Dubai Engagement Photos | Lee & Lucy

December 22, 2011

This particular shoot location seemed destined to happen.

Lee and Lucy, whose wedding I’ll be photographing at Stoke Rochford Hall later this month, live in Dubai. Because they live abroad we had planned to do their pre-wedding shoot and planning meeting here in the UK, just two days before their wedding.

I’ll spare you the long explanation and just say that our paths unexpectedly crossed in Ras al Khaimar (RAK), about an hour outside of Dubai. Hubs and I were having a long overdue summer break and Lee & Lucy were in the area to celebrate a friend’s birthday, which was completely unknown until I sent an email to all our December couples to let them know we’d be out of the office for a few days. What were the chances?!

We took advantage of fate’s helping hand and planned to do their pre-wedding portraits out in RAK. Google turned up trumps with a great location. An ‘OMG I might actually start doing cartwheels’ location would be a more fitting description.

Al Jazirah al Hamra is an abandoned pearl-fishing town. It was built in the 1300’s and has been neglected since the late 60’s. Locals believe it to be haunted though we found it more surreal than scary. And endlessly fascinating.

I’m used to working with onlookers but shooting in the desert with robed Emiratis looking on was something else. That and the odd brightly coloured plastic toy and doll’s head poking out from the monotone dusty rubble. Even the silence wasn’t particularly eerie and only broken by the Islamic call for prayer. So not your every day location.

Ghost town or not, it’s an amazing piece of history and really interesting to see a traditional, authentic side to the UAE which is better known for its’ biggest, highest, fastest, uber luxurious nature. I loved the barren feel, the decay, the crumbling buildings, the typically Arabian architectural details, the weathered doors and windows falling off their hinges, the ochre colours, the coral and shell detail in the walls … Oh my, I could go on.

Do leave some love for Lee and Lucy in the comments below. They were such troopers scrambling over fallen rocks in blazing hot sunshine to get these photographs!


  1. Jo on December 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Wow Sarah, stunning. Amazing location as well.

  2. Juliet on December 23, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Well these are just fantastic. What a great twist of fate that you all came to be in such an amazing location( and a very good looking couple as well).

  3. Miranda on December 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Amazing! LOVE the orange ‘not just a wall’ one the best! xx

  4. Aaron Collett on December 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    That ‘wall’ is incredible… What a find! Gorgeous photos, gorgeous couple. Have a great Christmas Sarah.

  5. Catherine Frawley on December 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    wowee! what an incredible location and gorgeous couple!

  6. Carys Warrell on December 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    This shoot is brilliant! What a backdrop hey! :D xx merry Christmas to you too

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