Sharjah hailed as new Creative City by Unesco
Sharjah has joined the Unesco rankings after the emirate was designated a creative city of crafts and folk art by the United Nations agency. The emirate joined 65 other cities around the world to be included as a new member on Unesco’s Creative City list. The announcement was made as part of World Cities Day on Thursday, October 31.
The newly added destinations were chosen for their ideas and innovative practices, as well as for their efforts in championing sustainable development actions that directly benefit local communities.
“All over the world, these cities, each in its way, make culture the pillar, not an accessory, of their strategy,” said Unesco director-general, Audrey Azoulay. Sharjah has been busy carving a name for itself on the world’s arts scene.
The Sharjah Biennial for contemporary arts, the Sharjah Museums Authority’s many sites, the Islamic Arts Festival, Al Noor art island and The Sharjah Art Foundation are all key pillars of the city’s creative scene.
Joining Sharjah as Unesco Creative Cities are Bahrain’s Muharraq, which was designated for its efforts in design, and Lebanon’s Beirut, which was listed for literature.
Ramallah in Palestine is also now a Unesco Creative City, winning praise for its contributions in music. Elsewhere, Cebu in the Philippines was noted for its design, Pakistan’s Lahore for literature and in India, both Mumbai and Hyderabad made the rankings, for film and gastronomy, respectively. Exeter in the UK was listed for literature while Australia’s Bendigo and South Africa’s Overstrand Hermanus made the cut for gastronomy.
The Unesco Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 to help promote co-operation among cities championing creativity as a strategic factor for urban development. The addition of these 66 new members brings the Unesco Creative City total to 246 cities around the world. Dubai became the first city in the Middle East to join the Creative City list for design when it was included as a member in 2018.
Sharjah was designated for its crafts and folk art Foster + Partners