Tuesday, March 04, 2014

SANDTASTIC: A Visit to World’s Largest Sand Sculpture park in Kuwait

Me n my IWIK-ian friends decided to spend some quality time together and what can be better then visiting the world’s largest sand sculpture festival held at Kuwait International Fairgrounds Mishref. Amazingly craved sandy models attract the eyes of visitors at the Remal International Festival. 73 of the world’s best sand artists and sculptors from different countries have managed to wonderfully turn the imagination of the novel "One Thousand and One Nights" into palpable reality seen by visitors. Eye-catching sandy shapes are mixed with basic natural elements involving sand, air, water and fire through the effects that add magnificence and grandeur to craved models at the sand park. Remal International Festival is organized by P2BK( Proud to be Kuwaiti Organization).

We did not expect to see such a marvelous and breathtaking creation. None of us had seen such amazing work before and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  The project took 30,000 tons of sand covering an area of 28,000 square meters or around the size of four soccer fields. This project includes a 10,000 ton central sculpture more than 50 feet tall and 2,500 linear feet of 10-foot walls constructed of carved sand. About 1 million Kuwaiti dinars was spent in constructing this World’s largest sand sculptures. The sculptures are beautifully carved and given special light effects according to its theme. The stories are also displayed beside the sculptures. Watching these sculptures and reading these stories takes us back to the great old days of storytelling , fantasy and beauty. The Arabian Night stories are some of the world’s great treasures. If you have been fascinated by the 1001 Arabian Nights legend or remember the days of “Alif Laila” then you know how mesmerizing and indulging this theme could be. Arabian Nights is a theme set to take you back to the times of Aladdin, magic lamps and genies, Sinbad the sailor, and Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.  It was a great experience watching and admiring these sculptures and it looked like a journey into Arabia. The sand sculptures bring to life the characters of the Arabian Nights stories. The stories “The Rooster n the Fox”, “The Fish n the Crab”, “The Woolf n the Fox”, “The Ox n the Mule”, “The Bird n the Beasts”, “The Prince Ahmad n the Fairy Bano”, “The Queen of the Serpents”, “The Third Calendar,Son of a King”, “The Shipwrecked Woman n her Child”, “The Sisters who were changed to Dogs”, “The City of Brass”, “The Three Apples”, “The Death n the Rich King”, “The Man Who stole the dish of Gold”,” The Little Hunchback”, “Sculptors Showcase”, “The Fisherman n the Genie”, “The Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince”, “Ali Baba n the Forty Thieves”, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” and Sinbad’s all  the Seven Voyages are beautifully and in detailed manner crafted in sand. The Magical Garden is another stunning and breathtaking creation….. nothing like it in the Arab world. The project has used an array of lights and special effects from Germany and Dubai. All of us felt that the world's largest sand sculpture depicting the stories of the 1001 Arabian Knights in Kuwait is truly a celebration of sand and lights. The "1001 Arabian Nights" have never been told like this anywhere but only in Kuwait. Never before have sand sculptures been made in such detail anywhere. The  Sand Sculpture Company feels  proud to have created these sculptures and is grateful for the opportunity. It took them two months to create this magic. The  Sand Sculpture Company is a full-time professional display company that specializes in creating custom sand sculptures and sandcastles for all types of events worldwide. The art of sand sculpting is a unique promotion of "artists in action"; one that is intriguing to all ages. The company is recognized for their ability to create original displays from changing ordinary to extraordinary. The Sand Sculpture Co. recently agreed to a five-year deal with Gulf Technology in Kuwait for an annual sculpture park aimed at putting Kuwait atop the sand sculpture world.

Apart from the super impressive and marvelous sand sculptures you will find dwarfs, the festival elves and the fire dancers who will make your visit more memorable, enjoyable and captivating. For the first time in history, the story of Aladdin and the wonderful lamp and the Rooster Tales; is told in combination with sand, sculptures, sound and light effects. Don’t miss them at the festival.  Many of the characters in “1001 Arabian Nights” are mysterious and strange. But fear not if you meet them, the struzzis ,at the festival. Every day at 7pm, you can join the authorities to release lanterns into the sky.

Some of the world famous, award winning professional sand sculptors who were part of the team were Ted Siebert, Delayne Corbett, Damon Langlois , Peter Vogelaar, Bob Atisso, Denis Klein , Yousif Bakir, Ferques Mulvany, Katsuhiko Chaen, Bruce Philips, Bouke Atema, Nikolay Greg Jacklin, Elya Filimontsev, Nicola Wood, Sue Magrew, Andrius Petkus, Melineige Beauregard, Benjamin Probanza, Paul n Remy Hoggard, Guy-Oliver Deveau, Pedro Mira, Maksim Bespalov, Jeroen Advocaat, Gregory Grady and many more. 

If you have not visited the Sand Sculpture Festival at the Mishref grounds, do plan for it. It’s absolutely incredible, imposing and stunning. For all of us it was an astounding and amazing experience. It is a superb way to spend your day out with your family and friends. Best time to visit is around 4.30 PM, so you can see these amazing sand sculptures both in the daylight as well in the dark when they are lit up.  The sand sculptures will be on display till 26th April 2014. The festival is open 10 a.m. to 12a.m.The entry fee is 3 KD per person (above 3 yrs old). Don’t miss it. It is a once in a life time opportunity.

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