissions in its different categories that target communication industry champions from government, semi-government, and private entities, in addition to individuals, youth, and Media and Communication university students, until August 15, 2023. Application forms should be submitted via

Sharjah Media City (Shams) launches new ‘Discounts Programme

DUBAI: Sharjah Media City (Shams) launched an exclusive ‘Discounts Programme’ for its licensed companies, offering them a range of rewarding discounts and incentives, with the aim of improving their experience and offer them added comfort.Shams offers a wide range of commercial activities for entrepreneurs wishing to embark on their journey from the United Arab Emirates. The free zone constantly seeks to support and inspire entrepreneurial businesses and accelerate their growth, by providing an enabling environment for innovators to live, learn, and work.“Sharjah Media City always strives to improve experiences for its licensed companies and build a build a healthy, sophisticated community that encourages lifelong learning,” said Shihab Al Hammadi, Director of Sharjah Media City (Shams). “And with that in mind, we are delighted to launch the new ‘Privileges Discounts’, which provides our members with a range of incentives for them and their families, and we invite them to take advantage of the programme, which we will be updating periodically with more features.”The list of benefits provided by the new programme includes the ‘Waffer’ programme, an initiative launched by the Government of Sharjah, which offers users discounts and privileges at various suppliers in addition to popular entertainment destinations.Among the new benefits that Shams provides to its entrepreneurs and their families are discounts of up to 50% on tuition fees at Skyline University College in Sharjah, which offers various programmes in business administration and information technology that are fully accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education. The college also offers various bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes.Furthermore, individuals who have a Shams Community membership card can enjoy offers on various lifestyle experiences, including discounts at Al Fayy restaurant, located within Sharjah Media City and renowned for serving a variety of international dishes in a breath-taking atmosphere, as well as discounts on Shams gym membership fees.Shams provides its members with a range of benefits, such as affordable costs for establishing companies, 100% ownership for foreign investors, the ability to allocate up to 12 visas for a joint office space, procedures for registering a company fully online with an easy and simple process. Members can also enjoy the benefits provided by the Shams Business Centre, which include multiple office spaces available for rent, meeting rooms, and a specialised training hall.Within its strategic plan, Sharjah Media City (Shams) is looking forward to providing more features and services and expanding the scope of facilities for its members by concluding more effective partnerships and obtaining other facilities to contribute effectively to supporting entrepreneurship.

