MUSCAT, JUNE 11 - Winners of region’s biggest photography competitions were honoured at Bait Al Zubair on Monday. Mohammad al Zubair, whose professional photography has earned him numerous awards and several published photobooks dedicated to capturing the beauty and
architecture of Oman, presented the Al Zubair Photography Awards to the winners. Ahmed al Toqi won the first prize RO 4,000 for his photograph of ‘Harat Al Ramil’, Ian White the second prize RO 2,000 for his photograph of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Sanjoy Sengupta the third prize RO 1,000 for his photograph of the Royal Opera House Muscat, titled ‘Reflection.’ The theme of the first edition of the biennial award was Omani architecture.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammad al Farei, CEO of Bait Al Zubair, said, “Oman has been able to highlight its talents in the art of photography over the past decade both locally and internationally. The award has been able to bring forth the talents that have been cultivated locally over the years, and unearth them through this exciting award.”
It is an honour to recognise the work of the photographers and highlight the many facets and intricacies hidden in the beauty of Omani architecture, he said.
“Our objective was to inspire photographers to explore Oman’s architecture, feel enlightened by the beauty surrounding them, document it and share it with
the world. I’m happy to say that we were successful in achieving this based on the high quality and artfulness of the submissions,” Al Farei said.
He said that selecting the final winners was a challenge.
“Still we are confident and delighted by the winners and all the photographic work of Oman that has been shared for the award,” he added.
Around 1,600 local and international photographers from over 40 countries took part
in the contest. Over 65 per cent of the submissions received were from Omani photographers.
Submissions highlighted the many facets and intricacies of historical, traditional and contemporary Omani landmarks, such as
images of forts, mosques, homes and traditional buildings.
Commenting on his photograph, first prize winner, Al Toqi, said, “I am really proud to win the first
prize of the Al Zubair Photography Awards in the theme of architecture photography. I selected a unique aerial shot of the Al Rami neighbourhood in Bahla.
What makes the neighbourhood special is the number of homes at a close proximity to one another and narrow alleys running through them situated on the slopes of the mountain.”
Al Toqi continued, “I would like to thank Bait Al Zubair and Mohammad al Zubair for supporting the arts and culture in Oman, especially the craft of photography through the Al Zubair Photography Awards, which is the biggest Award of its kind in the country.”
The competition was judged by prominent Omani architect and Chairman of Al Mouj, Sultan bin Hamdoon al Harthi, along with leading international photographers Victor Romero, Catalin Marin, Henry Dallal and Khamis al Moharbi.