SHARJAH, 24th January, 2022 (WAM) — 25th January represents a significant occasion in the history of the Emirate of Sharjah. On this day we recall the qualitative achievements of the Emirate thanks to a great leader who gave his thoughts and wisdom to serve his citizens and made Sharjah, under his leadership and insightful vision, take firm and confident steps on the path of excellence.
Half a century ago, the Emirate of Sharjah was on a date with a historical transformation and a new developmental turning point for a bright future when H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, assumed his position as the ruler.
Over the past 50 years, Sharjah has witnessed a civilised renaissance, progress and prosperity in all areas.
The morning of 25th January, 1972, marked a momentous day in the history of the Emirate of Sharjah, when an emergency meeting of the Al Qasimi family was called at the home of Sheikh Hamad bin Majid Al Qasimi, during which Sheikh Khalid bin Khalid Al Qasimi proposed H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi as the Ruler of Sharjah, which was unanimously approved.
On this humanitarian approach, genuine commitment, unconditional care to all family members, and integrated and sustainable community development in all its aspects, five full decades have passed since the Ruler decorating the throne as the “Sultan of Sharjah.”
On 9th October 1972, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan announced the discovery of oil in the Emirate amid great joy of all citizens. His Highness named the field “Mubarak,” where the drilling and oil discovery was made.
On 4th November 1975, the Ruler of Sharjah delivered a historic speech on the opening of the traffic department building. The speech included several decisions that supported the move towards achieving the unity of the UAE.
On 6th November 1975, Sharjah Ruler addressed the mass march of the citizens that came to support the historical decisions in support of the federation.
On 7th April 1979, His Highness inaugurated Khorfakkan Port to be a vital supply and export artery and a container port. The port helped create commercial and economic activities that provided job opportunities for people.
H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan outlined his vision to a youth audience at a theatrical event on 18th April 1979, saying, “It is time to stop the ‘concrete’ revolution of civil construction in the country and replace it with a ‘cultural revolution’ instead.”
On 21st April 1979, His Highness inaugurated the new Sharjah International Airport to link the Emirate with the world.
The Ruler launched on 20th October 1979 the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services as the first city specialised for people of determination. It aims at keeping abreast with the best practices in empowering and rehabilitating people of determination.
On 30th October 1979, His Highness inaugurated Al Montazah Parks, the largest and most modern at the time.
On 31st December 1979, the Ruler of Sharjah announced that the industrial planning had paid off, as the industrial zone for light industries started to emerge, factories were being built, and started operations. The industrial development in the Emirate is still continuing.
The Emirate now owns many major industrial zones, including thousands of factories and companies in various sectors.
Sheikh Dr. Sultan issued an Emiri Decree No. (20) on 30th April 1981 to establish the Cultural Department, which later became known as Department of Culture and Information, after initiating art projects and expanding their base to the citizens throughout the country.
The Department reinforced its objective by creating an identity of Arabic and authentic Islamic culture, influenced by the culture of humanity in a larger sense.
On 18th January 1982, H.H. Dr. Sultan launched the Sharjah International Book Fair at Expo Centre Sharjah.
On 20th June 1982, the Sharjah Ruler unveiled the memorial plaque in the oil and gas production complex discovered in the Al Sajaa Industrial area in Sharjah to support the resources of the Emirate.
On 1st March 1984, His Highness inaugurated the first Islamic Arts Festival as an integrated artistic event.
Under the patronage and follow-up of the Ruler of Sharjah, on 20th March 1984, the first session of the Sharjah Theatre Days was opened.
On 9th February 1985, His Highness opened the first festival for the child, the first of its kind initiative.
On 11th February 1985, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan launched the Sharjah TV.
In May 1985, under the directives of the Ruler of Sharjah, the Cultural Palace was opened.
On 10th May 1985, in the British capital London, His Highness Dr. Sultan obtained the PhD (Doctor with Distinction in History) on the accusations of piracy and trials of the East India Company to control the Gulf (1797-1820) from Exeter University; Exeter, UK On 19th January 1986, H.H. opened Al Amal Camp in Sharjah for the people of determination, and on 5th January 1993, he opened the Sharjah Museums Authority.
On 14th April 1993, His Highness inaugurated the first Sharjah Biennial.