Sharjah Animation Conference to feature masterclasses with Oscar

Dubai: The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is set to host a first-of-its-kind event in the Middle East, the Sharjah Animation Conference, from May 3-5, 2023, at the Sharjah Expo Center, in partnership with Italy's Bergamo Animation Days (BAD) festival. The upcoming three-day conference promises to be an enriching experience for anyone with an interest in animation, with a range of masterclasses designed to provide valuable insights and practical tips for industry professionals, aspiring animators, and anime fans alike.The conference seeks to harmonise the interplay of nostalgia and modernity, inviting both the creators of cherished childhood cartoon characters and contemporary animated personalities to converge in a celebration of this dynamic art form. With an extensive line-up of Oscar, Emmy and Annie winners, the Sharjah Animation Conference is set to give those who attend direct access to experts in the field on a level that has never happened in the region.The conference boasts a truly comprehensive and immersive experience for animation enthusiasts, artists, animators and publishers. With 12 masterclasses on offer, attendees will have the opportunity to glean valuable insights from a roster of experts in various animation fields, making it an unmissable occasion for those seeking to expand their knowledge and hone their craft in the ever-evolving world of animation.“The Sharjah Animation Conference is a truly unique event for the region that aims to provide a comprehensive platform for individuals who are passionate about animation to connect with the industry's best, learn from them, and network with like-minded individuals," said Khoula Al Mujaini, SAC Executive Director. "Our primary goal is to empower participants and help them develop their skills, and gain valuable insights into the latest trends and techniques of the animation industry. By bringing together enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world, we hope to foster new collaborations and partnerships, and promote innovation and creativity in the industry. Through this event, we hope to inspire the next generation of animators and encourage them to pursue their passions and make a difference in the industry.”"Our goal for the inaugural Sharjah Animation Conference is to provide attendees with a 360-degree view of the animation world. We've invited a truly world-class and diverse group of artists and professionals with different approaches to showcase the various styles and techniques used in animation production." said: Pietro Pinetti, SAC Artistic Director.Learn from the best in the business through an extensive range of masterclassesTo kick things off, Oscar winning John Nevarez; a renowned figure in the animation industry with over 25 years of experience at animation giants like Disney, Pixar and Sony Pictures Animation; known for his work on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Astro Boy, and The Emoji Movie, will present the masterclass ‘My Journey In The Animation Industry’. Through this engaging and inspiring presentation, attendees will gain insight into Nevarez's personal experience, tracing his journey from humble beginnings to notable projects, and learn about his work in various areas, including 2D animation, storyboarding, and concept art. Nevarez will also share his creative process and provide tips and tricks for budding animators and artists.Sandro Cleuzo, an Annie Award winning 2D animator and character designer, known for such works as Mary Poppins Returns, The Iron Giant, Fantasia 2000 and Tarzan, will present ‘The Art Of Animation’. In this masterclass, he will share his career journey and work experiences, starting in 1985 at just 15-years-old, working at Walt Disney Feature Animation and going on to work at Sony, Paramount and Netflix Animation. Attendees will learn from Cleuzo's vast knowledge and expertise, including the creative process behind character design, animation techniques, and storytelling.Takahiro Yoshimatsu, widely considered one of the best anime directors in the world, most famously known for Dragon Ball Z, Overlord, Vampire Hunter D, and Hunter X Hunter, will present ‘Exploring The Creative Process Behind Innovative Anime Projects’. Through his engaging presentation, Yoshimatsu will discuss his experiences working on some of the most innovative and captivating anime projects in the industry, inspiring and providing insights to aspiring animators, seasoned professionals, and anime fans alike.‘Behind The Scenes: Creating Award-Winning Tv Series With Blue Zoo’ will be presented by Oli Hyatt, the founder and MD of the BAFTA-winning production house, Blue Zoo. In this masterclass, Hyatt will provide captivating case studies of their latest projects and insights into the creative process behind developing a successful TV series. Oli’s education programs on youtube have been a massive success with over 10 million subscribers and attendees will have the chance to learn first-hand from Blue Zoo's experience and gain valuable knowledge on the importance of creativity, innovation, and collaboration.Emmy award-winner, Mario Brioschi, compositor and VFX supervisor for blockbuster hits such as Avengers: Infinity Wars, Wonder Woman and Star Trek: Beyond, will present ‘House Of The Dragon’, a masterclass focused on the importance of compositing and lighting in creating an immersive viewing experience. Attendees of this masterclass will gain insight into Brioschi's work on the acclaimed TV series House of the Dragon and learn about his techniques for achieving stunning visual effects.