The Crown Prince of Dubai to be patron of the Exhibition running from 16th until the 19th of March

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council the Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) is set to launch the first edition of the Dubai Photo Exhibition on the 16th of March 2016.

The exhibition will run from March 16 – 19 in a purpose-designed ‘temporary museum’ at the Dubai Design District (d3) and will incorporate over 700 museum quality photographs taken by 129 of the most well-known photographers in the world hailing from 23 countries.

image His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai / Courtesy of HIPA

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai described the Dubai Photo Exhibition as a museum of photographic masterpieces which will take its visitors on a historical journey filled with intrigue and beauty. His Highness also stressed the relevance of hosting such a landmark event in Dubai, which is fitting of the emirate’s ambitious plans to to act as a unifying umbrella for international creative minds.

image Left: His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Owais, Right: His Excellency Saeed Al Nabouda / Courtesy of HIPA

Al Owais: Establishing a cultural base in Dubai

Commenting on the launch of the Dubai Photo Exhibition, His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Prevention and Chairman of the HIPA Board of Trustees said “HIPA aims through the Dubai Photo Exhibition to further develop Dubai into an international arts and culture hub. We aim to offer photographers an unforgettable and historic event which consists of the finest photography ever created by man.”

Al Nabouda: A golden opportunity for those with global aspirations

His Excellency Saeed Al Nabouda, the acting Director General of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and HIPA Board of Trustees Vice Chairman said “An event of the calibre of the Dubai Photo Exhibition offers photographers from all walks of life the chance to reach international recognition in the future. It can also help some plan their respective career paths by launching them into the very competitive yet exciting world of photography. Up and comers will also no doubt learn from the exhibited works taken by the various veterans and big names in the industry, helping them in their future plans. I invite all to visit this unique exhibition which epitomises Dubai’s hunger to promote excellence and up and comers side by side.”

image Left: Ms. Sahar Al Zarei, Right: His Excellency Ali bin Thalith / Courtesy of HIPA

The Secretary General of HIPA, His Excellency Ali bin Thalith said “An Exhibition such as DPE offers a unique photographic platform for one of the fastest growing artforms in the world, photography. The Dubai Photo Exhibition will also no doubt raise the standard of Arab photography by pitting the best photography from the UAE, Morocco and Egypt in their own exhibits alongside the other 20 countries.”

The Assistant Secretary General of HIPA, Sahar Al Zarei said “The works displayed at the Dubai Photo Exhibition can only be described as “breathtaking”. The visual masterpieces that will be on show will only strengthen the general public’s appreciation of arts and photography in particular. From Hippolyte Bayard’s famous 1840 photograph, considered by many to be the first portrait photograph ever taken to modern day masterpieces that will be exhibited, the Dubai Photo Exhibition brings together different eras of photography under one roof, which we are delighted to be the hosts of. Photography at the Dubai Photo Exhibition was put together by the Chief Curator Zelda Cheatle alongside a number of internationally acclaimed curators such as Natasha Egan (USA & Canada) and Devika Singh (India).”

image Left: Mr. Majid Abdulrahman, Right: Mr. Matar bin Lahej / Courtesy of HIPA

Majid Abdulrahman: A spectacle filled with beauty

The head of media at His Highness the Crown of Prince of Dubai’s office and HIPA Board of Trustees member, Majid Abdulrahman described Dubai Photo Exhibition as a beautiful and joyful opportunity to showcase the art of photography in one the most beautiful and joyful places in the world, Dubai. He praised the exhibition’s organisation and encouraged people from all walks of life to take them time and visit the exhibition at the Dubai Design District (d3).

Matar Bin Lahej: A cultural journey not to be missed

Emirati artist and HIPA Board of Trustees member, Matar bin Lahej said “This exhibition affords its visitors the chance to go on a journey through the various cultures and societies on display. This will not only serve as a tool to appreciate the arts will also bring people from different cultures together through photography. I am also very delighted to see the number of Emirati photographers who will take part in the exhibition. HIPA is therefore successfully continuing to promote the work of Emirati photographers in every way possible.

image Left: Mr. Ahmed Al Mansouri, Right: Mr. Henry Dallal / Courtesy of HIPA

Al Mansouri: Photography is intertwined with humanity

The director general of Dubai Media Incorporated’s channels and HIPA Board of Trustees member Ahmed Al Mansouri said “Photography has played a major role in documenting some of humanity’s major milestones and accomplishments, the two therefore are distinctly intertwined. Photography will continue to accompany humans and document their achievements and hopefully improve the state of humanity and the world we live in.

Dallal: Photographic masterpieces

International photographer and HIPA Board of Trustees member Henry Dallal said “It is with great honour that HIPA can host such a prestigious exhibition involving some of the finest photographic masterpieces ever created. This is a huge step for local and regional photography and will further cement Dubai as the world’s growing arts and photography hub where all artists and photographers can strive for excellence.


