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United Arab Emirates: Incredible Al Dhafra through the lenses; Emirati photographers in the spotlight at book festival – News

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Published: Saturday Dec 9, 2023 9:16 p.m.

Local photographers are turning heads at the Al Dhafra Book Festival 2023 by showcasing their creative experiences and highlighting the rich history of Abu Dhabi’s western region.

Emirati photographers told Khaleej Times how a photography corner, a first-time addition to the festival, has provided them with a platform to showcase their featured works, interact with the public and share their talent and skills.

Al Dhafra literally means “where the desert meets the sea.” Through their work, these photographers have showcased the beauty of the sea, desert and heritage of Al Dhafra, as well as its people and wildlife, in a setting that attracted visitors to explore the natural and cultural richness of the Western region.

Photographer Afra Al Marar invited Emirati families to create unique professional photographs of their children, using traditional heritage items such as scarves, antique telephones and other artifacts. Her creations were added to the collection of her photographs showing Emirati faces from Al Dhafra.

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Al Marar showed its archive of photographs highlighting the port, Liwa and Al Dhafra, among other scenic spots in the Al Dhafra region. Several of his photographs garnered praise from the community. Her photos of desert sands took second place at the Port Maritime Festival, while another of a starfish took fourth place in a Western Region photo contest. She has been honored by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region.

Ali Ibrahim Al Hammadi showcased creative photographs of UAE wildlife, including falcons, peacocks and gazelles.

“I enjoy my hobby of photography, especially when a certain image gains recognition or is selected for an award. “My hobby allows me to highlight the rich cultural heritage of the area, its natural environment, including desert and wildlife, and the talent and creativity of its residents,” said Al Hammadi.

His image of a gazelle, which he owns, won second place in the Sharjah Government Media Office’s “Exhibition” competition. Additionally, National Geographic magazine selected his image of a falcon with a falconer to post on his Instagram account.

Abdullah Al Raesi, a high school student, presented a group of night photographs depicting the beauty of Al Dhafra’s landscape. He began his journey as a photographer using his mobile phone to take photographs and earned a reasonable income that allowed him to purchase a camera and necessary equipment such as lenses and lighting equipment. “I love taking night photographs. I used to go out at night and enjoy photographing the stars, which I admire and know how to distinguish between them very well. I want to convey people’s thoughts through my photographs and I want to tell the hidden story behind each photo; “A picture speaks louder than words,” said Al Raesi.

They praised the Al Dhafra Book Festival, organized by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center (ALC), for offering them a platform to interact with the public, showcase their skills and originality and use photography to share their message about the region of Al Dhafra and its stunning surroundings.

The festival continues in Zayed City’s public park until Sunday. The park is open to the public from 8 am to midnight.

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