‘Mamoru Yokota – My Life’ will feature a world-famous character designer and animation director for Death Note, Naruto Shippuden, One Piece and Macross Frontier to name a few. Through showcasing some of his previous works, including being the animation director for the ‘Blazblue: Continuum Shift II’ arcade game, he will discuss his creative process, techniques, and the challenges he faced during his career, as well as the importance of character design and its impact on storytelling in anime.Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn from Pascal Charrue, CEO of Fortiche, during the masterclass ‘Arcane - League of Legends,’ where he will reveal the creative process behind the popular animated series that has scooped up 4 Emmys and 9 Annies to date. Pascal, who’s company has also been instrumental to gaming giants such as Ubisoft, Carbine Studios and Riot Games, will discuss the unique stylistic choices made, the challenges the team faced, and provide valuable insights for those seeking to enter the animation production industry.For ‘The Invisible Craft of Character Design: Unveiling the Creative Process,’ renowned character designer Wouter Tulp, who started his career as an illustrator for newspapers and children’s books, will share his vast knowledge and experience on the subject of character design. As an expert in the field, working for power-houses like Netflix, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures, this lecture aims to unveil the creative process behind this invaluable craft, allowing attendees to gain a deeper understanding of what goes into creating successful characters for animation, gaming, and other media.Multiple award-winning author, director and creative director Giorgio Scorza, Co-Founder and CEO of Movimenti Production, will discuss the potential of animation beyond its traditional association with children's entertainment in ‘The power of animation for adult audiences’ Using the example of their latest collaboration with Netflix for the production of the new upcoming Zerocalcare series "This World Can’t Tear Me Down," he will emphasise the importance of using animation to speak to a more adult target audience.For over 25 years, Frank Falcone has been bringing film and television projects to life as an animator, director and executive producer. As the President and Executive Creative Director of the world-famous Guru Studio, famous for hits such as PAW Patrol, Justin Time and Ever After High, Falcone will provide insights into the creative and business aspects of developing successful children's shows that resonate with audiences worldwide during ‘How To Build An IP - Case Histories From Guru!’ This industry stalwart will discuss the strategies used to create compelling characters, build a consistent world, and develop engaging storylines, as well as the business side of building an IP, including securing funding, negotiating distribution deals, and expanding the franchise across multiple platforms.Aaron Gilman, CEO of Steamroller Animation will share his unique personal journey through the Animation Industry during his masterclass “A journey into the career of an animator”. He will explore the timeline of his professional journey, discussing his adventures and the many stories of his inspirational career, from a Junior Animator working on dinosaurs to Animation Supervisor at the famed Weta FX in New Zealand, and currently as the Chief Executive Officer of Steamroller Animation. He has worked for many famous feature films including The Avengers, Iron Man 3, The Hobbit:The Battle of the Five Armies, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip, and Godzilla. He’s also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been nominated for a VES and Annie award.Finally, Robin Linn, a respected Artist, Director of Animation, Recruiter and most notably, Artist Manager in the industry, will teach participants how to increase their chances of landing a job in animation and gaming studios during the masterclass ‘How To Increase Your Odds Of Landing A Job In Animation & Gaming.’ The class will cover how to create an online presence that showcases one's skills, experience, and personality, and provide tips on building a personal brand that aligns with career goals. Attendees will also learn how to effectively present their portfolio, craft a resume and cover letter that catches recruiters' attention, and stand out in today's competitive job market.The Sharjah Animation Conference promises to be an exciting and enriching event for animation enthusiasts in the Arab region. Tickets are available for purchase on the newly launched conference website, Those interested in this expanding industry and fans of moving artforms are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to connect with industry leaders, learn from the best, and engage with like-minded individuals, for this first-of-it-kind conference in the region.

