Sharjah’s new tourist and leisure attraction - Al Noor Island - on Khalid Lagoon, which will have a floating bridge, a butterfly house and a literature pavilion, will be completed by year-end, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
“Eighty per cent of project is already finished and we are expecting to complete the island by year-end,” Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) CEO Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal said, post announcing the island’s launch at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015.
“The main idea was to minimise the construction… we have restaurants in Al Majaz and we have cultural destination at Al Qasba… so we had to come up with something that is totally different,” he told Emirates 24/7.
“How can we retain the main element… the landscaping, the natural element and diversity and at the same time get people close to something they have never been to such as the butterflies.
In fact, the island is dedicated to arts, literature, natural landscaping and to everything that will inspire people.”
The ticket prices for the Dh80-million island will be announced later, but no more than 1,000 people will be allowed to visit the island at any given time.
“What we are trying to do is to limit the number of people going to island… if we have more than 1,000 people at the same time it is really going to be very busy to enjoy the island.
The idea is taking one out of the busy city and not to put them in a busier place and that is the main concept,” Al Sarkal emphasised.
In a statement, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson, Shurooq, said: “The launch of Al Noor Island is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and well synchronised with Sharjah being selected as the capital of Arab Tourism 2015.
“The project comes as part of our commitment to develop the emirate, raise its economic and social merits and reinforces its position as a leading cultural, tourism and investment destination in the region that serves the ambition of its residents and visitors and meets their interests,” she said.
The island, which covers an area of 45,470 square meters, will have a structure inspired by butterflies’ natural habitat (housing 500 butterflies), a 3,500-metre walkway (floating bridge) serving as an entrance to the island and all facilities, a literature pavilion, children’s playground and an egg-shaped OVO art sculpture.
Besides, it will also include a pontoon, seaside stage for boats that will transport visitors of Al Qasba, Al Majaz Waterfront and Heart of Sharjah from one destination to another.
Sharjah is aiming to attract 10 million visitors under its Tourism Vision 2021.