Never seen photos of founding father unveiled at WGS
Shukla is a renowned photographer in the UAE and has been taking photos of the royals since 1968, even before the UAE was formed.
Several unseen photographs of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the UAE, were exhibited by royal photographer Ramesh Shukla, at the World Government Summit (WGS) 2018.
During the summit, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, took a tour of Shukla's photography exhibition. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, also took a tour of the exhibition on the second day of the summit.
Shukla is a renowned photographer in the UAE and has been taking photos of the royals since 1968, even before the UAE was formed. He has released several unpublished photographs of Sheikh Zayed from his collection in the past. However, he told Khaleej Times that the public has seen only five per cent of the collection.
The photos include shots of Sheikh Zayed dancing at the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum's wedding, portraits of Sheikh Zayed, and some of him enjoying his tea. "It would take 10 days to go through all of the photographs I have," Shukla told Khaleej Times.
"These photographs are part of a history and I love history. I used to ride my cycle all the way to Sharjah to take these photos," Shukla said, while pointing to a still he captured of Sheikh Zayed when he was walking in Sharjah. "He was a very humble and simple man. I loved taking his photographs."
Shukla was in his mid-20s when he started his photography career in the UAE. He would often take autographs of Sheikh Zayed on the photographs he used to take of him. "His dreams of forming the UAE came true and I captured him while that was happening," he said. "In these photos, you can see the real lifestyle of Dubai. He would dance a lot in all royal weddings. It was very simple settings back then," he said.
One of his photographs of Sheikh Zayed was also chosen as the picture in a UAE stamp.
Shukla said he feels honoured that his work gets displayed in the UAE and worldwide. He said he spent his entire life doing photography and his legacy lives through exhibitions.
"At this age of 86, I get so much happiness that my work gets displayed everywhere and my legacy gets shown at exhibitions and museums," he said.
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