in malaysia, when i hear ‘festival of lights’, i think of deepavali. but here in sharjah uae, the ‘light festival’ is an annual event of colorful lights, laser show and music; running for 9 days, in 12 locations across sharjah. it runs from 7pm till midnight, FREE for all.
* sharjah is one of the 7 emirates (states) in UAE (united arab emirates). the other emirates are abu dhabi (capital), dubai, ajman, fujairah, ras al-khaimah and umm al-quwain.
the light show at al-qasba
last saturday we went to qanat al-qasba in sharjah, one of the 12 locations that hold the shows for this light festival.
qanat al-qasba is like the ‘venice of uae’ because of the man-made canal that runs through it, with rows of restaurants and cafe alongside it – dunkin donuts, thai restaurant lemongrass, japanese food sumo, nando’s and many more. you can enjoy your food with the view of the ‘river’, with occasional boats pasing by. a really nice place to hang out.
i’ve written about it here when we went with my in-laws on their visit here.
the show runs every 15 minutes – there’s a countdown on a building after each performance, so people can get ready once the countdown finishes. once the show starts, it runs for 9 minutes – 9 minutes of light play, music and laser show too. it’s like a kaleidoscope of colors which synchronized with the catchy beat that suspiciously sounded more hindustani than arab music!
very entertaining; something to be enjoyed on a lazy weekend, especially while enjoying your favorite meal, or just a cup of hot chocolate on this still-cool winter. the light show was really beautiful and my photographs DID NOT do justice to the wonderful sight and sound!
oh, and the light show is projected to both side of the building along the water canal so no matter where you’re sitting, you’d be enjoying the same show.
my boys loved it very much – khaleef even role-played that the lasers were lights from alien spaceship trying to catch them. so everytime the laser came up, he and kahfi would scream and duck behind their chair!
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the seating area to enjoy the show
there are 12 locations that feature this light festival all around sharjah but in al-qasba, you get TWO shows – one inside facing the canal, (with the cafes and restaurant) and one at the outer part of the building facing the road. there’s even a stadium-like seating space for people to sit and enjoy the show like in a concert.
it’s great that when the show on the inside is over, the show on the outside starts. and that’s how it is over and over. so if you’re just walking around the al-qasba area, you can catch both shows at the same venue.
really beautiful play of lights and sounds!
the other 10 locations are al hisn fort, palm oasis front, cultural square, al majaz waterfront, al majaz mosque, the courthouse, the central souq, sharjah consultative council, kuwait square and sharjah international airport.
the one that we saw
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we decided to have dinner at our favorite japanese restaurant sumo. luckily for us, sumo seemed to be the ‘less popular choice’, so it’s not as packed as nando’s and lemongrass. and when a restaurant is NOT packed, we can take our time, eat slowly, sit back and enjoy the show when it’s on.
like i mentioned, the light festival show runs every 15 minutes, for a duration of 9 minutes – so if the place is packed, and people are lining up to get seats, it’s difficult to lepak lama-lama once you’ve finished eating. also, you cannot eat slowly as you’re just being selfish hogging up the seats.
so again – we’re glad sumo was not that popular here! we just sat and sat until the show ends around midnight! it was so nice to sit around with the light show right in front of us.
nampak tak my nokia on the tall glass in front of him? haha
it was very dark, because, let’s face it – only in darkness we can truly enjoy a ‘light festival’, right? terang benderang kalu mane nak nampak kan!
but specky mr. khairul couldn’t fully enjoy his food in the dark, so i had to use my nokia’s ultra strong ‘torchlight’ to literally ‘light up’ the moment! hihi.
hmm honey where’s your BB? hihi nama je blackberry torch, tapi my 100dhs nokia jugak la yang berjasa malam tu! hihi. (mr. khairul wanted me to use his old samsung omnia, but no thanks – i’d rather use a really basic phone!)
as usual, i ordered my favorite chicken katsu with miso soup. yum. i’ve written a few reviews on our favorite japanese restaurant. click here for the branch in dubai media city and here for the one in jumeirah.
sharjah light festival will run until this coming friday, 17/2 so hurry-hurry! click here for gulfnews report on the sharjah light festival.