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25 February 2024

Hala Badri visits The Ocean’s Gems

By Emirates 247

Hala Badri, Director General of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), has visited The Ocean's Gems exhibition by Emirati photographer Ali Bin Thalith, Secretary General of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award, that is being held at Khawla Art Gallery in Dubai Design District from 5 to 28 January. During her tour, accompanied by Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, Badri was briefed on the photographic collection within the exhibition that embodies Ali Bin Thalith's creativity, known for his amazing artistic shots documenting the beauty of the local environment.

Badri affirmed the importance of supporting talent and providing opportunities to enable them to express their ideas and various artistic visions, stressing that Dubai's hosting of photography exhibitions cements its position and is another sign of the strength of its artistic and creative scene. She emphasised that The Ocean's Gems exhibition highlights the art of underwater photography, and shows the capabilities and craftsmanship of photographer Ali Bin Thalith in conveying the Emirati natural environment and forms an essential part of local culture and heritage, saying: "The exhibition gives the public the opportunity to discover the marine environment and its aesthetics, and to learn about the secrets of the oceans."

Badri confirmed that local photography is currently witnessing increasing passion and interest, emphasising that Dubai Culture's support for creatives comes as part of its responsibility towards the cultural and creative industries in the emirate. She also praised Bin Thalith's artistic ingenuity and efforts in showcasing the environment.

The exhibition, which includes 46 photographs, sheds light on a series of unique and exceptional works by Bin Thalith, within which he captured a group of rare underwater creatures. It also documents his passion, photographic experience, and expertise in this field.
Ali Bin Thalith is considered one of the most famous underwater photography specialists, and he holds a diploma in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London Academy and a diploma in French Language and Literature from the University of Montpellier, France. He has also participated in a number of international photography courses in Britain, France and Dubai. In 2014, he was awarded with the International Photographic Council’s (IPC) Professional Photographer Leadership Award for his career’s work, becoming the first Emirati and Arab recipient of the prestigious accolade. Bin Thalith's record is full of a number of publications and documentaries, most notably the short documentary film titled Gaza Diver, which narrates the journey and hopes of a young amputee who travels to Dubai for medical treatment.