Sharjah Water Festival to be more exotic this year

Updated 22 November 2012
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Sharjah Water Festival to be more exotic this year

The Sharjah Water Festival 2012, the grand entertainment and family fun spectacle, will be held from Dec. 6 to 21 for the sixth consecutive year at Al Majaz Park and Khalid Lagoon. This was announced by Mohamed Ali Al Noman, chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority at a press conference today in the presence of a number of dignitaries, support sponsors and members of the media.
Al Noman said that the festival this year features a number of new events and recreational activities offering world-class, wholesome fun for the whole family. As in the past, the SWF 2012 will begin on a high note with the F1H20 World Powerboat Championship, Sharjah Grand Prix, on Dec. 6 and 7 in Khalid Lagoon.
Al Majaz Park on the other hand will be the venue of a number of entertainment shows, games and recreational activities from Dec. 12 to 21. The highlight of the activities at Al Majaz Park this year will be the internationally acclaimed Russian Circus with breathtaking feats on water (Magic of Water), The Ohmies American musical, Sinbad’s Adventures, Mouj Fantasy Show, puppetry shows from Myanmar and Poland, Toy Box shows, (USA), Arlecchino and the Witch Rosega Ramani, roaming musicians and carnival.
Al Noman said, "the Sharjah Water Festival last year drew more than 180,000 visitors bringing loads of fun and joy to the emirate for ten days. This year we at the SCTDA are working tirelessly to bring to you a festival more memorable and grander and successful than ever.”
The emirate will once again be in the spotlight as it hosts the Sharjah Grand Prix for the 13th consecutive year in Khaled Lagoon waters.  The event every year attracts more than 75,000 spectators.  Sharjah won the UIM Best Organiser Award for five years — in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007 - and the World Journalism Award in 2001 for its successful organization of the event. 
The SCTDA chairman thanked the SWF sponsors, partners and the media for their continued support hoping their patronage will make the festival this year even more successful. The support sponsors and partners this year include Sharjah Police, Civil Defence Department, Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, Public Works Department, Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Seaports and Customs Authority, Department of Culture and Information (Directorate of Heritage) Sharjah Transport and Sharjah Call Centre, Mega Mall, Sahara Centre, Panasonic, Air Arabia, Al Zahra Hospital, Zulal Water, Hotel Corniche Al Buhaira, Golden Tulip, Sharjah, Sharjah Media Corporation, Al Khaleej newspaper and Al Hayat FM.


All eyes on Salah as Egyptians await Champions League final

Updated 26 May 2018
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All eyes on Salah as Egyptians await Champions League final

CAIRO: An owner of a Cairo coffee shop supervised last-minute arrangements for Saturday’s European Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, giving instructions to his employees as they lined up chairs and set up a bigger television set.
“Today is the big day for us. No match is more important than tonight’s, simply because Mohamed Salah is playing,” Mohamed Fathy, the owner of a cafe located in the affluent district of Maadi in southern Cairo, told Arab News.
Salah has enjoyed a record-breaking debut season with Liverpool and could cap a remarkable campaign by leading the Reds to the most-coveted European title as they face serial winners Real Madrid, who are eyeing a third successive triumph.
Nicknamed the Egyptian King, Salah has racked up a record 32 Premier League goals in a 38-game campaign and netted 10 Champions League goals to help Liverpool reach their first final since losing 2-1 to AC Milan in 2007.
He has become a national hero in Egypt, with his popularity hitting unprecedented heights. Saturday’s Champions League final is given more attention than any fixture for Cairo giants Ahly or Zamalek, who each have a huge fan base in the football-mad country.
“We raised our prices a bit because this is the probably the most important day of the football season. We expect to welcome the same number of people who came to the cafe when Egypt defeated Congo (last October) to reach the World Cup,” Fathy said.
Salah ‘gatherings’
Friends have been making plans for weeks to watch the game, choosing between a plenty of options as Cairo’s cafes and mega-malls gear up for the final.
Cairo Festival City, a mall in the upscale Fifth Settlement district, installed a huge screen for its visitors, creating a stadium-like atmosphere. Vodafone, Egypt’s leading mobile operator, launched a competition and invited customers to watch the match and have the pre-dawn Suhoormeal at Cairo’s upmarket Ritz-Carlton hotel.
Coffee shops in poorer areas also replaced their television sets with larger models, which were placed in the streets in order to accommodate as much people as possible.
Many friends are planning to come together in large gatherings at homes after the Ramadan iftar meal to watch Salah in action, but some have mixed emotions.
Spanish giants Real Madrid, the world’s most successful outfit, are popular in Egypt and favored by millions of Egyptians, who will be equally keen to see Salah lift the Champions League trophy in Kiev.
“I really don’t know who I should support now; my heart is split between Real Madrid, the club I have been supporting since I was child, and Salah who deserves to finish his season by winning such a prestigious title,” said Mahmoud Raheem, a 32-year-old fan.
But Liverpool and Salah still enjoy the unique support of their own fans. The club, England’s most successful in Europe, has an official fan club in Egypt, which includes thousands of supporters.
They plan to watch the game on a huge screen in Cairo’s Nasr City district, hoping Salah could play an instrumental role in giving them a title they have long sought.
“It will be difficult against Real because of their experience, but we still have deadly counter-attacking abilities that could help us a lot. Salah has had a great season and it would be great if he can finish the season by leading us to the trophy,” said Ahmed Maher, a 36-year-old Liverpool fan.
If Salah wins the Champions League, he will only become the second Arab to taste that glory after Algerian great Rabah Madjer, who was on target in Porto’s famous 2-1 comeback win over Bayern Munich in the 1987 European Cup final.