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16 April 2024

UAE SDG Photography Award winners announced

Photo: WAM


In a special ceremony held at Dubai Frame, the General Secretariat of the National Committees on Sustainable Development Goals, and in collaboration with the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award, HIPA, announced tonight the winners of the UAE SDG Photography Award.

The ceremony was attended by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chairman of the Global Council on Sustainable Development Goal 13, Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Food Security. Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office and Chairwoman of Global Council on Sustainable Development Goal 11, Dawood Al Hajri, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, Ali Khalifa Bin Thalith, Secretary-General of HIPA, Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority and Vice Chairman of the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Dr. Dina Assaf, United Nations Resident Coordinator to the UAE. The ceremony was also attended by several senior officials, members of the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, members of the Youth Advisory Board for SDGs, along with guests interested in sustainable development and photography.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of the UAE National Committee on SDGs, addressed the importance of raising awareness on sustainable development.

"Today, we are marking the participation of more than 4,000 photographers from 132 countries around the world taking part in a competition that focuses on spreading global awareness on the importance of the SDGs through photographers’ creative lenses," she said. "Global participation is proof that SDG awareness should be based not only on the efforts of governments, but also on the diverse contributions of societies through art, music, photography, and other arts."

Al Hashimy also added that that National Committees on Sustainable Development Goals, are delighted the award supported UAE’s role as a global contributor to implementing and raising awareness on the sustainability goals. "Not only at the local level but also on an international scale."

Considering that the award participation window did not exceed 66 days, competition intensity among participants was apparent and reflected in the high quality of the photos submitted. Total number of participants reached 4105 contestants from 132 countries. Over 7,000 photos were submitted covering the award’s five categories themes: People, Earth, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships. Themes were selected to represent the 17 SDGs.

In his welcoming note, Abdullah Nasser Lootah emphasized that SDGs are the roadmap for a prosperous world that we all seek to live in. "The UAE SDG Photography Award focuses on boosting global awareness on the goals to inspire communities around the world to build a future we all eager to have for our children and future generations."

Lootah added the he is proud to be actively contributing to the implementation of the SDGs by designing innovative initiatives to raise awareness about the goals, as this would significantly play a part in inspiring individuals and institutions around the world to contribute to the achievement of the 2030 sustainability agenda.

"We have the pleasure of cooperating with the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals in this distinctive award. This innovative award focuses on current challenges facing our world, and does so while enriching the visual library of the SDGs through photos associated directly with the five themes of the competition: People, Planet, Peace, Prosperity and Partnerships," said Ali Khalifa bin Thalith.

"We, at HIPA, are committed to harnessing our accumulated technical expertise in photography competitions to serve our joint goals. We are also dedicated to raising the bar and standards of evaluation and judging for this photography awards to the highest international levels; given the importance of this award and its aspiration to spreading awareness on SDGs globally."

The awards winners’ announcement was hosted at Dubai Frame, a unique venue that officially recognized as the largest picture frame in the world, and located in a city that embodies the spirit of SDGs.

Daoud Al Hajri, Director-General of the Dubai Municipality, stated: "The Dubai Frame is an astounding architectural icon designed to bring together old and new Dubai landmarks in one place. Indeed, selecting the Dubai Frame to host the ceremony of the "UAE SDG Photography Award" is a vivid illustration of the prominence of photos in our world. It is not unusual for creative photographers from all over the world to get together in a city like Dubai. The city is known to be the most sustainable in the world and exerts continuous efforts within its strategic frameworks to enhance its leading position in sustainability."

"The government has undertaken to further promote Dubai as one of the best sustainable cities in the world. Since the beginning of the year 2014, all new construction projects in Dubai are required to implement the specifications and technical requirements system for green buildings. The photos displayed in the ceremony reflect the various realities of different parts of the world. I do hope that they would inspire everyone to have the real desire to choose sustainability for our future and the future of the generations to come," added Al Hajeri.

Competition Results A five winners received a total of $ 25,000 distributed among the five main themes of the competition, Abdulla Lootah and Ali Bin Thalith announced the winners’ names who are: Gobo Kao (China)- Peace Theme Award.

Turan Topalar (Turkey)- Human Theme Award.

Danilo Victorian Junior (Philippines)- Prosperity Theme Award.

Rakesh Bolaba (India)- Earth Theme Award.

Hussein Mohamed Ali (Egypt)- Partnerships Theme Award The UAE SDG Photography Award was promoted using 13 different international languages, including the six official languages of the United Nations and sign language.

The UAE SDG Photography Award Organizing Committee praised the participation of the Emirati photographers. Abdulla Lootah made a special announcement in which he recognized the participation of the Emirati photographers, namely Suleiman Eid Al Hammadi, Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed and Ali Ahmed Al Ali.

The UAE SDG Photography Award reflects the UAE’s keen interest in the environment, human and sustainable development. The volume of the submissions and the diversity in the participants’ nationalities reflect the awareness of the photographers with the importance and depth of the five messages tackled by the Award. Each theme is a prestigious humane message and influences the future of humanity. Photographers do understand the power of the photo and its impact on changing for the better," concluded Lootah.