Sheraa Entrepreneurship Hub – Sharjah

The University of Sharjah's second Sheraa Entrepreneurship Hub appeals to a wide demographic with its broad range of work scenarios and support spaces to aid success in an incubator environment.

  • Client Sheraa Entrepreneurship Center,
  • size 2,690 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Location Sharjah, United Arab Emirates,
  • Industry Consulting / Business Services,
  • Roar were tasked with the design for the Sheraa Entrepreneurship Hub located at the University of Sharjah in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

    This is the second entrepreneurship hub completed by Roar under the ‘Sheraa’ banner in Sharjah. The first was at the American University of Sharjah which opened in 2016 and has proved a huge success in bridging the gap between academia and the business world. The new Sheraa recreates the concept at a neighboring institution, the University of Sharjah. It is not just a cookie-cutter replica, but raises the bar with new design features taking the concept to the next level.

    The brief was to create a space to help Sheraa deliver on its mission: “to unleash a generation of entrepreneurs who will build a better future for our societies and beyond.” In practice, that meant creating a magnet for people: students, faculty, investors, government officials, entrepreneurs – all the characters who make up the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Sheraa had to appeal to both teenage millennial students as well as to those funding the ideas which is a very diverse group of people.

    Functionally, the space had to be flexible, to accommodate a broad range of work scenarios. There are deep work spaces where people need calm and quiet to work alone. There are other areas where relaxed and informal social spaces for spontaneous collaboration are key. There are also a vast spectrum of meeting rooms from large ‘town hall’ presentations for a hundred people to private negotiations on contracts between lawyers and bankers.

    Sheraa means ‘sail’ in Arabic, so Roar developed a design story around the idea of the entrepreneur’s journey. The point of the space is to help them navigate the twists and turns along the way: from the inception/ incubator phase, through accelerator/mentorship and onto commercial success. From a space-planning perspective, Sheraa Hub provides areas to support all of these crucial steps. Aesthetically, the ‘sail’ narrative crops up throughout the space in a subtle, abstracted way – such as the wave graphic on the lockers. The abstract movement is created with pattern and color in the Tarkett floor.

    Design Team: Pallavi Dean, Marcela Munoz
    Photography: PVA Photography