Sharjah is the Emirate closest to Dubai. Of course, a border is a border and Dubai borders other Emirates, but residential buildings in Dubai are a stone’s throw away from those in Sharjah (just the other side of the airport). The two Emirates truly are neighbours.
But, despite the close proximity, there is a visible, physical difference between the two. Using government structures as an example, many in Dubai have been designed in a minimalist manner. Facades are flat and many have elements clearly inspired by sail and sea. Sharjah’s government buildings use domes and calligraphy, are beige/sand in colour, and are a real contrast to those in Dubai.
Every two years Sharjah hosts the aptly named Sharjah Biennale. Artists are invited from all over the world to display work based on a theme, the 2015 theme was The past, the present, the possible.
For more information on either exhibiting or just visiting, visit http://www.sharjahart.org/