Sharjah Ramadan Fest boosts sales for shops and centres

Sharjah: The 33rd edition of the Sharjah Ramadan Festival, which was held in different cities and regions of the emirate and organized by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has yielded positive preliminary results after 20 days of its launch. The shopping centers and shops taking part in the event reported significant increases in revenues and sales due to the surge in the number of shoppers.As the 33rd edition of the festival draws to a close on April 25, it is expected that sales will continue to rise during the remaining days. This is attributed to the high demand from families who are shopping in preparation for Eid Al Fitr. The major discounts offered by the shopping centers and thousands of shops, with prices reduced by over 75% on a range of goods, products, and fashion items, are also playing a significant role in driving the increased demand.HE Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, Director-General of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), emphasized that the Sharjah Ramadan Festival has been a crucial shopping season for the retail sector in the Emirate of Sharjah for 33 years. It constitutes a significant proportion of their annual sales, as confirmed by polls conducted by the Chamber in collaboration with the relevant authorities. This year's polls reaffirmed that the festival has once again achieved exceptional success in promoting retail sales and activating the sales movement, as evident from the preliminary results.For his part, Ibrahim Rashid Al Jarwan, Director of Economic Relations and Marketing at SCCI and General Coordinator of the Festival, said that the Sharjah Ramadan Festival is a crucial event for both merchants and shop owners, and one of the most significant marketing seasons in the Emirate of Sharjah. It motivates shoppers to make purchases, thereby serving as a crucial driver in promoting Sharjah's retail sector. Additionally, the festival has become an essential platform to attract visitors from all over the world and provide them with a unique shopping experience in Sharjah.Several representatives from shopping centers and shops participating in the Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2023 expressed their satisfaction with the event's positive impact on their sales over the past 20 days. They reported an increase in the number of visitors and sales in many shopping centers, attributing it to the Sharjah Chamber's annual organization of the festival and the services it provides.Additionally, they appreciated the Chamber's close supervision and follow-up of the festival's various activities, such as the offers, draws, and prizes, which attracted thousands of shoppers and led to a significant increase in sales rates.Sahara Centre and City Centre Sharjah are among the many shopping centers in Sharjah offering exclusive promotions and prizes during the ongoing Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2023.At Sahara Centre, shoppers who spend AED 200 at any of its stores will be entered into a draw to win prizes or shopping vouchers worth a whopping AED 150,000. (AED15,000 for each winner). The mall is also hosting a variety of discounts and offers throughout the festival period.City Centre Sharjah, on the other hand, has launched a "spend and win" campaign exclusively for Majid Al Futtaim SHARE Rewards cardholders. The lucky winner will receive a diamond set presented by Lifestyle Jewellery Store.In collaboration with Radio Plus 95 of Sharjah Radio and Television, the shopping center is also holding a live competition program every Saturday and Sunday during Ramadan. Participants will have the chance to win valuable prizes, including "My Gift" cards worth a total of AED 28,000. Additionally, the Carrefour hypermarket is offering AED 10,000 worth of gift cards, and there are free shopping vouchers available from both Sharaf DG and Venue 3 Gym.Mega Mall Sharjah is also offering its own set of prizes for shoppers who spend AED 200 or more. Weekly draws will be held for iPads, iPhone 14s, TV screens, and electric scooters. Additionally, daily prizes will be given out once the spending threshold is met.

Animators reveal their creative secrets at Sharjah Animation conference

Sharjah: Presenting a not-to-miss opportunity to fans and professionals alike, the Sharjah Book Authority has announced the inaugural edition of the Sharjah Animation Conference - a first-of-its-kind platform in the region to learn, be entertained and get up close and personal with Oscar winners and global industry leaders.Set to take place from May 3 - 5 on the sidelines of the 14th annual Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023) in Hall 1, Expo Centre Sharjah, the event is organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) in collaboration with Lilium, and in partnership with Italy’s Bergamo Animation Days (BAD) festival, and will provide a platform for people to come together, exchange ideas, and create meaningful connections.The event will host state-of-the-art masterclasses, workshops, film screenings, business networking meetings between publishers and producers, and in-person interactions with the top brass of the world of animation. The artist line-up for SAC 2023 includes the likes of John Nevarez, film-story artist and Oscar winner for “Coco”; Sandro Cleuzo, animator and character designer and Annie Award winner for “Mary Poppins Returns”; and Takahiro Yoshimatsu, the animator and director of “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z”.With 9 seminars, 9 workshops and masterclasses, and 3 panel discussions as well as a vibrant professional agenda, the conference will also attract professionals and young people from all over the Middle East, and build Sharjah’s reputation as the animation capital of the Arab world. On the programme, activities aimed at a wide and varied audience, in terms of age and interests, with a major objective: to arouse curiosity and provide information on a world with a high level of creativity and technology. The conference will serve as a meeting point for different arts and crafts, stimulate new professionalism by directing attendees towards specialisations in the sector, and enable creative encounters between young aspirants and established protagonists of the world of animation.The focus is on the writing, languages, themes, production techniques and technologies of animated cinema and how they are expressed in pure entertainment products, popular animation and communication.Khoula Al Mujaini, SAC Executive Director said: “Animation lovers in the UAE and beyond are in for a spectacular treat. At the three-day Sharjah Animation Conference, they will enter the fascinating world of animation and get behind the scenes to learn so much about what brings these iconic and timeless characters to life. The conference is also aligned with Sharjah’s and SBA’s vision to elevate children’s visual content, and to fulfil this purpose, we will be presenting this platform to experts who will enjoy a unique opportunity to meet with the world’s top publishers, animators and producers to explore prospects for content selling and collaboration. We're aiming to bring animation professionals together and create a community in the region, all while providing an opportunity for learning.”For his part, Pietro Pinetti, SAC Artistic Director noted: “Our intention is for Sharjah to become the animation capital of the Arab world, attracting professionals and young people from all over the Middle East. A platform like SAC presents a great new opportunity for enabling exchange between the Arab and western worlds, particularly here in Sharjah, which has been investing in culture and young people for a long time. It is no coincidence that the emirate is the cultural capital of the UAE. Just this year Bergamo is, together with the neighbouring city of Brescia, the Italian capital of culture - another common touchpoint between BAD and SCRF. I thank Sharjah Book Authority for having believed in our project right from the start, and SCRF for welcoming us, proving that it fully shares our vision.”