On November 8, 1995, the Sharjah Ruler opened Sharjah Desert Park, an edutainment zone comprising three sections: the Natural History Museum, Arabian Wildlife Centre, and the Children’s Farm.
On November 9, 1995, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah announced the establishment of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
On April 17, 1996, the Sharjah Science Museum was opened.
On July 13, 1996, the Ruler of Sharjah issued the law establishing the Police Science Academy as the first Arab academy dealing with police sciences and the first Arab experience to graduate specialists with a scientific degree in police sciences.
In 1997, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the sessions of the Sharjah Children Shura Council.
On 10th April 1997, His Highness opened the Sharjah Fort, one of the most important landmarks of the Emirate of Sharjah. The fort, known as Al Hisn, offers the public a unique opportunity to experience the history that has shaped the emirate and its people. It has been updated to include exciting interactive features, audio-visuals, reconstructions and stories, taking visitors on an engaging journey through two centuries of history.
On 9th February 1998, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah opened the American University of Sharjah. On the occasion of the opening, His Highness the Sharjah Ruler said, “We look forward to the beginning of a new and distinguished stage in the University Education in the Emirate of Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates and in the entire Arabian Gulf.”
On 14th March 1999, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the University of Sharjah. It was established to meet the emirate’s educational needs. The university aimed to be a leading academic institution in the Middle East and around the world.
On 16th November 1999, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued a law establishing the Executive Council of the Emirate of Sharjah with the aim of assisting His Highness the Ruler in performing his duties and exercising powers besides the general supervision of the work of government departments and directing them to achieve sustainable development in the emirate.
On 6th December 1999, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued a law on founding the Consultative Council of Sharjah. The Council has different tasks and responsibilities, including revising draft laws referred to it by the Executive Council.
On 26th February 2000, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued an Emiri decree establishing the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in the Emirate.
On 13th February 2005, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the Sharjah Youth Shura Council within the framework of His Highness’ support to build a generation capable of taking responsibility and building the nation.
On 1st November 2006, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued an Emiri decree establishing the Sharjah Sports Council.
On 16th September 2002, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the Expo Centre Sharjah in its new headquarters. The centre was launched under the auspices of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1977 to be one of the most prestigious, largest and most advanced exhibition centres in the country and the Gulf region.
On 28th February 2008, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the new headquarters of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Al Mamzar area.
Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) was established by an Emiri Decree issued in 2009 by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah. Shurooq is the driving force for Sharjah’s transformation and development and it reflects the commitment to strengthen Sharjah’s position as an investment, tourism and business destination.
On 17th October 2012, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued a decision setting up the Standing Committee for establishing and running nurseries in the emirate.
On 25th April 2015, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated Al Qasimia University. The University was established as an Islamic, Arab University in the Emirate of Sharjah, offering an integrated set of services to support students. The University is keen to create an attractive and prominent educational environment serving students from all over the world.
On 26th February 2012, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the first session of the International Government Communication Forum, which is organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau.
On 11th December 2014, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued an Emiri decree establishing the Sharjah Institute of Heritage.
On 21st May 2015, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the new building of the Sharjah City Municipality, which is one of the oldest municipalities in the country and dates back to 1927.
On 12th October 2016, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the Xposure International Photography Festival.
On 18th December 2016, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued an Emiri Decree for the establishment and organisation of the Academy of the Arabic Language in the Emirate of Sharjah.
On 13th February 2017, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah issued an Emiri Decree establishing the Sharjah Media Council to draw the media policy of the emirate, enhance the media status of the emirate locally, regionally and internationally, co-ordinate among media institutions in conformation with the policy of the emirate.
On 30th October 2017, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the building of Sharjah Book Authority specialised in book affairs and organising various relevant events, in addition to organising the Sharjah International Book Fair annually. His Highness also inaugurated the Sharjah Publishing City, the first publishing free zone in the world.
On 1st October 2019, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy (SPAA), the first of its kind in the Arab world.
On 5th October 2019, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the new headquarters of the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA).
On 28th October 2019, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the headquarters of the Sharjah Media City (Shams). The building was built to provide a suitable working environment through an integrated building equipped with the latest modern technologies in the media and communication sector.
On 11th December, 2019, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Khorfakkan.
