Sharjah: Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, chairman of Sharjah’s Department of Government Relations (DGR), recently met French Consul General Nathalie Kennedy to explore ways to strengthen collaboration between Sharjah and French cities, particularly in cultural tourism and the creative industries.
Al Qasimi said: “Strengthening cultural relationships between Sharjah and cities around the world that champion knowledge and creativity form the basis of the emirate’s efforts towards achieving the goals of its cultural project.”
“France’s pioneering experience in supporting the development of art, literature and culture is exemplary, and we are keen on exploring potential opportunities with French cities that will lead us to fruitful and mutually beneficial collaborations in a variety of sectors, particularly cultural tourism and the creative industries,” he added.
The meeting was held at Sharjah’s House of Wisdom. Marie-Laure Charrier, French deputy consul-general, also attended the meeting.
Al Qasimi accompanied the officials on a tour of the House of Wisdom, an iconic cultural edifice and a modern-day interpretation of a social hub and cultural centre for collective learning, which has been built as a lasting legacy of Sharjah’s nomination as the UNESCO World Book Capital for 2019.
Vibrant cultural project
Kennedy praised Sharjah’s vibrant cultural project, and the emirate’s quest to promote public libraries and support creative talents and artists in the UAE and beyond through key collaborations with cultural entities dedicated to nurturing their skills and connecting them with their global peers.
She also noted that Sharjah is a pioneering cultural tourism destination and leading hub for investment in creative industries.
The top French diplomat also toured a selection of Sharjah’s artistic attractions, including the unique Rain Room, which has been brought by the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) to the Middle East for the first time in Sharjah’s Al Majarrah area; and the historic Al Mureijah Square — one of SAF’s principal venues where community interacts with art.
Kennedy also met Sheikha Nawar Al Qasimi, Director of SAF, and visited the exhibitions currently taking place at SAF. The French consul-general was also briefed about the foundation’s projects and initiatives to promote contemporary arts.