Startups highlight future of green economy in open dialogue

Sharjah: In an open dialogue session titled "The Conscious Council: Our Collective Responsibility," hosted by the Sharjah Ramadan Majlis 2023 at the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTIP), business leaders and heads of companies discussed the importance of environmental sustainability and Sharjah's achievements in this sector. Participants highlighted Sharjah's innovative projects at the local and international levels to manage waste, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and convert it into energy, while noting the changing customer trends towards environmentally-friendly products and services, and the rising global awareness of the importance of investing in green economic sectors.Organised under the electrifying theme of "The Winning Combination: Where Business Meets Sustainability, the majlis held at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) was a collaborative effort between some of Sharjah's prestigious entities -- Sharjah Development and Investment Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), and the SRTIP.The open dialogue participants included Majid Jaafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, Abdulaziz Al-Obaidly, Operations Manager at Masdar, Sonia Weimüller, Co-Founder of VentureSouq, Khalid Al-Huraimel, CEO of Beeah Group and a number of government officials and leaders of government institutions and startups in Sharjah. Panellists stressed Sharjah's belief in the importance of cooperation between local, federal, and private entities to achieve carbon neutrality.Khalid Al-Huraimel, CEO of Bee’ah Group, praised the awareness of university students in Sharjah on sustainability and their efforts to protect the environment. He particularly lauded the efforts of three girl students -- Afra, Mahra, and Sarah -- who created an application to identify garbage bins at full capacity remotely, thereby helping clear the waste from locations with fuel efficiency and contributing to societal well-being and reducing CO2 emissions.Majid Jaafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, emphasised the importance of supporting emerging companies and encouraging their entrepreneurial spirit and creativity to achieve Sharjah's vision of balanced and comprehensive economic development based on knowledge and innovation.Abdulaziz Al-Obaidly, Operations Manager at Masdar, discussed the role of Masdar, a company that has been at the forefront of the sustainability sector in the UAE, in establishing the first station in the region to generate electricity from solar energy, as well as its expansion in Europe and other global markets.Sonia Weimüller, Co-Founder of VentureSouq, pointed out that supporting sustainability has significant economic returns, including attracting foreign investments, due to the growing global awareness towards investing in eco-friendly economic sectors, particularly in the agricultural and food industries.The session witnessed a large turnout, with attendees expressing their admiration for the topics raised and the sustainable and innovative initiatives presented by emerging companies in the sustainability sector. They stressed the importance of supporting these companies and encouraging their efforts to contribute to achieving Sharjah's vision.Startup showcaseOn the sidelines of the majlis, Emirati startup accelerator Sheraa showcased several promising startups such as Manhat, which provides sustainable water and floating farm solutions, and Palmade, a startup that produces biodegradable cutlery made from date-palm trees. Cycled Technologies AS and Fortyguard were also featured, offering smart waste management and recycling solutions and cloud-based AI tools to provide personalized temperature insights.SRTIP also showcased startups such as Relife, which offers a digital ecosystem empowering individuals and businesses to make faster, smarter decisions across logistics and recyclables trading. Marses, a leading robotics company in the MENA region, and Conreality, which works at the intersection of drones, blockchain gaming, and augmented reality, were also highlighted.In addition to the startup showcase, the majlis also featured a range of F&B offerings, including Paperfig, Racks Cafe, and drowsy, and performances by the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, captivating attendees with beautiful and enchanting music. Visitors enjoyed the eclectic setting while also engaging with the entrepreneurs behind the businesses.Sharjah Ramadan Majlis 2023 concluded as an exhilarating and informative event that brought together the community, entrepreneurs, and industry experts and left attendees feeling energised and inspired.

