#SeeSharjah Photography Award


Capture the Essence of Sharjah: A Photography Contest.

Welcome to the ‘Capture the Essence of Sharjah’ photography contest. Sharjah, a land of rich heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, provides endless opportunities for captivating images.

We invite photographers of all levels to submit their best shots that encapsulate Sharjah’s beauty, culture, and spirit. Whether it’s the mesmerizing skyline, traditional souks, historical landmarks, or the people of Sharjah, your photographs should tell a compelling story about this unique Emirate.

Submission Categories:

  1. Urban Landscapes: 
  2. Cultural Heritage:
  3. Nature & Scenic Beauty: 
  4. People & Daily Life: 

Submission Guidelines:

  • Each participant can submit up to 10 photographs.
  • Photos must have been taken in Sharjah, UAE territory, within the past two years.
  • Submissions can be in JPG format, but High-resolution images must be available. 
  • Image titles and captions should be in the English Language
  • Captions should provide a brief description for each photo, explaining its significance.
    Location where image taken is required. This means the town or city or nearest town within the emirate of Sharjah.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share your vision of Sharjah with the world. Submit your entries and participate in this visual celebration of Sharjah’s beauty and culture. Your work could be featured at the upcoming Xposure International Photography & Film Festival!”


Who may enter?
This competition is FREE to enter and open to all nationalities over 18. 

How to enter
All images must be submitted through our online awards platform at XPOSURE AWARDS. The images should be suitable for public display, printing, and publication in the Xposure Year Book. The JPG file format should be used, and the preferred resolution is 300 dpi and preferably in a ratio of 3:2. IMPORTANT: Image filenames for upload should only use regular Western characters & numbers. Special characters or symbols may prevent a successful upload.

More detail for photo submissions

  • The preferred image size should be 5,000 pixels on the longer dimension. We accept images not captured at this resolution as long as they are over 2,700 pixels on the long dimension. (check for alternative variations in category descriptions) For more information on electronic submission guidelines, please see our FAQ.
  • To enter electronically, you must first register online. Once the registration process has been completed, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. Log into the competition and follow the instructions to upload images from your computer. Digital images should have a long dimension of at minimum 2,700 pixels and be saved at 300 dpi as a jpg file.  We can accept images up to 7 megabytes uncompressed if you cannot downsize the pictures. (Uncompressed means the size you see in Photoshop’s “Image Size” display, representing the number of pixels in the image. It is not the file size on your computer’s hard drive viewable on your desktop.) Images may be colour profiled in sRGB, Adobe-1998, or not colour-managed.
  • You may enter up to ten (10) images per user distributed in any ratio across the #SeeSharjah award sub-categories. Each entry must be allocated to the category selected from the drop-down selection box (see categories). Only one image may be uploaded at a time to enable entrants to submit across multiple categories.
  • Your photographs must have been taken or produced in the past 2-years to qualify.
  • A Photo entry consists of one photo and the completed Title, Caption, and Place Taken. 
  • Each submitted photograph must be a single work of original material taken by the competition entrant. By entering the contest, the entrant represents, acknowledges, and warrants that he or she has full power and authority to enter the photograph and that the photograph does not infringe any copyright or violate any other intellectual property rights. The entrant agrees to indemnify Sharjah Government Media Bureau from any third-party claims arising from the photograph.
  • Unless in a category specifically designed for photo manipulation, entries should not include adding or removing content or staging a photograph to mislead the viewer. Adjustments of levels, colour, contrast, and brightness are permitted.
  • Photographs that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted if they do not constitute copyright infringement or fraud, provided that entrants are prepared to submit a release form as described below in “Third Party Releases/Licenses.” When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close-up of another person’s art.
  • Photographs with a watermark or name that is not part of the original image capture will be disqualified.
  • The nominated finalists will be notified and asked to submit High-Resolution TIFF and RAW files. These files will be used for verification before the winners are announced.
  • The entries will be judged according to the Judging Criteria defined in the judging and awards. In the sole and unfettered discretion of the Sponsors, the photograph must not contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Photographs deemed inappropriate will be disqualified without notice.
  • Online entries must be made by a user registered online using the xposure awards platform and by the authorised account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorised account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, internet domain owner, or other person or organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.


To help you understand #SeeSharjah sub-categories, we have provided a summary description of each below.

  • Urban Landscapes:

    • Description: This sub-category invites photographers to showcase the contemporary urban environment of Sharjah. It’s all about capturing the modern marvels, architectural wonders, skyscrapers, and cityscapes that define the city. From sleek, futuristic structures to the bustling streets of Sharjah, this category celebrates the dynamic and ever-evolving urban landscape of the city.

  • Cultural Heritage:

    • Description: In this sub-category, photographers are encouraged to delve into Sharjah’s rich cultural heritage. It’s an opportunity to explore and document the historical sites, museums, and traditional events that embody the city’s heritage. From ancient architecture to traditional festivals and ceremonies, this category seeks to preserve and honour the cultural traditions that make Sharjah unique.

