The work of Dubai-based French photographer Gilles Delmotte is currently showing at the Mercato Shopping Mall as part of the Dubai Summer Surprises 2008.

His exhibition is a collection of about 40 portraits that captures the essence of Dubai and other locations abroad, he says.

Delmotte has paid special attention to Dubai's urban developments over the years. The gradual construction of Burj Dubai, which will be the world's tallest building, is part of the exhibition and was photographed from many angles.

Visitors said the most striking piece is one of high-rise buildings on Shaikh Zayed Road that were shrouded in morning mist.

The camera used to take this picture cost the artist almost Dh174,000. "I sometimes need this kind of highly sophisticated camera to portray places and events with special characteristics and climatic conditions," he says.

Capturing progress

Delmotte's passion is landscapes and portraits of interesting locations. He now resides in Dubai after having spent 15 years as a photographer in France. His photos are described as beautifully constructed and completely in harmony with the surrounds.

DSS 2008 organisers say that with his focus on the ever-changing face of Dubai, he successfully portrays the progress the city has undergone through his lenses.

"I strongly believe that a photograph is the best instrument for newsmaking. One intelligently picked photo could be more indicative than a lengthy feature article, but this doesn't mean we should stop reading, a hobby without which I wouldn't have taken any photographs in my life," said Delmotte.

"The secret behind taking distinguished photos is to look for things that are not seen by others, and meticulously reading about the subject in question," he added.

Technology has made photography easier than before, he says, "but at the same time, and thanks to these sophisticated techniques, photographers are now more required to produce the finest photos."

What else is happening this DSS?

Islamic edutainment

The Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain Centre for Islamic Culture has started its student programme during DSS 2008 to impart cultural knowledge and religious awareness.

The summer programme is run at the Umm Al Sheiff and Al Mazhar branches, which are affiliated to the Department for Islamic Affairs and Charity Works in Dubai.

Quran recitation and memorisation courses as well as cultural lectures and contests for students at different ages and schools stages will be held, said Mona Mohammad Bel Hasa, director of the centre.

Health education courses for female students will also be held to create awareness on the dangers of obesity and blood pressure problems, importance of personal hygiene and good nutrition, she said.

Teen zone

Modhesh Fun City, as part of its DSS 2008 line up, is hosting games not only for children but their teenage counterparts as well. The Teenager Zone, located at the West Hall of the venue, includes popular games like snooker and the soccer table for a token price.

Organisers say all game equipment at Modhesh Fun City are of the highest standards keeping in line with the venue's commitment in providing the ultimate entertainment to all visitors this summer.