Shar­jah hailed as new Cre­ative City by Unesco

The National - News - - ARTS & LIFESTYLE - Hayley Skirka

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

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