Sharjah is a culturally rich emirate of the United Arab Emirates. It celebrates itself annually through a unique Sharjah Light Festival when all its prominent locations are lit up with light shows. You just have to drive through the city to see the plain Jane walls of mosques metamorphosing into colorful stories. You can sit on the waterfront and watch the colorful water fountains dance in front of you. One can walk into a shopping mall when suddenly the walls of the mall will start dancing taking you to the world of fantasy.
Sharjah Light festival is celebrated across 14 locations in the Sharjah Emirate.
Apart from the light shows that illuminate the buildings, there are displays in public places where you can enjoy the play of light.
Right next to the Khalid Lagoon, in the lawns, we saw these beautiful tunnels made of yellow and blue LED lights. It was a pleasure to walk through them. The selfie-obsessed generation loved clicking photos with the bulbs. What I liked the best was the small floral pattern of the LED bulbs.
Sharjah Light Festival – My Experience
On day 1, we went to the university city hall located in the university city of Sharjah. I was amazed to know that as many as 4 universities are located in this university city. I would later get a chance to visit one of them and even talk to the tourism students there.
Videos of the Sharjah Light Festival
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However, as luck would have it, it started raining cats and dogs and the Day 1 program had to be canceled.
On day 2, we walked around the Khalid Lagoon and admired the lighting up of monuments on its banks. The otherwise plain buildings were in a rather colorful and jovial avatar. They changed colors in a subtle yet discreet manner almost challenging your eyes to try and look elsewhere.
The lit-up buildings around the lagoon reflected in the waters. The laser beams zoomed around, troubling the photographers but mesmerizing the visitors in general.
On day 3, we eventually got to see the show at University City Hall. The city hall became a backdrop for an artist’s imagination. We saw two shows here – the first one had more contemporary abstract illuminations using geometric lines and angles.
Second Video of the festival
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The second show was more cultural and with our 3D Goggles, we could see the falcons flying across the building. The colors and music represented the Arab world. Bright colors subdued everything else. In my mind, I was transported to the era of Arabian nights and I could somehow visualize flying carpets and djinns that would emerge and fulfill all your wishes. Alas, the show ended in about 10 minutes or so and I was back to reality.
On day 4, we went to Al Qasba – a shopping mall with a canal flowing through it and a giant Ferris wheel in white at one end of it – called the Eye of Emirate.
We also had dinner at the Al Majaz Waterfront where the colorful water fountains danced every five minutes.
Video of Fountain Show
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We were roaming around till midnight and the place was buzzing with activity. Not for a moment, I felt unsafe.
- The Light Festival happens in the month of February every year. For more details check the festival website.
- The light festival starts after sundown, so you can spend the day exploring the Emirate and sit back and enjoy the light festival in the evening.
- February can be a bit chilling – so carry your jackets and caps.
- See one area at a time & see it well.
- It is free and open to all.
Recommend you read the following travel blog on my Sharjah visit.