Sharjah, which was recognized by UNICEF as a “child-friendly” city is now paving the way for the rest of the emirates in the country in a field that has and will always be close to one of the emirate’s leaders, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, the youngest daughter of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
Sharjah: One of the World’s Most Creative Cities, Study Says
Under the leadership of Sheikha Al Qasimi, Sharjah has been grouped with top cities with enchanting aesthetics such as Mexico City, Belgrade, Dakar and Bangkok, as shared in a report by the BBC.
Having been trained herself as an artist and a curator at Slade School in London, the Emirati royalty has brought new life to Sharjah’s arts scene.
Traditionally, when we think of an artist’s ultimate destination, it has always either been London, New York and Paris, but according to experts this trend is changing and lesser known cities are slowly emerging as new generation cultural hubs.
In relation to emerging trends and innovative approaches, sustainability and conscious design are the city’s trump cards, and Sharjah aims to eliminate landfill by 2020.
Furthermore, the city is making a name for itself as the place in the UAE for creativity and a cutting-edge cultural agenda with events such as the Sharjah Biennial for contemporary arts, a newly launched graphic-design biennial, and the Islamic Arts Festival.
The Sharjah Art Foundation, which was established by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, is a centre for contemporary art in the region. Activities hosted by the foundation include the Biennial, a film festival, funding for local and international artist residencies, an experimental film festival, artist studios and the Al Noor art island.
Of note, Al Rawi – a newly opened bookshop, restaurant, and creative space designed by Pallavi Dean – has become a famous contemporary hub for the city’s design community.
According to the academic, Richard Florida’s book – The New Urban Crisis – claimed that the big international art cities had become victims of their own successes, with huge inequality reaching its peaks, perversely, in the most liberal and creative areas. While, the international art map is changing and becoming more diverse, and a new generation of cultural hubs is emerging, well away from global financial centres, property developers and blue-chip art curators.