Kite Surfers Paradise – Nessnass Beach, Dubai

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 23, 2013 / 0 comments

Posted from Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

We’re now heading in to the grips of summer, with the mercury heading skywards towards the 50c mark! That doesn’t stop some of the foolhardy souls seeking the adventure sports Dubai’s beaches have in abundance.

Kite surfing is an expanding sport here in the Emirates – beaches up and down the West coast, from Ras al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi, can be filled with those seeking some water bound adventure to cool the body in these hot summer months.

The largest site for Kite Surfing in Dubai must be Nessnass beach – locally referred to as Kite Surfer beach, for good reason, as the image shows. Bearing in mind this was a hot May day, these hundred or so kite surfers don’t mind braving the Dubai sun for some excitement.

Kite Surfers Beach Dubai

Kite Surfers Beach Dubai

Facing Death – Cheetah – Al Ain Zoo

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 12, 2013 / 0 comments

I have a love/hate relationships with zoo’s. I have been to a fair few over the past few years – I’ve seen awful ones (naming no names) and I’ve seen some fantastic zoo’s, like Chester Zoo in the UK and most recently Al Ain Zoo.

While I disagree with keeping wild animals in captivity I understand that many of the animals kept at these zoo’s were either born in captivity or would simply not be alive if in the wild. I also understand the fantastic work many top zoo’s do to preserve the many endangered species of the world with successful breeding and reintroduction programmes.

This Cheetah looked so sweet but the distance and walls around it’s enclosure really do bring to home how powerful and dangerous many of the animals can be.

Facing Death - Al Ain Zoo

Facing Death – Al Ain Zoo

Ferrari 333SP – Dubai Autodrome

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 10, 2013 / 0 comments

The Ferrari 333SP is a pretty rare beast. Only 41 were produced and they packed a serious punch – a 4.0l V12!

I won’t bore you with the technical details and race win ration. Instead, I will let car geek James Gent from crankandpiston take car of that in their article HERE.

Instead, just soak in the sights of one of the most beautifully crafted Sports Cars. The only thing that trumps its looks are it’s noise! A quick YouTube search will confirm that.

Ripping up the Desert – Dubai International Rally

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 9, 2013 / 0 comments

Posted from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

I’ve been a motorsport fan for many years, in particular rallying, and before moving to the UAE spent more weekends than I care to remember sleeping in my car following the sport I loved around the forests of the UK and Europe.

When I moved to Dubai, I was aware of the distinct lack of motorsport, and in particular rallying. While the desert thrives with life during the winter months, the long summers are hard.

One event always caught my attention – the Dubai International Rally, the final round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) with top flight drivers and modern RRCs (Regional Rally Cars).

Falling on National Day weekend makes it a difficult event for me to attend as it’s generally very busy with work, but one quick stage this year provided a little fix for my rallying bug, just before the heavens opened!

Ford Fiesta S2000 chases a storm across the Dubai desert

Ford Fiesta S2000 chases a storm across the Dubai desert

Flying the Flag for the Union – Umm al Quwain

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 6, 2013 / 0 comments

Posted from Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates.

A drive out of Dubai, towards the Northern Emirates of Ajman, Umm al Quwain and Ras al Khaimah will reveal a completely new world – very few high rise buildings, fewer tourists, and some stunning mountains and desert.

Why not take a trip off the main Emirates Road (E611) or Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Highway (E311) rom Ras al Khaimah and head back south along the UAQ coast line – you’ll pass Ice Land Water Park, Emirates Motorsport Federation’s Motorplex and a very large old Russian transport plane.

Delve a little deeper though and you’ll soon discover an abandoned old bi-plane, in the colours of the UAE flag. I have no idea when this last flew but looking at the whole area, I guess it was a while ago when anything touched down in Umm al Quwain.

Flying the Flag for the Union - Biplane in Umm al Quwain

Flying the Flag for the Union – Biplane in Umm al Quwain

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 6, 2013 / 0 comments

The Expanding City – Doha Skyline

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 5, 2013 / 0 comments

Posted from Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar.

My line of work is quite exciting – I get involved in events for lots of different industries, including automotive, services, retail, residential etc. A few weeks back, work took me to Doha to launch a brand new shopping mall, which is due to be opened in 2016.

