Sunday 21 July 2024 (UAE)

Dubai Abu Dhabi UAE photos, pictures, and images

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Photographs, Images and Pictures of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the UAE

Things not to photograph in Dubai and UAE: aircraft (OK at airshows and exhibitions), airports, army and military buildings and areas, palaces belonging to rulers (and probably houses belonging to anyone else with more wasta than you), consulates and embassies, police stations, military buildings, people without their permission (especially women and especially Emirati women), sea ports. We're not certain about government offices but we'd avoid them also. Even photographing hotels in Abu Dhabi seems to attract attention from the police according to some anecdotal stories. And just to overstate the obvious, don't take photos of signs which say "Photography not permitted" (or similar). At least one tourist has ended up in jail for doing that.

The Empty Quarter deserves a mention we think. It's an art gallery in Dubai specialising in fine art photographs. Not always of Dubai or the UAE, but sometimes. Location is in the DIFC Gate Village. Definitely worth a visit if you like that sort of thing. And there is a handful of other art galleries and showrooms in the same area.

Tips for taking photographs in Dubai and UAE

Most photographers will probably know this stuff anyway but a few basic things ...

Dubai photo websites

There are many websites with good photos of Dubai (or claiming to have the best photos of Dubai). One common subject is architecture photos of Dubai - the city is a bit of a showcase for fascinating and unusual designs (including a twisted tower under development in 2006, Zaha Hadid's Dancing Towers, and the Dubai Opera House).

Some Dubai photo websites with photographs of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other emirates in the UAE are (links open in a new window):

And of course you can always search for Dubai pictures on the Google image search at, or (one of the largest and well known image banks for stock photographs worldwide, if not the largest).

Photography and Camera Clubs and societies in the UAE

UAE universities and UAE colleges often have some sort of photography and camera club, also some of the schools in the UAE, but usually only for students and staff.

Warning, be careful taking photos in the UAE ...

Don't make the mistake of assuming you can take photos of whatever you like in the UAE and talk your way out of it if you get caught. Planespotters especially seem to be at risk of detention, and birdwatchers should also tread carefully. The UK Foreign Office warns tourists that "Hobbies like bird watching and plane spotting, may be misunderstood ..."

Ambassadors and Consul-Generals taking photos of their own embassies or consulates are probably ok; and diplomatic immunity should protect them if taking photos of mission buildings belonging to other countries.

The penalty for taking illegal photos in the UAE is reportedly a fine of up to AED 5,000, and/or a prison sentence of 1-3 months [not confirmed]. Minimum fine is apparently AED 500 but one case was reported in 2011 in which the defendant was fined AED 300.

Some examples ...

Last update Friday 13-Mar-2015
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