|Although Dubai is nestled along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf near the Arabian Peninsula, it is uniquely different from the southern portion of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Much of Dubai's landscape is shadowed and colored by sandy desert patterns, as opposed to gravel deserts. With fine, clean and white sand consisting mostly of crushed shell and coral, nature's palette has been most generous with this locale.
East of the city, the salt-stained sabkha (coastal plain) loses its way in a range of dunes that run from north to south. The level, barren desert rolls right up to the Hajar Mountains, which themselves run along Dubai's border with neighboring Oman. The Western portion of the Hajar range has a dry and craggy personality, with peaks rising to over 1,300 meters in some places. This alone makes for world-class scenery. The people, the culture, the amazing coexistence of the timeless with the timely - these influences join hands with nature, light and a palette of colors both bright and muted to create a unique set of portraits of near-magical beauty.
How can this natural beauty best be communicated? It would seem that an artist's eyes, combined with the wonders of the latest photographic technology, would be the best way. And so it is - the beauty of Dubai is best revealed through the majesty of photography. Even seeing the area in person can be enriched by viewing Dubai through the artist-photographer's eyes.
Dubai is a very diverse and multicultural city to visit. This makes your potential opportunities for entertainment and exploration virtually endless. There are numerous beaches to visit, as well as shopping centers, exhibitions, cinemas, restaurants and festivals. Last but not least, the views at night, and the international-class nightlife itself, are yet additional subjects for the artist's eyes.
Juxtapositions of all kinds
The dramatic juxtapositions - desert and city, old ways and new, the earth and the sky - are always in evidence in this captivating region. The old and the new meet each other throughout this land, providing rich raw material for photo exhibits, and the translation of life, and living things, into a two-dimensional art form seems almost a magical occurrence. Powerful images, of light and dark and shadow and color, resonate with all who have eyes to see.
There are also many events that take place throughout the year in Dubai. For example, January and February is the time to enjoy the Dubai Marathon, a charitable event with three types of races enabling the event to attract a wider scope of entries. There is the "fun run", which is only a 3km distance for those who have not attained first-rate fitness status, and the "over 15's" run, a 10km contest. Finally, there is the long distance race, a 50km marathon that is restricted to those 18 years and over.
Although Dubai is well known as a shopper's paradise throughout the year, the month of January is particularly good for bargain hunters. Throughout January, over two million visitors flock to Dubai for the month-long Shopping Festival, which seems to involve every shop in the city. Concerts, children's entertainment, fireworks displays and other events offer a welcome break from the regional shopping frenzy.
Life in action
These events, as much of the fabric of Dubai as the sands and skies, also speak to the world through the medium of the photograph. The sights and sounds and meaning of these cultural and social events somehow inhabit the pictures, as if the photographer's camera - his third eye - captures every dimension of the subject, communicating far beyond mere images. Perhaps those who can hear a picture and see a song can understand what it means to meet Dubai in a photo. It can be done, and the estimate of "1000 words" that a photo is said to be worth seems far too low. A million words or more wait to pour forth on viewing the majestic beauty of Dubai in the photographs that are taken with such love and care - and honesty.
Dubai has always been a fantastic vacation spot for the world traveler and can be especially exciting for younger individuals looking for something out of the ordinary. Dubai is a beautiful and majestic city to travel to, as can be learned from the many deeply moving portraits taken of its people and its places. For those who feel like there are no Shangri-La's left to find, who might be a bit played out in terms of places to visit, there remain a few spots in the world that are truly different and in a league of their own. This is certainly the case with Dubai, whose epic beauty and effortless grace are captured through the majesty of photography, and which invite you to see it all up close and personal, for yourself, someday soon.
Author AlexDe Mostafa - Araman Studio is a creator of beautiful things.