On 9th December 2020, the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated the House of Wisdom, a new cultural edifice and an iconic architectural marvel situated near the University City of Sharjah, which celebrates the emirate’s year-long tenure as UNESCO World Book Capital 2019.
On 24th December 2020, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi inaugurated the Holy Quran Academy in Sharjah, a place that is rich in many activities and programmes that serve the Holy Quran learning.
On 2nd November, the Ruler of Sharjah launched the first 17 volumes of the ”Historical Dictionary of the Arabic Language”. The dictionary not only provides history, origins, meanings, and explanations of words, but also documents the history of the nation, its civilisation, and celebrates the achievements of Arabs. It describes the words according to their historical contexts and etymology.
In recognition of the Sharjah Ruler’s role and his great contributions in various social, literary and cultural fields and relations between the United Arab Emirates and other countries of the world, His Highness kindly received a number of symbolic keys for different cities around the world, in addition to the key of hope that was presented to His Highness in appreciation of the unlimited efforts and achievements made for the children in Sharjah and all countries of the Arab world.
On 6th May 1976, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah arrived in San Francisco in the United States of America, where he was received by the Mayor of the city and honoured by giving him the key to the city in appreciation of His Highness’s great roles in many social and cultural fields inside and outside the United Arab Emirates.
On 10th July 2003, José Torres Hurtado, Mayor of the Spanish city of Granada, presented the key of the city to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, in appreciation of his outstanding contributions to the city.
On 11th November 2009, during the visit of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah to Kalimat Publishing and Distribution House, Sheikha Maryam bint Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, granddaughter of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, presented the Key of Hope to His Highness, expressing the love of children and their appreciation for His Highness’ contributions for all children in Arab and Islamic countries and the whole world.
The life of the Ruler of Sharjah, since his early childhood years, has been characterised by his love to knowledge and education. Among the most prominent academic certificates that His Highness obtained during his scientific career are: a PhD in history from the University of Exeter, Britain in 1985, and a PhD in history from Durham University, Britain in 1999. His Highness also obtained membership in the Cambridge University Council, Britain in 2004 and membership of the Academy of Sciences, Lisbon, Portugal in 2013.
Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi was awarded many honorary doctorates in several specialities from various global universities.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Sciences in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the field of education, from Faisalabad University, in April 1983.
He received an Honorary Doctorate in Arabic and Islamic studies, in recognition of his efforts in the research of Contemporary Arab History, from Exeter University, United Kingdom (UK).
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law In recognition of his role in laying the foundations of modern development in Sharjah and his contributions in supporting Arab-African Relations from Khartoum University.
He received an Honorary Doctorate in Arabic and Islamic studies for his efforts in the research of Contemporary Arab History, from Exeter University, on 18th July, 1993.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in History in recognition of his continuous contributions for the past years and obtaining significant results from The Eastern Studies Institute of the Academy of Russian Studies, Russia.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy for his role in science, knowledge, culture and education and the preservation of cultural, intellectual and historical heritage, from the International Islamic University of Malaysia, in February 2001.
He received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters for his effective role at the national and international levels from the University of Edinburgh, UK, on 15th July, 2001.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from South Bank University, UK, in April 2003.
He received an Honorary Doctorate in Administration for his scientific position and role in academic development and progress in the UAE in general and Sharjah in particular from McMaster University, Canada in May 2004.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate, for his contributions to the cultural and intellectual activities across the world, by the Armenian Academy of Science, Armenia, in September 2005.
He received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters for his generous contribution to education and culture at the national and international levels, from the American University, Cairo, in February 2009.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his outstanding academic and educational contributions in the UAE in particular and the Arab region in general, by Kanazawa University, Japan, in April 2010.
He received an Honorary Doctorate in Political Science for his outstanding contributions in policy, economics and culture, from Hanyang University, South Korea, in September 2011.
He received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters for his support to scientific research, promotion of culture and arts, and promotion of education both locally and internationally, from the University of Paris Diderot, France, in March 2012.
He was presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences for his contribution to Arts and his role in supporting regional issues and the Egyptian community, in Cairo, Egypt, in May 2015.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education and Cultural Relations for his continuous efforts and distinctive role in supporting education and scientific research from the University of Calicut, India, in September 2017.
