It took the best part of year before photographer Wouter Kingma was able to complete his project to shoot Dubai from the skies.
Only two days of that were actually spent in the air and then only at the fourth attempt. The rest was taken up by red tape, negotiations with officials, air space closures and, at one point, a blanket of fog.
The result, though, published this month is a stunning and often unfamiliar perspective on one of the world’s great cities.
“I’ve been here 12 years and the city has grown a lot in that time, “ says Kingma, who is originally from the Netherlands.
“I’m really proud to see what has been achieved in the time I have been here.”
Taken from a helicopter, Kingma’s photographs swoop down on the Palm Jumeirah — for which he used a fisheye lens and the city’s desert fringes.
At its lowest point, the helicopter was flying at around 300 metres, rising to a dizzy 900 metres to shoot one of the most dramatic images, looking down up the top of the Burj Khalifa.
That shoot was particularly memorable, says Kingma. As the helicopter gains altitude it begins to vibrate more, with the pilot tipping the aircraft at the final moment so that he could compose the shot.
He describes the experience as feeling “like shooting inside a tumble drier.”
To avoid changing lenses, he carried four different Canon camera bodies, each fitted with a different lens, including a super telephoto.
The oldest building is the Ruler’s fort in Bur Dubai, the latest, the newest the Maktoum International Airport that is set to become the biggest airport in the world.
There are camels at Al Lisaili racetrack, a rare herd of Arabian Oryx feeding at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and the flamingo flock at Ras Al Khor.
Dhows on the creek contrast to vast liquid gas container ships leaving Port Rashid.
For a city that seems to sprawling on the ground, Dubai can seem surprisingly small when you race over it in a helicopter, says Kingma. But it is also a city that seems grown larger almost with every shutter click.
Dubai Aerial Tour by Wouter Kingma Motivate Publishing