Four Hero Backdrops in Dubai

Sophia Khalifeh compiles a list of photography spots away from glamor and skyscrapers.

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Lebanese photographer Sophia Khalifeh and Hypebeast have put together a list of spots within the city of Dubai that stand as unsung heroes for photoshoot backdrops. Dubai is recognised for its glamor and skyscrapers, but in this roundup, Khalifeh brings to the forefront the industrial areas and nature within the city that many are yet to explore.

People outside of this city have a very particular idea of what they think it’s like to live here and even more, regarding the visual landscape. When being an artist and living in any city that isn’t your home, it’s important to find your own lens whilst also honoring the truth of the country. When scouting for locations, I aim to find places that simultaneously look and don’t look like Dubai. I’ve heard many times before that I make Dubai look like it’s somewhere else and I say to that that this is Dubai – it’s just about how you as an artist choose to see it.

Meadows and Springs

When looking for greenery within a desert and modern city, it’s encouraged to check out the residential and family friendly communities in Dubai. Many closed residences have agriculture that you can’t find anywhere else in the city. Lakes, waterfalls, big trees and vast lands are all things found in gated communities.

Emirates Golf Club

Situated between The Dubai Marina and Dubai Media City is Emirates Gulf Club. Before entering the club, there are pieces of land that look to have been part of an abandoned project – these spaces are brimming with trees, plants, bricks, bark and more leftovers while ahead of the club is the view of the city. Inside the club includefs greenery, wide landscapes and smaller waterfalls.

Al Quoz

While known to be filled with warehouses, Al Quoz has become an area for creatives to launch their businesses and build communities. The industrial area includes colorful backdrops with texture and traces of life. Starting from Alserkal Avenue and walking down the neighborhood, there is a lot to explore.

Al Safa

Located closer to Downtown Dubai, Al Safa not only has areas that represent modern Dubai, but also honors a lot of its start. “Whether I want to shoot by a Mediterranean inspired villa, an old strip mall or even an industrial staircase by the metro station, I can always find what I am looking for here” says Khalifeh. Set your pin for Wokoyo or The Grey and take a walk or drive around till you find something that inspires you.

For more on Dubai, a flying car successfully takes off in the city.

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Sophia Khalifeh
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