Support for the Arts. The state generously supports writers, painters, actors, and folk dancers. Sharjah is particularly active in promoting culture and was chosen by UNESCO as the Arab Cultural Capital in 1998.
Literature. The oral tradition remains strong, particularly storytelling and poetry, and most state events are accompanied by poetry readings. Written literature is increasing in popularity.
Performance Arts. Conservative elements of the society still impede women’s participation in performance arts. In 1999, the first college for theater arts opened in Sharjah. Emiratis rely on theater and television programs produced in other Arab countries.