Sharjah gears up to host region’s first Footgolf tournament

Footgolf, a sport combining football and golf, is set to take center stage at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club for the ‘Sharjah International Footgolf Tournament’ from 12 to 14 January 2023. The Professional Footgolf tournament will take place at Sharjah’s world-class country club, with some of the world’s best players traveling to the Emirate from across the globe to participate. The event will bring together over 140 players from more than 20 different nationalities to take on the challenging course. Organised by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Authority (SCTDA) in partnership with Sharjah Sports Council and Professional Footgolf Tour, The Sharjah International Footgolf Tournament will host the world’s top footgolf players, with both men and women competing for cash purses over a two-day competition, utilising an 18-hole, stroke-play format. The tournament will consist of four players per group, teeing off every six minutes. Players will compete across two days, vying for more than $40,000 in total prize money. The event is also open to amateur footgolf players based in UAE with a prize fund of $1,500 up for grabs, with these players also eligible for the overall fund. While Footgolf tournaments have taken place all over the world to date, the Sharjah International Footgolf Tournament will be the first of its kind within the GCC.“We’re thrilled to be bringing the region’s first footgolf tournament to Sharjah. We have a line-up of world-class footgolf players flying in from all over the world, and we’re excited to show them the beauty of the UAE and everything Sharjah has to offer” said Dan Ferretti, Co-Chairman of Professional Footgolf Tour. “While there are some immaculate golf courses across the UAE, to date there have been no true footgolf courses built, and so not everyone is familiar with the sport. We’re hoping to change that with the launch of Professional Footgolf Tour events across the region, that will ultimately leave a legacy for players of all ages and skill levels to experience the sport and get themselves playing in one of our elite events.”Combining golf and football, footgolf has become a global phenomenon in recent years. Requiring little equipment, skilled players utilise precision and foot control to kick the football into specially designed large holes on an eighteen-hole course. Footgolf can be played on a regular golf course and is one of the fastest-growing sports in golf communities. Footgolf uses a regulation size five football, and a hole big enough to accommodate one. Unlike regular golf, if a shot goes astray, players can detect the ball easily and play moves on swiftly. However, like regular golf, there are hazards — and the difference often comes down to putting.Following the two-day tournament, a family friendly footgolf course will be installed at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club. The club will have tee times on sale for this course to enable families, friends, and workmates to experience the game first-hand, creating a legacy for the sport in the Emirate. HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “The Sharjah International Footgolf Tournament further emphasises the efforts being made in Sharjah to enhance Sharjah’s position as a premier tourist destination. We are delighted to be welcoming professional footgolf players from all over the world to Sharjah next month, and we look forward to inviting these players to enjoy the Emirate’s rich history, geography, nature, culture, heritage, archaeology, and arts.”The SCTDA continues to launch various initiatives to support the activities of the tourism sector in Sharjah, which include strengthening its partnerships with the private and public sector as well as local and international entities to enhance the overall tourism experience within the Emirate.The competition venue at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club offers a premier one-stop venue for a vast range of recreational facilities both indoor and outdoor. Located only five minutes from Sharjah Airport and 20 minutes from Dubai Airport, it provides a convenient location for both local and international competitors and participants.Registration is now open with limited spaces available for UAE citizens and residents to sign up to participate in the Sharjah International Footgolf Tournament. Entry fee is AED 370 per player. For more information or to sign up to participate, visit

Sharjah is on the rise with a 68% increase in female entrepreneurs

On the opening day of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2022, the Impact Stage did exactly that — made a huge impact on all in attendance. A panel discussion titled "Marhaba: Welcome to Sharjah", featuring experts in the fields of tourism and business development, discussed strategies for promoting Sharjah as a destination for a global audience, lauded SEF’s efforts in gathering such a large number of entrepreneurs to learn and enrich their businesses. The panel hosted Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Khaled Al Midfa; Mohammed Musharrakh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah; Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, Group CEO of Arada; Maryam Bin Al Shaikh, Director of the Sharjah Business Women Council; and Kareem Al Jisr, Chief Sustainability Officer of Diamond Developers; and was moderated by broadcast journalist Abdul Karim Hanif.Khaled Al Midfa stressed the importance of learning and understanding the culture and history of Sharjah in order to effectively welcome and engage with visitors and the fact that more than 50% of the UAE’s museums were located in the emirate and that tourism made up over 12% of the GDP. "By embracing and sharing our culture and heritage, we can create a truly authentic and meaningful experience for visitors," he said. Al Midfa mentioned that tourism is rapidly growing in Sharjah and even though the population is around 1.5million, over 1.8million people visited and booked hotel rooms in the past year. “Sharjah has a population of over 200 nationalities, we have well diversified economies, we are a dynamic emirate that provides a benchmark for innovation and that exceeds expectations time and time again. We are a hub of possibilities with a strong authentic identity”.Mohammed Musharrakh highlighted the commitment of Sharjah and its government to provide unique and authentic experiences for both visitors and businesses. “Invest in Sharjah plays a crucial role in facilitating this experience through our partnerships and collaborations with businesses and organisations, including the important work we do with Sheera and Sharjah Investors Services Center for example. The turnout today by entrepreneurs and business people investing their weekend into SEF is a testament to the fact that our work is effectively attracting the next generation to our emirate” he said.Maryam Bin Al Shaikh talked about the role of women entrepreneurs in the ensuring holistic development of Sharjah society. "Sharjah has had a 68% increase in female entrepreneurs recently and as the market grows and expands we will continue cultivating an environment that is inclusive and supportive. None of this would have been possible without the important role that people in the top level of government play and the support we have from Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah."Ahmed Alkhoshaibi of Arada talked about the exponential growth Sharjah has had over the past year in the property market with over AED 700 million transacted in last month alone with 90% of the investments being made by foreign nationals. “Although the increase in purchases made by foreigners has been increasing year-on-year, the investment by locals has held steady and these numbers shouldn’t be seen as a decrease in local investment but rather an example of how Sharjah is becoming an increasingly valued destination for the world.”Kareem Al Jisr talked about the role that Sharjah Sustainable City has had on the emirate as a project partnered between Sharjah Investment and Development Authority(Shurooq) and Diamond Developers saying, “Sharjah Sustainable City is a home for new ideas and innovations, a place to innovate problem solving. We pride ourselves on being a place for early adopters and a living lab or “sandbox” for development. We provide a space of 67 hectors for entities and people to innovate and flourish.”The panel discussion was part of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2022, a celebration of innovation and business growth in the emirate. The festival will continue on December 18, featuring a range of events and workshops aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, youth, and leaders to share ideas for creating a brighter future.