  • Nature & Scenic Beauty:

    • Description: Nature enthusiasts will find their canvas in this sub-category. It explores Sharjah’s natural wonders, from its pristine beaches to the captivating desert landscapes. Photographers can capture the scenic beauty of the city’s diverse natural environments, including its unique flora and fauna. This category celebrates the harmony between urban life and stunning natural surroundings.

  • People & Daily Life:

    • Description: The heartbeat of any city lies in its people and their daily lives. This sub-category encourages photographers to capture the moments, faces, and stories of Sharjah’s diverse population. Whether it’s candid street photography, intimate portraits, or scenes of daily routines, this category reflects the human side of the city, telling the stories of its residents and their experiences.


Judging Entries

The judging panel seeks to select a category winner and runner-up in the #SeeSharjah contest: these will be the best pictures chosen from all the different sub-categories based on score. Additionally, all photographers nominated in each sub-category will showcase their work in a gallery at the next Xposure festival.

The judges will confer the following recognitions in each sub-category:

  • 1x Winner
  • 1x Runner Up
  • 5x Certificate of Merit

The Winner and Runner-up in each sub-category will receive an invitation to the prestigious Xposure Festival Awards Ceremony.

In addition, there will be an overall #SeeSharjah category winner, who will receive a $3000 cash prize.

The moderators will screen all submitted images to ensure no offensive or culturally sensitive material is presented to the Jury. Submissions will either be approved or rejected at this stage. Any offensive or incorrectly categorised entries will be removed from the competition without notice.

Judging Procedure
Round One – Entries will be judged on artistic merit and overall impact
Round Two – Entries will be judged on the composition, technical quality, and effectiveness of expressing the category theme.

Round One Process

The VIP jury (the “Judges”) will independently review each entry and apply a credit rating on the basis of Overall Impact and Artistic Merit. The collective credit ratings from this process form the round one score.

Short List Round One

The 50 highest ranked images in each category will go forward to round two. In the case that two or more images are in ranking position 50 all those images with the equal 50th point score will go ahead into round two.

Round Two Process

In Round Two the judges will apply a credit rating on the basis of Photographic / Technical Quality, Image Composition, and Effectiveness in expressing the category theme.

The Judges individually consider the three aspects (criteria) for each image and allocate credits on each element. The collective scores will determine the ranking. Should one or more images be placed equally in ranking 1, there shall be a final “Tie-Break” round of judging.

Tie-Break Process

If a tie-break is required, the judges will consider the respective images once again based on the criteria of Originality. The Judges will apply a credit rating of 1 to 6 in the Tie Break process. Decisions of the Judges are final and binding.



Publication of Winning & Nominated Images
Images will be on exhibition at the annual festival and published on the “Xposure Awards” official website.

Rights Reserved Sponsors reserve the right not to award all prizes in the event an insufficient number of eligible entries meeting the minimum judging criteria are received, as determined by Organisers and Judges in their sole discretion.

Entrant Licenses & Releases
If the photograph contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and or which are subject to the rights of third parties, or any persons appearing in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, before submission of the photo. Any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner outlined in these Official Rules without additional compensation.

Third-Party Licenses & Releases 
Copyright holders retain the copyright of their work. For the award, nominated and shortlisted pictures, copyright holders grant the organizers unlimited, non-exclusive use of high-resolution images for activities promoting Sharjah and Xposure in all media. Awarded images will be published in the Xposure Yearbook and the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) Public Archive.

Limitation of Liability 
By participating, entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless Sharjah Government Media Bureau, and each of their respective partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Contest or any Contest-related activities and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder.

Organizers and Sponsors assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorised access to Contest entries or entry forms; Organizers are not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, online computer systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Contest.

Conditions This Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations of the United Arab Emirate. Certain restrictions may apply. Entries void if the Sponsor determines the entry to not be an original, or if the entries are illegible, incomplete, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error, or obtained through fraud or theft.

Participants also agree (a) to be bound by these Official Rules; (b) that the decisions of the Judges are final on all matters relating to the Contest; and (c) if he/she wins that Organiser / Sponsor may use each winner’s name, photograph, likeness, and/or voice in any publicity or advertising relating to the Contest or future promotions without compensation or approval. Any International state and local taxes, fees, and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize winners. If the selected winner(s) of any prize are/is ineligible or refuses the prize, the prize will be forfeited and Organisers, in their sole discretion, may choose whether to award the prize to another entrant.

Prizes that are formed as Educational Programs or Workshops are only available on the date and time specified in the general entry information. Any other physical prizes of any type that may be awarded by sponsors or organizers, shall be collected at the Award Ceremony only.

Right to Cancel or Suspend If for any reason the Scholarship is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Organisers that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest.