A FREE to enter photography contest specifically designed for employees of the Sharjah Government residing in the United Arab Emirates. Photographers of all experience are eligible to enter provided that they are currently a Sharjah Government employee.

The Jury is looking for unique, exceptional and high-quality images.

For this open category, there will be:
1 Winner
1 Runner-up
5 Additional Nominated Entries

Prizes & Benefits
Category Winners – $3,000 (USD) / digital imaging equipment / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / invitation to the award ceremony

Category Runner-up – $1,500 (USD) / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / invitation to the award ceremony

Nominees – image displayed during the Xposure Festival

Competition Entries
EXTENDED DEADLINE  – 5th November 2022 at 23:00 GST – Gulf Standard Time (Standard Time) is (UTC +4)

* Nominees will be notified week commencing 4 December 2022 (see Awards Rules)

Who may enter?
This competition is FREE to enter and open to all employees of the Sharjah Government.

How to enter
For this award, 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

More detail for photo submissions

  • The preferred image size should be close to 5,000 pixels on the longer dimension. We accept images that were not captured at this resolution as long as they are over 2700 pixels on the long dimension. For more information on electronic submission guidelines 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. Just log into the awards platform and follow the instructions to upload images from your computer. Digital images should have a long dimension of at least 2,700 pixels and be saved at 300 dpi 28cm, or larger, as a jpeg file.  We can accept images that are up to 8 megabytes uncompressed if you cannot downsize the pictures. (Uncompressed is the size you see in Photoshop’s “Image Size” display which represents the count 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 
  • To qualify, your photographs must be taken or produced in the past 3-years.
  • An entry consists of one photo in addition to the completed Title, Caption, Place Taken and Date Taken. Titles & Captions should be in English so that the International Jury can read and understand.
  • Each submitted photograph, in its entirety, 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 and all third party claims arising from the photograph.
  • Entries should not include adding or removing content or staging a photograph to mislead the viewer. Adjustment of levels, colour, contrast and brightness are permitted.
  • Photographs that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted as long as 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 that include a watermark or name that is not part of the original image capture will be disqualified.
  • Nominated finalists will be asked to submit High-Resolution TIFF and RAW files or original native camera output files. These files will be used for verification before the final announcement of the winners.
  • The entries will be judged in accordance with the Judging Criteria, as defined in judging and awards. The photograph must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Sponsors, 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 through our 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 organisation (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.


The panel of judges is looking to award:

  • One winner
  • One runner-up
  • Five Nominees

The winner and runner-up will be invited to the Xposure Festival Awards Ceremony where the final outcome of the position will be announced.

All submitted images will be screened by the Moderators to ensure that no offensive or culturally sensitive material is presented to the Jury. Submissions will either be approved or rejected at this stage. Any offensive submissions will be removed from the competition without notice.

Judging Procedure
Round One – Entries will be judged from artistic merit and overall impact
Round Two – Entries will be judged from 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 25 highest ranked images in each category will go forward to round two. In the case that two or more images are in ranking position 25 all those images with the equal 25th 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, 2 or 3, 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.


The winner and runner-up will be invited to the Xposure Festival Awards Ceremony where the final outcome of the position will be announced.

All Prizes will be issued at the Awards Ceremony.

Sharjah Government Employee Open – (Employees of Sharjah Government)
This open category is specifically for individuals in the employment of the Sharjah Government at the time of entry and who remain in the employment of the Sharjah Government at the time of awards. Any socially accepted genre of photography is valid and the judging criteria remain similar to other categories.

Publication of Winning 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, and if any persons appear 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 awarded, nominated and shortlisted pictures, copyright holders grant the organisers unlimited, non-exclusive use of high-resolution images for activities promoting Xposure in all media. Awarded images will be published in the Xposure Yearbook and the 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.

Organisers 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;. Organisers 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 organisers, shall be collected at the Award Ceremony.

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.