Sharjah says work starts on phase 2 of Flag Island project

Tourism development will include open-air 1,000-seat amphitheatre, art gallery and shops, restaurants, and cafes

Construction work on Sharjah's new flagpole, the seventh tallest in the world.

Construction work on Sharjah's new flagpole, the seventh tallest in the world.

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, also known as Shurooq, has started work on the second phase of its Flag Island tourism development with facilities scheduled to open to the public in the first quarter of 2015.

Upon completion, the island will feature varied recreational facilities and amenities, including an open-air 1,000-seat amphitheatre, an art gallery, and a range of shops, restaurants, and cafes, Shurooq said in a statement.

Flag Island which has a diameter of 65 metres and is located near Al Khan area's hotels, central souqs and markets, also includes green spaces and parking for over 200 cars.

Shurooq said the Flag Island project is one of the fastest projects it has developed, with the first phase completed in just four weeks, including the development of the island and the construction of the flagpole.

The second phase is scheduled for completion in 9-12 months, it said.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, chairperson of Shurooq, said: "We are planning to position the Flag Island as one of the must-visit tourist, cultural and art destinations on the Emirate and UAE's tourist map, as the island is home to a national symbol represented by the flagpole on which the UAE flag is flying, in addition to the permanent exhibition of the union's achievements, the quality of new facilities we are going to develop, and the cultural, art and national activities which will be hosted in the island throughout the year."

Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi, chairman of the Department of Public Works, added: "We are constantly striving to be part of a development process that aims to meet the future needs of the Emirate's residents and visitors.

"Flag Island is one of the destinations that drew a great deal of attention since its opening in 2012. The second phase will provide more facilities to enable the destination attract visitors and instill the national values into their hearts".

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah, opened the first phase of Flag Island in December 2012 during the celebrations of the UAE's 41st National Day.

The 123 metre-high flagpole on Flag Island is considered to be the world's 7th tallest flagpole and is the centrepiece of the tourist attraction.

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