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The house in the Al Shuwaiheen neighbourhood was built around 1845, and owned by the merchant Obaid Bin Hamad Al Shamsi. Around a large courtyard there are 13 rooms on the ground floor and 3 more on the upper floor. Particularly interesting are the two rooms on the roof that face the creek, connected by a terrace. Their five long windows are framed with equally wide panels and decorated with charcoal-stained floral motifs.
Like many heritage houses in the area, Bait Obaid Al Shamsi was inhabited until the 1970s. In 1997, the building complex was partially restored, and a another restoration took place in 2017-2018.
The building complex can be accessed through three entrances: from Corniche Street at the creek side, from the street in front of the Sharjah Art Museum, and through a narrow passage way from the Arts Square.
Bait Obaid Al Shamsi serves as a venue for contemporary art exhibitions and events, artist studios and residencies. Beginning with SB9 in 2009, it is used by the Sharjah Biennial as a temporary exhibition venue.
© Text based on information by the Sharjah Art Foundation and Heart of Sharjah.
© Photos: Universes in Universe, unless otherwise indicated
Main institution for contemporary arts, organizer of the Biennial and other world class events.
March - June 2022. Curators: Okwui Enwezor, Hoor Al Qasimi. Theme: Thinking Historically in the Present, conceived by late Enwezor.