Dubai-based photographers on capturing the best of the city

The landscape and portrait shutterbugs reveal their top spots for taking photos

by

Husain Rizvi

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Published: Sun 12 Nov 2023, 4:41 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 12:27 PM

Dubai is not only the best city to live in, but also, with its stunning skyline, architectural marvels, and a blend of modernity and tradition, stands out as a top destination for photographers seeking diverse and captivating subjects.

Be it the iconic Downtown or Marina skylines, Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, and other towering structures, or the vast Arabian Desert and its mesmerising dunes, especially during sunrise or sunset.

We got in touch with photographers in Dubai, who make a living out of capturing landscapes or faces, and found out what draws them to the camera, and their favourite spots across the city.

"I am drawn to photography as a medium that transcends words," said Raihan Hamid, a Dubai-based photographer, whose expertise lies in capturing the best of city's towering skylines. He added: "With each shot, I embark on a quest to freeze fragments of time, encapsulating emotions and stories within the confines of a frame. It’s not just about taking pictures, it’s about crafting visual tales that resonate and endure."

Raihan's click of Burj Khalifa during New Year's fireworks from Address Downtown
Raihan's click of Burj Khalifa during New Year's fireworks from Address Downtown

For Raihan, The Address Downtown stands as the ultimate hotspot, especially because it offers the best views to capture the spectacular New Year's fireworks in Dubai, which is set to arrive soon. "This vantage point provides an unparalleled view for this grand celebration on the iconic Burj Khalifa," he said, adding, "It’s important to note, however, that access to this location is highly restricted, reserved for individuals with specific permits and access cards, as it is closely guarded for the big night’s festivities."

As is the case for the rooftop at Gevora Hotel in Downtown, the world's tallest hotel. "Its rooftop offers the prime location for capturing the enchanting early morning winter fog," Raihan said.

The view from Shangri-La Hotel offers a stunning view of SZR and Downtown Dubai
The view from Shangri-La Hotel offers a stunning view of SZR and Downtown Dubai

Another popular rooftop for Dubai's photography community is the one at Shangri-La Hotel in Downtown. From here, Raihan said, "photographers can capture a stunning, futuristic cityscape featuring the prominent Burj Khalifa as a striking centrepiece within the frame."

Raihan also found a "unique vantage point" to capture the stunning Museum of the Future, one of Dubai's latest architectural marvels. The photo was captured from a point situated behind the museum, with some water reflections in play.

Museum of the Future
Museum of the Future

While the city has one of the best skylines of the world, it is no less on cultural richness. The historic Al Fahidi and Al Seef districts boast the best of UAE's traditional architecture. The bustling souks provide a glimpse into the city's heritage, offering photographers the fusion of old and new, creating a narrative of cultural diversity.

Rohit Sulakhe, another Dubai-based photographer, specialises in portrait photography. His favourite spot? The iconic Al Seef district.

There, he has taken more than a hundred photos, filmed over 15 cinematic videos and films, and yet, the site remains his best because with every capture, a unique charm remains in his eyes as well as his audiences.

Rohit has captured more than 100 photos, and filmed over 15 cinematic videos and films at the historic Al Seef district in Dubai
Rohit has captured more than 100 photos, and filmed over 15 cinematic videos and films at the historic Al Seef district in Dubai

"I have explored a vast variety of locations in the UAE only to realise that Al Seef has and always will be my favourite," Rohit said. "The colours and frames and the heritage structures add life to my already interesting clients, creating breathtaking results. Regardless of the theme of the shoot being traditional or western, Al Seef has allowed for my creative vision to flow freely."

For Rohit, photography is everything but just a "click of a button and perhaps some framing, lighting and basic other composition requirements."

"Anybody can press buttons and achieve framing," he said. "But it takes a connection to enable capturing the true soul of a moment and making it special.

"Luckily, the new obsession everyone has with the golden hour makes that so much easier for me. It is a magical time of the day that translates into the photos and videos then."

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