Normally the sentence "we need to drive to Sharjah" ensues panic from the whole family as we envision the lanes upon lanes of bumper to bumper traffic ahead of us. But on a hot summer afternoon in Dubai, we are totally relaxed about making this journey because one of the benefits of braving a Dubai summer means much less traffic! Score one for Dubai summers. Without any trepidation, the boys and I jumped in the car and happily headed to the very new art installation, The Sharjah Rain Room.
The Sharjah Rain room is a permanent installation brought to the Middle East by the Sharjah Art Foundation. It is located in Al Mujarrah with lots of free road parking available (at least I think it was free, sometimes its hard to tell.) Situated amongst many Arabic style buildings, a single storey, modern, concrete and glass structure quietly sits. The Rain Room! My kids had not shown much interest in where I was taking them until they saw the exterior of the building. They immediately chimed in with "this is it? Oh cool! We thought this was going to be an old museum (inferring boring)." So apparently modern architecture appeals to them :-)
The interior of the building is just as modern with high concrete walls leading you down a corridor to the entrance of the rain room. Making your way to the entrance, you can hear the sound of rain getting louder and louder. It's pretty exciting. And then, not knowing what to expect, you enter. It literally is a room of falling rain. Walking through the night setting of pouring rain, sensors are triggered, and the rain stops around your silhouette allowing you to stay dry (you will feel some raindrops.) The perfect combination of art meets technology. So so cool! I loved it and the kids loved it. What more could you ask for on a hot summer afternoon in Dubai.
You are allowed to enter in fifteen-minute intervals so call ahead to make sure they have spaces available. The fifteen-minute time slot was a bit of a negative for me as I would have loved longer to play with my camera, photographing the boys. If you love taking photographs then you must take your camera here. And if you have teens, they will want the photos for their instagram :-) The falling rain gives you the perfect opportunity to play with fast and slow shutter speed. I'm just a beginner photographer so I did not get great photographs. It means I will be returning again soon!
Playing with Shutter Speed
I love love love taking photographs but still struggle at a beginner level. Here are a few websites to help give a few pointers on how to adjust your shutter speed to capture falling rain.
If you would like to capture interesting photos in the rain with your phone, this article has good tips.