Photography in Dubai – What You Need to Know

Photography in Dubai – What you need to knowUAE tourists and residents should be aware of laws concerning photography. In general, taking photos or shooting videos in public places isn’t prohibited unless explicitly stated.

According to The National, Abu Dhabi Media’s first English-language publication, people should avoid taking photographs of government organizations, political buildings, and military sites; they cannot be photographed for security reasons. It is also illegal to take photographs of some important edifices; security guards will prevent that. Lawbreakers may be taken to the police station to be questioned.

Therefore, it is best to look for signs prohibiting photography. When there is no sign, taking photos is probably permitted.

Also, avoid taking pictures of the locals, especially women in a Burka, as it can get someone into trouble without permission. Photographers must ask first if it´s ok, as randomly addressing women in public, or taking their photo is strictly frowned upon.

As mentioned by The National, “taking photos is permissible as long as the action does not infringe on the privacy and the freedom of others, or if people are photographed or filmed against their will.”

Overall, there are strict laws and religious values that need to be respected when it comes to photography. Rules must be taken seriously. Any illegal snapshots can lead to arrest or fines.

Rules aside, Dubai presents many opportunities for photographers to capture the beauty of the city’s landmarks, beaches and desert.

Whether taking video or snapshot images of Dubai before sunrise or sunset, photographers will be overwhelmed by the colorful scenery throughout the metropolis city. The observation deck at the Burj Khalifa—the tallest building in the world at 2,716.5 feet—offers a panoramic view and is a great place to get a nice photo of the cityscape. A night view of The Dubai Fountain, set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake at the center of the Downtown Dubai development, presents the opportunity to snap a picture of an amazing dancing fountain show worth seeing. In essence, many of Dubai’s sculptured skyscrapers are worth capturing.

Definitely, those visiting Dubai (and Abu Dhabi), one of the world’s most remarkable destination, ought to bring their photo equipment to capture their experience, so ensure it is packed.

Lauren Lancaster, a documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, NY, who says Dubai is one of the most difficult cities in the world to photograph, has experienced firsthand taking photos in the bright sun, abiding by local customs and the zealous security guards that can prevent even the simplest shots. She shows it is possible to make good pictures in the Emirates, despite these constraints. With her artistic eye and technical mastery of the trade, she was able, with consent, to capture stunning portraits using the right light, revealing the scene at that moment. Lauren is among many photographers that have gone to Dubai, taking back those great moments from her trip. She says the emirate city is a photogenic destination that makes for gorgeous photos.

Another person keen on photography is Simone Caprodossi, an Italian underwater and travel photographer, who lives in Dubai pursing his interest in underwater photography at various dive destinations in the region. His UW photos of marine life were features in the magazine of the Emirates Diving Association. To view some of Simone Caprodossi work, visit

So, when visiting the Emirates, make sure to bring a good camera with you, like the Nikon D610, a DSLR that offers top-notch photo quality, a well-built body and impressive movie recording capabilities, as Nico de Corato, founder of DubaiBlog and the new Abu Dhabi-centered states. He adds the Nikon D610 is professional photographer’s recommended gear. As a Divemaster, he is seen using the NiMar housing for a Nikon D3200 camera with AF-s Nikkor 18/55 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and eyepiece to take UW photos.

Top digital camera brands, like Nikon, with digital single-lens reflex cameras (digital SLR or DSLR) are a great option for photographers. Those with an interest in this gear and that would like to learn how to use it can find the Nikon School in Dubai the place to improve their picture-taking skills. Students will receive easy-to-understand explanations of the camera features and build upon their photographic efforts, whatever their level of experience.

Photography in Dubai – What you need to know

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