Architectural Photography in Dubai
I remember a colleague saying, “Architectural Photography in Dubai is like fishing in a barrel”. Thinking about this oasis of architecture in the desert, I can see just what he meant. When I first visited the city, nearly ten years ago, I was in awestruck by my surroundings, it was so beautiful, even intimidatingly so from ground level. For the architectural photographer, this was pure catnip!
My photograph above shows Shaikh Zayed Road, thirty years ago this was a simple two-lane road surrounded by desert sand. The skyline today shows a haven of luxury hotels, international banks and extravagantly themed shopping malls.
During the 1970s oil exports began, with this, Dubai’s fortunes changed completely. During this decade the foundations for most of the infrastructure of today’s city were laid down.
Audaciously-high buildings, sprung skywards from the sandy ground. Here, architects were given free rein. They were encouraged to dream up and realise projects that anywhere else would have stayed on the drawing board.
The blank canvas that the wide-open desert spaces offered, gave these creatives a chance to dream, and importantly, see their dreams turn to reality at lightning speed. At one point in the 1990s, it was believed that a quarter of all the world’s construction cranes could be found in Dubai alone.
Now it can rightly claim to be the tallest city in the world, outstripping traditional skyscraper hotspots like New York and Hong Kong. The heady mix of petrodollars, far-sighted commercial acumen and naked ambition saw them transform a small Gulf trading centre into one of the world’s most dazzling, futuristic, urban destinations.
You can see more of my images of the built environment from all over the world at https://www.robertmullan.com/Architecture/The-Built-Eviornment