He was presented with an Honorary Doctorate for his cultural and literary contributions for his role in supporting cultural, literary and historical works at the local and international fronts from the University of Coimbra, Portugal in October 2018.
He was presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Urban and Regional Development for his effective role in the urban development of the Emirate of Sharjah and all its cities by the University of Turin and Politecnico di Torino, in May 2019.
He received an Honorary Doctorate for his cultural efforts from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, in October 2019.
He was awarded an Honorary Drama PhD for his valuable contributions to theatrical writing and supporting the theatre scene in the region from Sudan University of Science and Technology, in March 2020.
For supporting and promoting several majors and domains, he was chosen as the Personality of the Year for the Al Qurain Cultural Festival; the Distinguished Personality of the Year Award of the Shaikh Hamdan Award for Academic Excellence in 2004; Cultural Personality of the year for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in Abu Dhabi 2010; Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Awards for 2010; theatre personality of the year, Sharjah 2013; theatre personality of the year at Theatre Festival Personality of the Year; Personality of the Year by Asian Chess Federation 2014, and others.
Dr. Sheikh Sultan also won the Sheikh Rashid Award for Academic Excellence, Dubai in 1989.
He won the Global Tobacco Control Awards at World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi, in 2015.
He won the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Award for Motherhood and Childhood.
He received the Landscape Magazine Award in Sharjah in 2019, and other awards.
The Ruler of Sharjah also won many awards including the Islamic History and Arts Research Institute Award.
He was honoured with the King Faisal International Islamic Award and Princess Fatima Ismail Distinguished Award.
He received the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information Award.
He received the Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Prize for Arabian Peninsula History Studies and the Gulf School Theatre Pioneers Award.
He won the Simon Master Chairman’s Award and the Excellence of Supporting Poetry Creativity Award.
He also received many medals from Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture for supporting the preservation and education of cultural heritage, the Bronze Wolf Award and many other medals.
He also received many medals including: The Gold Medal from Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture, in recognition of his support of the preservation and education of cultural heritage.
The Avicenna Gold Medal (UNESCO).
The Human Rights Medal (UNESCO).
The Gold Medal, from the Union of Arab Universities, in recognition of his support for collaboration among Arab universities, Amman, Jordan, in April 2009.
The Gold Medal, from the International Theatre Institute World Congress, Xiamen, China, on 19th September, 2011.
The Order of the Republic, one of Egypt’s highest awards, in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding contribution to the Arab Republic of Egypt, Cairo, Egypt.
The Medal of the Academy as appreciation for supporting the cooperation between Arab and Portugal from the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon, Portugal.
The Gold Medal from Jagielski University, for supporting the cultural and civilisational exchange between nations and peoples, in Kraków, Poland.
Over the past fifty years, Dr. Sheikh Sultan has ensured very close, cooperative and joint relations in various fields, which indicate his elite position among Arab and international presidential and official institutions, including for his great efforts and contributions in several cultural, artistic, educational, diplomatic domains and others.
The Ruler of Sharjah has received numerous orders, medals and shields from several countries, including many local high-level medals such as the First Class Order of Zayed II; Zayed Medal for The President Merit Award for Culture, Arts and Literature, Abu Dhabi, and the Mother of the Nation Order, in the humanitarian, community and cultural fields on the domestic level and the wider world.
He has also received several medals from other countries including: The Republican Order for supporting the collaboration between the Republic of Tunisia and the UAE, Tunisia, on 27th March, 1975.
The Order of Leopold Highest Belgian Award.
The Sudanese Republican Sash of Honour for his and the UAE’s efforts to support Sudan.
The Gold Trophy, the Arab League Educational Science and Culture Organisation (ALESCO), Tunis.
The Human Rights Medal, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), for his support to the education of deprived children in Paris, France.
The Distinguished Personality of the Year; Al Qareen 10th Cultural Festival in recognition of his distinctive role in enriching theatre in the Arab world, from Kuwait.
The Medal of Merit in Work, Yerevan, Armenia, on 19th September, 2005.
The Medal of the Academy as an appreciation for supporting the cooperation between Arab and Portugal from the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon, Portugal.
The Order of the Arab Organisation for Education, First Class, for his support to the educational and cultural process in the UAE, from Sharjah, UAE.
The Ruler of Sharjah also received many shields from several Arab countries.
WAM/ Hazem Hussein