The Flying Saucer, Sharjah Art Foundation‘s newest art venue in Sharjah, UAE, is the talk of the town since reopening in September 2020. The structure itself, built in the late 1970s, has lived through decades of renovations by its various owners—from a cafe to a pharmacy and, most recently, to a fast-food restaurant—while its architectural spirit has remained a cherished thread in the local cultural fabric.
I recently wrote an article on the Flying Saucer to celebrate this event, entitled Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer, for Global Art Daily, an online publication on contemporary art. In it, I discuss the building’s enigmatic history and its significance within Sharjah Art Foundation’s network of venues around the emirate. Having written my undergraduate thesis on the foundation’s history and spatial expansion over the decades, I enjoyed thinking about the future, rather than the past, of the local art scene and how I foresee it unfolding with each new art venue that joins the scene.
So, I’d love to know: does the Flying Saucer bear any personal significance to you or your community? If you’ve been to Sharjah or grew up nearby, what does the building mean to you? Did you get to visit it in one of its many previous forms? Feel free to share your memories with the Flying Saucer and your thoughts on the current space in the comments below.