- Islamic Arts Festival
- Folklore Poetry Festival
- Light Festival
- School Theatre Festival
- Art Foundation’s March Meeting
- Heritage Days
- Children’s Reading Festival
- Ramadan Nights
- Desert Theatre Festival
Sharjah is known as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World, an honour which it rightly deserves for constantly striving to promote budding artists and local talent. Hence it’s not surprising that annual events in Sharjah focus on promoting all forms of arts and the country’s rich cultural heritage. Today, the emirate is renowned for its leading role as a patron of fine arts and true cultural values. Thousands attend these annual events in Sharjah as it provides a welcome break from their daily routine.
Top Annual Events in Sharjah
Dates for many of these annual events in Sharjah are announced well in advance. And here, we present a list of the top annual events in Sharjah so you can mark your calendars and plan your visit accordingly.
Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival
Organised by the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival began in 1998. Each year, the Festival displays different vibrant styles of Islamic Art through a careful selection of art projects. Various exhibitions and workshops will be organised during which patrons will get the opportunity to appreciate Islamic art by 108 artists from 31 different countries.
- Dates: 11th December 2019 to 21st January 2020
- Venues: The Sharjah Art Museum, Al Majaz Waterfront and Maraya Art Centre
Sharjah Folklore Poetry Festival
As the name suggests, the Sharjah Folklore Poetry Festival is an annual event that celebrates the art of poetry. Poets from the UAE and GCC countries come together to recite their poems and discuss Arab history and social values. It is an event where noted intellectuals the of society come together. For poetry enthusiasts, this is the best event in Sharjah. The Sharjah Centre for Folklore Poetry organises the Sharjah Folklore Poetry Festival.
- Dates: 2nd to 7th February 2020
- Venue: Cultural Palace
Sharjah Light Festival
Sharjah Light Festival is one of the most popular annual events in Sharjah. Organised by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority under the patronage of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the idea of the event is to promote the rich history of the emirate.
Landmarks, architectural achievements and the history of Sharjah is demonstrated through a series of spectacular light and sound shows.
- Tickets: Free Entry
- Dates: 5th to 15th February 2020
- Timing: Weekdays: 06:00 pm to 11:00 pm | Weekends: 06:00 pm to 12:00 am
- University City Hall – Planet Sharjah
- American University of Sharjah – A Journey from Sharjah to America
- Sharjah Police Academy – Jungle Book
- University of Sharjah – A Student’s Day in Sharjah
- Masjid Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi (Dibba Al Hisn) – Arabic Fusion
- House of Justice (Khorfakkan) – Paradoptical
- University of Sharjah (Kalba) – Forever Young
- Sharjah Mosque – Light Celebration
- Al Wousta TV Building (Al Dhaid) – A Light Guide
- Sharjah Municipality Building – Glorious Sharjah
- Al Hamriya Area Municipality – Travelling Across Time
- Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Light & Painting Emotions
- Sharjah Roads & Transport Authority – An Endless Journey
- Omran Taryam Square -The Snowdome
- Al Majaz Waterfront – Resonance & Kontak
- Al Qasba (External Facade) – The Return of the Little Giant
- Masjid Al Noor – A Cosmic Trip
- Al Majaz Waterfront & Khalid Lagoon – Waves of Light
- Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport – Maritime Heritage
Sharjah School Theatre Festival
In this event, school-going children get the chance to learn about the cultural heritage of the region in a fun and engaging manner at an early age. They are given a chance to experiment and learn about acting, directing and writing. With performing arts, they can express themselves and gain confidence. Each child is given the luxury to explore different avenues and select the one they prefer. It sets a strong foundation. Through this festival, children can identify and follow their passions.
- Dates: 15th to 19th March 2020
- Venue: Cultural Palace
Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting
Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting brings together artists, curators and other art practitioners to perform and discuss changes in contemporary art. The role of art in society is discussed at length and the event provides a unique insight and is a great opportunity to learn about global art.
The 2020 March Meeting is part of Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present. The three-day programme has panels, performances and events that are free and open to the public.
- Dates: 21st to 23rd March 2020
- Timings: Day 1: Saturday, 09:00 am to 09:00 pm | Day 2: Sunday, 09:00 am to 09:00 pm | Day 3: Monday, 09:00 am to 10:00 pm
- Venue: Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts Calligraphy Square, Heritage Area
Sharjah Heritage Days
This annual event is held under the supervision of the Directorate of Heritage, Department of Culture and Information in April. It helps the current generation become familiar with the achievements of their forefathers. Visitors are introduced to the customs, traditions and professions of yesteryear Emiratis. It is a fascinating experience for both residents and tourists.
- Dates: 4th to 21st April 2020
- Timings: Saturday to Thursday from 04:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Friday and Saturday from 04:00 pm to 11:00 pm
- Venue: Heart of Sharjah
Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival
This festival is one of the largest children’s events in the region. Last year over 300,000 people visited this wonderful event. This year guests from 56 countries will take part in 2,600 activities.
Visitors can select from a series of film screenings and theatre shows. Moreover, 167 publishers from 18 countries will be part of the festival. Renowned authors, intellectuals, and authors from Arabian Gulf and subcontinent, USA, UK, New Zealand, Latvia, and Palestine will present their work.
- Tickets: Free Entry
- Dates: 17th to 27th April 2020
- Timings: Saturday to Wednesday from 09:00 am to 08:00 pm | Thursdays from 09:00 am to 10:00 pm | Fridays from 04:00 pm to 10:00 pm
- Venue: Sharjah Expo Centre
Celebrate the month of Ramadan at the Expo Centre Sharjah with this amazing shopping festival. For two weeks during the holy month, you have a chance to buy top brands at amazing discounts, eat appetising food and engage in fun activities.
Every member of the family is guaranteed to have a great time at Sharjah Ramadan Nights 2020, one of the most anticipated annual festivals in Sharjah. Food stalls, food trucks and unique pop-up restaurants will offer the finest local and international cuisine. Food enthusiasts can enjoy traditional Emirati delicacies, alongside specialities from the Philippines, China, India and the rest of the world. Those looking for retail therapy can find the best local and international brands and designers. The gaming arena has a host of fun activities for people of all ages and interests.
- Ticket: AED 5, free entry for kids under 12
- Date: 7th to 23rd May 2020
- Timings: 08:00 pm to 02:00 am daily during Ramadan | 05:00 pm to 11:00 pm daily during the Eid holidays
- Venue: Sharjah Expo Centre
Sharjah Desert Theatre Festival
Organised by the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, this festival interprets local culture in the shape of theatre. Through social, folk and technical features, performers celebrate the Arab culture. Viewers get to experience legends from famous storytellers and the colour of artists.
The overall focus is on storytelling, poetry and performance. Last year performers from UAE, Kuwait, Mauritania, Jordan, Sudan and Iraq enthralled the audiences. 2020’s line up is yet to be announced but you can be a certain top artist from the region will showcase their unique talents.
- Dates: 12th to 14 December 2020
- Venue: Mleiha Archaeological Centre
This wraps up our Sharjah 2020 annual events calendar. While the list isn’t extensive, these events offer something exceptional. In fact, you are unlikely to find these types of festivals anywhere even in this region. You can also check out the cultural events in Dubai scheduled to take place this year, where you can get a unique insight into the rich culture of the region.
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