The United Arab Emirates is a paradise for tourists from around the world. It is one of the brightest, richest and most attractive countries in the Middle East. Dubai is the crown jewel of the UAE and is one of the most happening places in the Arab World, not only because of the amazing natural beauty, but also because of the way this is offset by some of the ultra-modern man-made skyscrapers and architecturally astounding buildings.
For a photographer, it boasts a wealth of riches in terms of iconic imagery and fascinating juxtaposition, meaning you can spend hours capturing so much variation throughout the Emirate, a days film could give the impression you’d been to all five continents.
Here we have put together the top six secret, little known or slightly obscure places that you might want to make a trip to for some great picture opportunities. Dubai is huge, and some places are far too hard to get to by public transport, but these are some of the most photogenic places which are easy to access using public transport (Metro, Tram & Buses).
1. Dubai Heritage and Diving Villages
Dubai Heritage and Diving Villages are built to acquaint tourists with the region’s traditional arts, customs and architecture.
Exhibitions in the Diving Village illustrate Dubai’s historical significance as a pearling nation, while potters and weavers practice their traditional crafts at barasti stalls set up in the Dubai Heritage Village.
One of the best sites for Street photographers. you will find some beautiful old architecture which is living testimony to the government’s respect of Old Dubai, regardless of the speed of the modern transformation.
What to capture: Historical Architecture, Portraits, Boats.
How to get there: Take the Metro to Al Ghubaiba Metro station (Green Line )
2. Dubai Creek
The Dubai Creek area really is a wonderful place to visit, and you can cross the creek by boat for just 1 AED, which is a really cool experience. You can take quite good photos on both sides of the creek, and you will find people smoking shishas, eating arabic style food and some men fishing on some corners of the creek.
On weekends it is always super-crowded, and you will be able to take portraits and good photos of people riding boats.
What to capture: Boats, People, Portraits, Lifestyle, Night Long Exposure.
How to get there: Take Metro to Union Station or Al Ghubaiba Station, and walk for 10 to 15 minutes.
Location Map :
3. Gold Souk & Spice Souk – Dubai
Dubai Spice Souk or the Old Souk is a traditional market (or souk) in Dubai. The Spice Souk is located in Deira and is adjacent to the Dubai Gold Souk. Both are extremely popular places in Dubai, and you will see there are such a lot of interesting things happening. Tourists, locals, and residents all coming together to buy, sell and barter.
These places are an awesome spot for street photographers.
What to capture: People, Portraits, Shops, Jewellery (Street Product Photography)
How to get to : Take the Metro to Al Ghubaiba Station and ride a boat to cross the creek.
Location Map :
4. Fish, Fruit & Vegetable Markets, Deira
This is a great place to capture the vibrant colours of the fruit and vegetables on offer, you can capture some vivid shots, document a day in the life of the traders, or grab some impromptu portraits.
If you are an early bird, or an evening owl, at both times you can visit and capture some memorable photos.
What to capture: Fish, Fruit & Vegetables, People
How to get there: The fish market is in Deira, go through Al Shindagha Tunnel and it’s right there, opposite the Gold Souk.
Location Map :
RECOMMENDED READING: Best Photography Spot inside Dubai – Deira Fish Market
5. Burj Khalifa & Dubai Mall
Dubai mall is one of the most happening places in Dubai, and the most frequented. It is a giant, indoor city of amazement, with so much going on. From celebrity appearances, fashion shows and entertainment, to the Dubai fountains, the waterfalls and the Burj Khalifa (go to the top for some truly stunning imagery), you can spend the day and night here and get so much variation in the pictures you come home with.
What to capture: People, Portraits, Architecture, Events
How to get there: Take the Metro and get off at Burj Khalifa & Dubai Mall Metro Station.
6. Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is an awe-inspiring city-within-a city that delights residents with its cosmopolitan, free-spirited atmosphere and unique, invigorating lifestyle. It is an urban centre on the water, comparable to the most exclusive waterfront developments in the any of the world’s leading cities, yet it is ultimately unlike anywhere else in Dubai, the Middle East and even the world.
It’s the best late at night and early in the morning, where you meet almost no one there. Usually there are no problems with tripods, but there are few spots in the northern part of the Marina, where you will be stopped by security guards. Same around the Marina Yacht Club. If you want to avoid them, go there in the small hours, or take a clamp. The railing there just works great as a tripod in support for a clamp.
Also get yourself an ND filter. The daytime photos look so much better from there with a long exposure.
What to capture: People, Portraits, Architecture, Boats, Water, Nightlife
How to get there: Take the Metro and get off at Damac or JLT Station.