The 30 proud winners of the Abu Dhabi Through Your Eyes’ competition seen with Saif Saeed Gobash, undersecretary Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT- Abu Dhabi). Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Thirty winners of the Abu Dhabi Through Your Eyes’ art, film and photographic competition were announced at Manarat Al Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.

More than 4,000 citizens and residents vied for the top-notch selection of photography, films and art categories, in which over 90 different nationalities took part.

This year’s categories included art, creative writing, film 24 hours in 24 seconds, photography of city and architecture, culture, traditions, landscapes, sports, nature and wildlife, people and life, and cities of Al Ain, Al Dhafra and people’s choice award.

In the art category, Ukrainian national Marharyta Minevrina won the first prize, Emirati Salama Mohammad Al Hammadi from Ras Al Khaimah stood second and Abu Dhabi resident Natalie Humphery grabbed the third place.

The General Secretariat of the Executive Council commissioned the competition, which celebrates Abu Dhabi by bringing together exciting, emotive and creative reflections of the emirate’s culture and society.

The competition aims to get participants to explore the emirate through photography, film, art or writing. The budding photographers and filmmakers participated in a media competition titled ‘Abu Dhabi Through Your Eyes’ and vied for a cash prizes.

In creative writing, Leena Obaid (right) grabbed first position and Emirati Abeer Ahmad Al Harethi stood second. This category has only two winners.

In films, five people were awarded, including Beno Saradzic [first], Reem Abdullah [second], Abdul Majeed Abbasi [third], Anand Pious [fourth] and Joebel Garcisto [fifth].

According to organisers, the aim of the competition is to get participants to explore the emirate and showcase it from their own unique perspective — whether through photography, film, art or writing.

In photography’s city and architecture category, Emirati Khalid Al Hammadi got first prize and Galib Arnaut stood second.

Speaking to Gulf News, Leena Obaid, 21 years old Saudi national who won first prize in creative writing, said, “I keep writing from my childhood, but this is the first time I took part and my work won me a prize.”

In her piece, “The Singsong of the City” which won her the prize, she described city of Abu Dhabi saying: “if you listen closely, this city will speak to you.”

“I am living here since last three years and it felt like home. The thing I like most about the Abu Dhabi is the multi-culturalism. You can find people from different nationalities and interact with them. You learn at every bit,” she said.

Culture and traditions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE are similar, said Obaid who studies Aerospace engineering at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.

Emirati Abdul Rahman Mohammad (right), 22 years old, who won second place in People and Life category, said, “I feel motivated after winning the prize. I am happy that my photograph was selected. It’s my hobby to capture different aspects of Abu Dhabi’s culture and traditions.”

Mohammad Ali Rajak (right) from India stood first in this category.

“I took this photograph of an old Emirati preparing a carpet using old traditional techniques at Shaikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba this year,” said Mohammad, who graduated in mechanical engineering from Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi.

And Ukraine national, Marharyta Minevrina (right), 24 years old, who won the first prize in the arts category, said, “this is a big honour for me and thank the organisers who gave us a chance to explore this beautiful city, values and culture, no matter from where we are. We all share the same values.”

Her drawing was about the Wahat Al Karama, dedicated for martyrs of the country. It’s located just next to Grand Shaikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

“Since childhood I have been drawing as a hobby, but later I developed it into a profession, said Minevrina, who is an artist living in Abu Dhabi for two years.