F9 at 1/200, Bur Dubai – any of you that may have been there will surely have travelled across the Creek, in the same way it’s been done for 50 years, on an abra, one dirham will get you safely across.
One more door, as the launch of my book and the Emirates Literature Festival is literally days away now…
As my book – Doors of Al Ain is nearing publication, here is a new image from Al Ain – see me at Emirates Literature Festival in March, I am so thrilled that they have asked me to be involved and like my book, it is the biggest literary event of the year in Dubai, attracting authors from across the globe, Kinokuniya Bookstore – the largest in Dubai are already chasing me for printed copies of the book… Motivate Publishing are working hard on the book as we speak, I hope and pray it is ready in time, I saw first draft this week, it was an emotional moment!
Satwa, the greatest place in Dubai! Where else in Dubai, can you get a new radiator fitted in your car at 10pm on a Thursday evening, or buy freshly baked bread, or get your shirts tailored, or buy pretty fabrics and ribbons and buttons, or buy the finest tasting curry for 10dhs, or see so many differing nationalities like Philippino, or South East Asian, or Bloushi, Iranian, Pakistani and Emirati living and enjoying life side by side. Here you will see some of the oldest buildings in Dubai, on a Friday you’ll see the men that empty our bins, that drive our kids to school, that clean our streets, happily playing cricket together in the sand. You will see people running through the streets to get to the mosque, when you hear the call to prayer. But most of all, you will see the ‘real’ Dubai, not the concrete Dubai that was built in the last few years, or the Dubai you will see on Sky TV, or the walled communities of ‘copy and paste’ villa after villa on the edges of the city, here you will see a house wall where somebody has hung their kondoura, on a rusty nail and their socks in the neighbouring bush to dry in the sun!
For those of you that know me, you’ll know one of my favourite places by now.
There’s quite a few old Forts for you to visit, this one taken at Al Qattara Oasis, lying to the north of Al Ain, the oasis has a number of historical buildings dating mostly from the beginning of the twentieth century, have you visited any of them?
Sunset shot, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, facing the sea, in the distance you can see the Address Hotel, Dubai Marina. JLT which consists of 79 towers being constructed along the edges of four artificial lakes, sits across from Dubai Marina, rent is cheaper here and the roads are a bit of a mess, the one way system causes bottlenecks morning and night, however it is looking a lot better now that development is nearly finished and shops and cafe bars have moved in, it is also a Freezone, enabling businesses to setup without the need for a local sponsor, large numbers are taking up business licences every month, although some, i’m sure are just for the residence visas?
Shot from the middle of the Creek on a boat (as you can see – not 100% sharp) around 10.50am, 1/250 at F9. This is (Al) Jadaf, have you been?
You really should visit. One of the very small number of localities in Dubai where they still build Dhows – dhows are the traditional boat used for centuries to transport cargo between Persia and the UAE for example, historically, Al Jaddaf, which literally means The Rower, was primarily a dhow building area. Its shipyards are today the only site for the building and maintenance of these traditional boats. Al Jaddaf also houses the sport grounds and facilities of Al Wasl FC and Dubai Officers Club. Another important landmark is Al Wasl hospital – now named as Latifa hospital.
Go and explore, before its gone forever, maybe you’ll be lucky enough like I was on this day to see a dhow under construction.
I have corrected Levels in Photoshop, pushed the blacks, increased the vibrance a little and added an iris blur. Do you like the image? Can you see the little man sat underneath?!
This is F5 at 1/200. Some of you may know that presently the date palm trees are straining under the weight of the juicy dates ready to drop. Dates are one of the staples of the Bedouin… many years ago, dates and fish and the odd locust if they were lucky along with some tasty camels milk was all that was on the menu, now of course we see chocolate dates and all sorts of wonderful mixes. This image is a photograph of a date farmer in Al Ain, climbing the tree in the same way it has been climbed for centuries. If you have never ventured out of Dubai treat yourself to a weekend in Al Ain sometime soon, Al Ain is the most beautiful place with oases that make you feel like you lived hundreds of years ago, where you cannot hear a car or a road or anything at all, but if you are lucky what you might find is a date farmer like I did on this day.
Sunset shot – 8 seconds at F11 with the 14-24 Nikon lens, taken from a tower close to the Grovesnor House Hotel buildings, looking down the marina towards Abu Dhabi, marina on the left beach on the right, around 50 storeys high.
Taken early morning in downtown, hand held so it’s not too sharp, when the fog was slowly lifting before the day was about to begin. This was shot with the 70-200, which probably also explains why it’s not pin sharp, such a heavy lens, 1/200 at F9.