Sharjah A Cultural City
A Place of par excellence
What more natural place than cultural capital? And this is exactly what Sharjah is. UNESCO has declared the emirate the cultural capital of the Arab world for 1998. This selection comes as a result of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi’s dedication and tremendous efforts to establish an infrastructure of cultural institutions in Sharjah. His concern for culture and education is both a reflection of and a stimulus to the creative and intellectual life of Sharjah. The various cultural institutions that have been established in Sharjah include the Archeology Museum, the Arts Museum, and the Arts Training Center. Sharjah boasts a rich and diverse heritage.

His Highness has also sponsored the opening of three universities that have the turned the Muwailih suburb into an impressive University City. On the 31st of December 1996, His Highness Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah, established by decree Number 8, the American University of Sharjah. A private, nonprofit, co-educational, American style institution of higher education in the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, AUS exhibits that unique combination of the traditional and the modern that characterizes the U.A.E socio political system. The United Arab Emirates follows the pace and meets the needs of progress with a modern administrative structure whiles at the same time preserving its Islamic principles and maintaining the ancestral traditions of its Arab heritage.

Lying at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Sharjah enjoys the unique advantage of being at the cross roads of Asia, Africa and Europe. The third largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah covers 2,600 square kilometers and is now one of the most rapidly developing emirates of the U.A.E. in this cultural capital of the Arab World, under the aegis of His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, a university formed on the American model recently opened its doors: The American University of Sharjah. It is a University that exposes students to all the advantages of an American type of university while remaining in this region.

He has also sponsored a project to revive old Sharjah City in the Arts Square, the Heritage Area and Al Shuwaiheen District. The country’s cultural development is also manifested in the Sharjah Book Fair (one of the oldest in the Arab World), Sharjah International Arts Biennial, and Sharjah Theatrical days. Other cultural events include novel and short story forums, the Gulf cinema forum, Arab female artists exhibitions, specialized lectures and seminars, as well as solo and group arts exhibitions. The emirate has a growing number of public and specialized libraries and associations for public service, such as, handicapped issues and the environment. A Sharjah Ladies Club and women’s associations have been established, as well child culture centers in the various districts of the emirate. His Highness has been keen to establish several cultural committees, which include ones on heritage, archeology, arts, libraries, museums, and the Sharjah Educational Zone

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