Dubai: An exhibition of the winning and shortlisted images from the second season of the Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) opened at London’s Royal Geographical Society on Tuesday.

The free exhibition is part of a global tour and features the best photographs from HIPA’s 2012-13 Beauty of Light season, the winners of which were announced at the award’s grand event in March.

It is the first time the awards have visited the UK.

A highlight of the event will be a lecture by Reza Deghati, recipient of HIPA’s 2012-13 Photography Appreciation Award. Deghati is a photojournalist and humanitarian.

The lecture, titled “Photography for Humanity”, will take place on Wednesday.

Running until Friday, the HIPA exhibition will include landscapes, portraits and black and white images by photographers from around the world. It will also showcase the work of five British photographers.

Established in 2011 by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, HIPA is open to photographers of all abilities and boasts the largest Grand Prize award in the world of photography of $120,000 (almost Dh440,700), and the largest overall prize fund of $389,000 (around Dh1.4 million).

HIPA Secretary General Ali Bin Thalith said: “It is with the utmost honour that we bring HIPA to London for the exhibition and lecture at the Royal Geographical Society. HIPA is a key example of the Emirate of Dubai’s commitment to the encouragement and support of art, culture and innovation which, in recent years, has turned Dubai and the UAE into a hub for creativity.

He added: “It is our continued obligation to share this duty of encouragement with photographers from all around the world and we will continue to do so by taking HIPA to the world stage.”

On a local level, the award hopes to develop and increase awareness of the art of photography amongst the young Emirati population.

The award recently rounded off participation at the India International Photo Video Trade Fair in Ahmedabad, India. With over 35,000 visitors to the event, HIPA has now completed two legs of its international road show which also included last month’s PhotoImage Brasil in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.

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