This tour explores the United Arab Emirates, with a base in the bustling city of Dubai and visiting Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. We look to incorporate traditional & cultural elements, the vast desert landscape and exciting high-rise vantage points of one of the worlds top cityscape destinations. This photography tour offers the opportunity to learn and practice a wide range of skills and genres, to create a wonderful portfolio of images.
Dubai has become the most well known city in the Middle East – a modern metropolis on the Arabian Gulf, surrounded by endless sand dunes. The high density of tall buildings creates a skyline unlike many others around the world, with some vantage points offering incredible urban landscape views. The temperature in January is surprisingly mild, even getting cool in the early mornings and a chance of witnessing the highly unpredictable city fog.
Whilst a large focus for the tour will be experiencing the iconic views from balconies around Dubai, we have created an itinerary that also includes the opportunity to capture everything this destination has to offer. We will visit some of the largest sand dunes in the world, explore the Old Town with its traditional laneways, drive to Abu Dhabi’s famous Sheikh Zayed Mosque and create magic in one the most amazing photography studios. This trip will bring together all the diversity, culture and excitement of Dubai.
Day 1, 25 January
After arriving we will have an introduction and briefing session to discuss the plans for the tour. Following this, we will experience our first view of Dubais skyline from one of the most iconic vantage points in the city – the terrace at Shangri-La Hotel.
We will cross our fingers for early morning fog as we will again photograph from the terrace at Shangri-La.
Following breakfast we will explore the laneways of Old Town Bastakiya with local Emiratis and explore Dubai creek on the iconic abras. An opportunity for street photography style photos and exploring Dubai as it was before the growth as a modern city.
Evening we visit one of the most incredible view points in the city at Address Downtown Hotel for sunset and blue hour – with a “best seat in the house” view of the fountain and light show at Burj Khalifa.
We will leave the hotel early to get a unique sunrise view of the vastness of the Arabian desert from high above in a hot-air balloon. In addition to the patterns of the sand dunes, we will look to photograph some of the native oryx and hazel from above and also from the ground.
After lunch we will visit the deserted ghost town of Al Madam in Sharjah, before spending the afternoon and sunset at Mleiha Conservation Centre and its incredible desert landscapes. Utilising the enormous telescope at Mleiha, we will experience some unique astrophotography of far away stars and nebula.
We will drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to explore the iconic Sheikh Zayed Mosque – grand from a distance and also with endless beauty in the intricate details.
From here we will venture to Liwa, home to one of the worlds largest sand dunes. Here we will create some traditional desert compositions with local people in traditional dress and spend the night in a desert camp. (photos from Mongolia as a sample what we will do in Liwa as well)
After an optional sunrise desert shoot, we will drive back to Dubai and spend the day at Garage Studio. Here we are able to create some truly amazing photoshoots, including underwater photography, aerialists, rain rooms and endless lighting options.
Late afternoon we will head to Crowne Plaza for a sunset photography high above Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road.
Another sunrise from the balconies of Dubai from Damac Maison, an incredible sunrise vantage point and another hopeful location for that elusive fog photography.
After breakfast we will have a photowalk around DIFC, Village Gate and Museum of The Future, with endless abstract compositions.
We will have a post processing session after lunch at the hotel to workshop techniques for editing some of the images we have taken over the week.
For our final sunset, we will head to Dubai Marina and a view point with countless compositions – Intercontinental Dubai Marina. Following blue hour, we will head down to ground level to talk around the marina and take some light trail images of the boats and long exposure shots.
We have saved one of the best views for last – from Aura Skypool we will have an incredible 360 morning view of the palm, marina, Burj Al Arab and all the way to Downtown Dubai.
We will head back to the hotel for a debrief and sharing of experiences from what will undoubtedly be an incredible week of photography and fun.
Price: 6900 USD
Included in the price:
– All transfers ( including drivers’ services, gas etc)
– Lodging in hotels – twin rooms, shared with another participant (1000 USD supplement for single room)
– Instructions by professional English-speaking guides
Cancellation and Refund Policy
We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop:
full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more :75% refund 60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
Not included in the price:
– Airfare to Dubai
– Visas (if applicable)
– Single supplement (1000 USD)
– Lunch, dinner
– Travel insurance (required) and any covid related testing and expenses.
What to bring
– Camera with tripod
– A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 17-40. Best lens for use in wide-angle scenes or architecture photography
– A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm
– A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm
– Warm jacket (for +15 C in the morning)
– Casual clothes for dinners and lunches and photography workshops
Tour leader – Andy Marty
Born in Australia, I moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2009 and now call the cosmopolitan city of Dubai home.
My passion for photography started from an obsession with travel – providing a vehicle to inspire others to venture far and wide. Photography allows me to draw on a destination’s culture and represent it visually – whether that is the bazars of India, landscapes of Iceland or the iconic New York City skyline.
Over the years, my photography has developed to include as many styles as possible – from cityscapes to wildlife and time-lapse to portraiture. This approach has allowed me to create content for international brands like Audi, Fairmont Group, One&Only, Visit Rwanda and flydubai. Photography is all about visual story-telling and the opportunity to take people to some amazing destinations around the world via my lens. Whilst many images these days are destined only for social media, I still firmly believe that the best place for a great photo is printed and hung on the wall. I take pride in trying to capture images that will be well suited framed and enjoyed everyday.
I am passionate about sharing my knowledge of photography through workshops and photo tours. I currently guide private photography sessions, workshops for Nikon and tours for Iceland Photo Tours and Daniel Kordan Photography.
In a world where we are taking more photographs than ever before, I still love the challenge of getting that perfect shot.