The Dubai Photo Exhibition will also present Dubai Photo Forum 2, a discussion platform for proposing and debating important and sensitive issues in the field of photography. Following on from its successful first edition in 2015, the forum aims to draw the attention of photographers from around the world to Dubai as a centre for photography, and to act as a vehicle for intellectual photographic discussion that is open to all, from industry professional to casual enthusiasts.

The Forum will include Five sessions discussing various issues, which are:

  • ‘East vs West: A Clash of Photographic Style?’
  • ‘Women in Photography’
  • ‘Witnessing Arab Photography: Past, Present and Future’
  • ‘Judging: International Standards and Judges’ Personalities’
  • ‘GCC Photographers: International Competitors or Would-Be Professionals?’.

Eminent local and international speakers will include Tom Ang, photographer, best-selling author and broadcaster (New Zealand); Dimitri Beck, Editor-in-Chief of photojournalism publication Polka Magazine (France); Eman Helal, news and documentary photojournalist (Egypt); documentary photographer Maggie Steber (USA); photographer, professor, and former Chair of the World Press Photo jury, Shahidul Alam (Bangladesh); Jassim Al Awadhi, Curator of the UAE exhibit, Dubai Photo Exhibition; and His Excellency Ali bin Thalith, Secretary General of HIPA, amongst many others.


Dubai Photo Exhibition will feature works from 23 countries selected by 18 curators. The Head Curator of the Exhibition is Zelda Cheatle.

Countries and Curator Names: Australia - Alasdair Foster; Belgium and Holland - Els Barents; Brazil - Iatã Cannabrava; China -Huang Yihuang; Morocco & Egypt - HichamKhalidi (Morocco) and Ayman Lotfy Mahmoud (Egypt); France - Fannie Escoulen; Germany - Frank Wagner; Hungary and Czech Republic - Kincses Károly; India - Devika Singh; Japan - Mariko Takeuchi; Korea - Sunhee KIM; Mexico - Magnolia de la Garza; South Africa - Federica Angelucci; Spain and Portugal - Dr. Jorge Calado; UAE - Jassim Al Awadhi; UK and Ireland - Martin Barnes; USA and Canada - Natasha Egan.

Highlights from the Exhibition

Cassio Vasconcellos

image Cassio Vasconcellos – Aeroporto, Brazil / Courtesy of HIPA

‘Aeroporto’ is the portrait of the connected world. This is an imaginary airport, built with hundreds of separate images captured by Vasconcellos while flying over Brazil.

Dubai Photo Exhibition, taking place in a city with the busiest international airport in the world, brings this monumental work, formed by 32 panels and spanning 128 x 320 centimetres. The artist refers to the work as “real and fictional at the same time.” “The hubs and connections have the appearance of neurons and their axons. Neurons carry ‘messages’ and make synapses to give us our thoughts,” says Vasconcellos.

Zara Samiry

image Zara Samiry, Amazons, 2015, Morocco / Courtesy of HIPA

The Morocco gallery at Dubai Photo Exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Leila Alaoui, the French-Moroccan photographer who died from wounds inflicted during an attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in January.

Maurice Broomfield

image Maurice Broomfield, Electric Arc Cutting Inside a Boiler, T Ward, 1958 / Courtesy of HIPA

Maurice Broomfield’s work focused on post-war industrial expansion in the UK predominantly, including here an image of a cooling tower at Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station, under construction.

Li Lang

image Li Lang, Father’s Bracelet / Courtesy of HIPA

‘Father’s Bracelet’ is from Li’s ‘Father’ series. The artist commemorated the life of his father, following his death. Li says he saw his father’s entire life reduced to a set of numbers—the date of his birth and death—on his tombstone. To restore each day of his life, Li inscribed each image in the series, by hand, with numbers representing the 30,291 days of his father’s life. These dates are written in pencil on the works.

Sulaiman bin Eid

image Sulaiman bin Eid, Our Life / Courtesy of HIPA

Sulaiman bin Eid is an Emirati photographer whose works focus on capturing the lives and cultural traditions of the world around him.

Lubna Abd El-Aziz

image Lubna Abd El-Aziz Searching - Self Portrait, 2015 / Courtesy of HIPA

Lubna Abd El-Aziz is an Egyptian fine art photographer whose work is inspired by fairytales. Dubai Photo Exhibition will feature a series of her surrealist self-portraits.

Sungpil HAN

image Sungpil HAN, Harmony in Havana, 2015 / Courtesy of HIPA

Contemporary Korean photographer Han Sungpil creates life-sized photographs of buildings and nature. The monumental trompe l’oeil images are hung on pieces of fabric and scaffolding many metres high.

Hippolyte Bayard

image Hippolyte Bayard, Self Portrait as a Drowned Man, 1840, France / Courtesy of HIPA

The earliest image in Dubai Photo Exhibition is by early photographic pioneer Hippolyte Bayard, who invented his own photographic process in the mid-1800s. ‘Self Portrait as a Drowned Man’ is the first known photographed self-portrait ever taken.

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