I’ve been to Doha a few times now with work for various site visits plus to open the new IKEA store, but this was the first time I managed to get out of the hotel and explore more of the city than the drive from the Airport.

Meeting up with a colleague, we headed out to Souq Waqif to explore some of the historical elements of Qatar, plus out on to the corniche. I’ve got to hand it to Qatar, they know great architecture. The Qatar National Museum is going to be an incredible building, when it’s finished, and the Museum of Islamic Art is stunning – next time I visit I will have to make time to go in.

Anyway, the view from the corniche across to West Bay is one of those new iconic skylines in the region, like Dubai’s Downtown and Marina and Abu Dhabi. There’s still a lot of work to do on the city but with the vision and money they have pumping in to is, it won’t be long until it’s at the forefront.

The West Bay Skyline from Doha Corniche

The West Bay Skyline from Doha CornicheCorniche

Great White Egret – Omani Coast

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 5, 2013 / 0 comments

Posted from Muscat, Oman.

Oman has fascinated me ever since I moved to the UAE. The stories going around the office of just how different it is to Dubai – green, quiet, cultural, historic and with such a varied landscape. It was one of those long weekends in the region, and the decision was made to drive to Muscat and stay over for a couple of nights and explore the area. Once we’d navigated the border crossing in Hatta (around 2hrs!) we drove about 3hrs in to Oman and to our accommodation for the weekend, the Shangri-La. A way out of Muscat, the road out to the hotel took us over the mountains and along such a beautiful azure coast. With this picture in mind, I decided to get up for sunrise one morning and explore further. Alarm set and 04:00 up from the room and out in the car – travelling east along the mountain and coast road – I had a few locations in mind but these were only scouted from Google Maps, so really had no idea what to expect. As I imagined, sunrise was a bust, but more down to my poor planning, but the return journey home highlighted some great locations, namely a small finish village up the coast which was buzzing with activity – fishermen, their families and the Egrets all awake early on a Friday morning.

Great Egret - Omani Coast

Great Egret – Omani Coast

 

Awesome Roads, Awesome Car – Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 5, 2013 / 0 comments

Posted from Khasab, Musandam, Oman.

Receiving a late call up from Phil at Awesome Group was a bit of a surprise. Having shot motorsport around the UAE for the guys who run crankandpiston.com and Evo Middle East, we’d chatted many times about doing some editorial work but never did I imagine for such a special car, especially at my first go.

Collecting the car from Phil’s house late at night was terrifying – never had I driven something so fast and expensive. Obviously the risks of stacking something which has been loaned by the Mercedes press department outweighed the possible enjoyment of giving this thing a blast up the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road home, and apart from the quick blip, just to listen to the throaty roar of the ‘charged V8, the car made it home safe and sound.

An early start the next morning saw a trip Downtown to pick up Evo Magazine deputy editor, Phill (with two ‘l’s). With the car safely handed over (as he was the one who had to write about it) we headed north towards Oman.

The feature was always going to be about an epic car on an epic road and for anyone who’s travelled north, out of the UAE and in to the Mussandam, will I’m sure agree at roads in this region do not get much more epic than the road to Khasab.

Plenty of opportunities for photos en-route made sure the editorial coverage would focus on the car, the road and the scenery.

You can read the story on www.crankandpiston.com and see just some of the photos below.

 

Beautiful Symmetry – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Posted By DubaiPhotoBlog / June, 4, 2013 / 0 comments

Posted from Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

I’ve been to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi before. It was November 2010, and we arrived quite late in the afternoon, just as the sun was going down, and were treated to a beautiful display as the sun set.

Ever since that first visit I’ve been fascinated by the building (the biggest mosque in the UAE) and also captivated by the numerous photo opportunities. Finally, when I managed to make a return visit (there really is no excuse for how long it’s taken – I now live in Dubai and it’s only an hour or so away) they had made a few changes.

You’re now no longer allowed free reign (within reason) of the place. You have to follow set foot paths and a lot of areas are cordoned off, which is a shame. But still, the photo opportunities remain, and in their droves.

One of the things that I wanted to capture on my return was all the symmetry around the place. There are so many natural frames and the place lends itself to beautfully composed images. This one is right by the entrance, and not an image I’ve seen of the SZGM before.

Shot on a Nikon D800E with a Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8

Beautiful Symmetry

Beautiful Symmetry