Photographs, Images and Pictures of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the UAE
Things not to photograph in Dubai and UAE: airports, army and military buildings and areas, palaces belonging to rulers (and probably 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 sure about government offices but if you want to err on the side of caution, avoid them also.
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 / showrooms in the same area.
Tips for taking photographs in Dubai and UAE
These tips are for photographers using pocket cameras. We expect professional photographers know this stuff (and much more) already.
- Winter is much better than summer for taking photographs outdoors in Dubai and the UAE - there is much less haze and dust. The summer heat and humidity is not so good for photographic equipment (as well as being unpleasant for the photographer) although early mornings can often be tolerable enough.
- Mornings are much better than afternoons or evenings for reduced interference from haze and dust in the UAE.
Dubai photo websites
There are a number of websites with excellent 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):
- abudhabidailyphoto.blogspot.com - Adu Dhabi Daily photos, just like Dubai Daily Photos blog, but for AbuDhabi (offline? Try auhgal.blogspot.com?)
- www.cimx.de/panoramen/dubai/ - a handful of 360 panoramic images of Dubai - click on one and use mouse to spin it around and get dizzy. Clever. Can you see your toes?
- www.cedricdelsaux.com - The Dark Lens - The Dubai Invasion. Collection of photos of Dubai with a Star Wars theme. Brilliant! Spot the Star Wars characters and machinery in each one. By Cédric Delsaux, displayed in The Empty Quarter art gallery at DIFC from 08-31 December 2009. Website is awkward to navigate though. Choose language, click on the forward (>) button a few times (4 when we last checked) to get a list of works, then click on The Dark Lens heading to get thumbnails of his photos. Many other websites have copies of his images in an easier to navigate format. Unknown if with M. Delsaux's permission or not.
- www.dubai-fotos.de -
superb photographs and images of a variety of subjects
- www.dubaiasitusedtobe.com -
has a collection of links to pages with old photos of Dubai. Fascinating.
- dubaidailyphoto.blogspot.com - Dubai Daily Photos - blog with a new photo of Dubai every day (stopped August 2007?).
- imresolt.blogspot.com - Imre Solt construction photos of Dubai, a decent collection. There's also a website at www.imredubai.com but inexplicably, is blocked in the UAE.
- martin.becka.pagesperso-orange.fr - must be the coolest collection of Dubai photos we've ever seen, well, except for maybe the Star Wars ones. Photos use a technique called Waxed Paper Negative (no, we don't know what it is either, but we're looking for the WPN setting on our digital cameras). To find them, navigate to Photographies >> Dubai pos.
- www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow/dubaimain -
Brian McMorrow - great collection of online Dubai photo albums.
- www.picturedubai.com - our Dubai and UAE photo collections
- rakphotoblog.blogspot.com - Ras Al Khaima (RAK) daily photos (roughly), started in July 2009?
- www.theemptyquarter.com - The Empty Quarter art gallery website, with images of past and present photographic exhibitions.
And of course you can always search for Dubai pictures on the Google
image search at images.google.com, or www.gettyimages.com (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
- American University of Sharjah (AUS) Photography Club - club for American University Sharjah students and teachers
- Arab Photographers' Union - more of a press / journalist club than amateur photography society (APU HQ is at the Dubai Press Club)
- DWTC Photography - club for members of the Dubai World Trade Center
- Emirates Photography Club - might mean Emirates Airlines Photo Club, or one of the UAE Photo Clubs (one English, one Arabic)
- Emirates Airlines / Emirates Group Photography Club (EGPC)
- Lightform International Filipino Photographers Guild (LIFPG) (LFPG) - Filipino photography club in Abu Dhabi
- Lightsource Filipino Photographers - Filipino photography club in Abu Dhabi
- UAE Photo - online photo and camera club with large readership (website in English) - the best place to start for English speaking visitors and residents interested in photography
- UAE Photography Club, Sharjah
- UAE Photos - another online photography club, in Arabic this time
- UOWD Photography Club - club for University of Wollongong Dubai students and lecturers
UAE Universities and UAE colleges are often likely to have some sort of photography and camera club, also some of the schools in the UAE but usually for students and staff.
Be careful taking photos in the UAE ...
- 07 May 2012 - 7 Days reported 3 people were arrested, spent a night in jail, and fined AED 200 each, for taking photos of foreign embassies in Abu Dhabi. The court case was on 06 May 2012, and one of the cases dated back 3 months. At the time of the arrest, the detainees had their passports and cameras confiscated, meaning they were stuck in the UAE waiting for their case to come up. The husband of one of the photographers was included in the suspect list (and also spent a night in jail), even though he apparently did not take any photos. The report said It is illegal in the UAE to photograph embassies.