The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA)

15th Mar

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) is an internationally renowned photography competition. It was launched in 2011 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. The award enjoys a social and legal stature as a tool for promoting Dubai’s vision of artistic and cultural excellence. On a local level, the award hopes to develop and increase awareness of the art of photography amongst the local Emirati population.


Dear talented participants,

Everyone has different artistic senses. These senses are very much influenced by many things, big and small, visible and invisible. They could be environment related, all the things which we see and hear from day-to-day. They could be rooted to deeper, inner feelings, emotions and experiences. There is not one particular factor which contributes or influences a specific artistic form, but many. However, we will all probably agree that a true artist is like a light of hope which illuminates humanities path towards a brighter future, with his renewed creativity and vision.

Because true innovation is like an infinite pool of achievement, wisdom tells us that mere mortal words are insufficient to express the true value of the talented people, whose ambition is to uplift the value of beauty, through art, in a world that has become materialistic, calculating everything in currency, numbers and status, which sees only wins and losses in terms of materialistic possessions and positions. Art, in its many forms, is the highest form of communication; it speaks from the soul.

I thank all the talented photographers who have participated in this monumental event. Your efforts and the exceptionally fine models you have produced, which seamlessly combine the many artistic traditions and techniques of this art, regardless of education and background, with the beauty of reality, is an appreciated effort that reflects the important role played by the art of photography in the creative realm.

We present this award, which has been honoured with the blessing of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister, and Governor of Dubai, in an effort to establish on the global stage an inspirational international competition. This is a competition through which artistic photographs communicate to all of humanity, without the need of words, and without the challenges of cultural boundaries. It is a competition which reaches out towards a wider horizon, one which embraces your talents and nurtures them to their fullest capacity.

Anyone who follows the evolution of the most important modern visual arts would have noticed the overwhelming popularity that the art of photography has acquired over recent times. This is without doubt a testament to the innovations of modern technology, which has unleashed infinite creativity amongst those talented in this field. Photography has become a most popular art, if not up to the level of practice, then up to the level of sheer delight of the visions depicted through its creative modes. Because the United Arab Emirates, specifically the Emirate of Dubai, strive to keep up, if not to surpass, this artistic uniqueness, through constructive economical and cultural development in order that our own talented be distinguished amongst the world’s best, we would be honoured if you would partner with us to shine our light of ambition and innovation through participation in this award.

The Emirate of Dubai presents to lovers of this particular art a new and refreshing international aspect through this award, which will distinguish it from other initiatives already sponsoring the art of photography. This new addition is for those who are inspired by our natural passion for innovation and leadership, and the constant encouragement and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The Ruler of Dubai.

May Allah guide us all to recognise and pursue that which promotes the welfare and well being of a nobler world, with its graceful value of the arts. We trust that we are all capable of accepting and shouldering the responsibility we have towards our country, and are worthy of the faith put in us by our leaders.

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum


Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Owais (Chairman)


Born in the Emirate of Sharjah, Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Owais comes from a family renowned for its cultural and literary interests. He graduated in 1989 from UEAU, Al Ain with a BA in Accounting and Information Systems.

While studying, Owais pursued his passion for photography, modern Arabic calligraphy and Arab plastic arts. Amongst his current tenures in the fields of literature, arts, culture and media the most important is his position as Minister of Culture Youth and Community Development, which he has held since 2006. He has also attends the following roles: 1992 to present: Member of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation’s board of trustees. Present: Chairman of the General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare.

Beyond art and culture, he assumes leadership responsibilities in the financial and banking sector:

Current: Member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.1994 to date: Member of the board of directors of the Sharjah Islamic.2001-2006: Mr Owais was also a member of the board of directors for Emirates Media Inc.2004 to 2006: Board member of Real Estate Bank.

Saeed M. Al Nabouda (Vice Chairman)

Ali Khalifa Bin Thalith Al Humairi (Secretary General)

Majed Al Bastaki (Member)

Matar Bin Lahej (Member)

Henry Dallal (Member)

Ahmed Saeed Al Mansouri (Member)


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