United Arab Emirates: Photography in Dubai

Photography in the UAE is always a problem; you have to be respectful to other people given the culture and privacy enjoyed by most people in the UAE. Anyone with enough ignorance can land themselves in trouble quite easily by not asking permission, but even when you HAVE the permission, you rarely HAVE the permission.


  • Unless you are in Saudi Arabia, because there it is even more serious than anywhere else in the Middle East.

  • I’ve only been to the UAE a few times, but I’ve never had problems photographing people. I found the Emiratis to be very friendly and considerate about me photographing them. Even more so in Oman. In contrast, I felt it harder to take pictures of people in Egypt, particularly women and children. More often than not my requests to photographed people were turned down.

    The hardest place to photograph people, for me at least, was Ghana. One of the friendliest places in the world, but many people would get hostile when they saw the camera, even if I weren’t taking pictures. Day after day I was interrogated by people wanting to know why I wanted to photograph people. Similar experience in Bolivia, though not as extreme.

    Best places to take pics of people? In no particular order: Turkey, Bali, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal.

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