Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

Souqs of the Middle East: 22 of the best photos of markets from around the region

National Geographic Abu Dhabi's ninth staging of their Moments photography exhibition received over 50,000 photographs from across the Arab world

Over 50,000 photographs capturing the "diversity and stories of markets from around the Arab world" have been submitted to judges for this year's National Geographic Abu Dhabi's Moments photography competition.

Open to photographers of all skill levels, the competition has now been running for nine years, and aims to help budding photographers with exposure and mentoring. It's open to entrants from all ages 13 and up, and featured a returning category this year for those aged 13 to 17.

This year's theme was "Souqs of the Middle East", and implored photographers to "capture the diversity and stories of markets from around the Arab world, which have been at the heart of the region’s culture and history". The competition is held in partnership with Almarai.

The competition proved increasingly popular with GCC, and UAE, photographers this year, who constituted one-third of all entries in this year’s edition, doubling last year’s entries from the region.

UAE photographers showed the highest increase in submissions in the GCC, with a 62 per cent rise over last year.

Shortlisted photographs are expected to be announced in the coming weeks following a selection by this year’s judging team, which features Hussam R Abdulqader, chief marketing officer of Almarai, and Mohammad Muheisen, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and National Geographic photographer.

This year’s grand prize winner will have their photograph printed in the National Geographic magazine Arabic edition and head on a 10-day international photography expedition trip, worth $10,000, where they will be mentored by National Geographic expert photographers, in addition to $5,000 worth of photography equipment.

Last year, 22-year-old aspiring photographer Mohammed Al Baraway, from Gaza, picked up the top prize at the competition. Over 40,000 entries were received, and 64 finalists were shortlisted.

Take a look at our gallery above of a selection of 22 entries from the competition.

Updated: October 7, 2019 02:27 PM

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