IFZA Dubai, one of the most dynamic Free Zones in the UAE, and Nikon Middle East and Africa, one of the world’s foremost optics and imaging experts, have announced the winners of the ground-breaking ‘WOMAN, PHENOMENALLY’ contest. The Nikon MEA photo contest for women, powered by IFZA, was launched to celebrate the boundary-pushing, game-changing talent of female photographers in the region.
Phenomenal women, phenomenal entries
The winners, Muneera H and Amal Aglan, were officially unveiled at a special IFZA Majlis at V Hotel Dubai, which was also live-streamed for viewers in other countries. UAE winner Muneera was presented with her prize of a 1-year IFZA Dubai Free Zone Business License, Nikon Z 6 camera and NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4S in person at the event, while regional winner Amal received her 1-year IFZA Dubai Free Zone Business License, Nikon Z 5 camera and NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 via video-call during the Majlis.
The amazing winning entries were chosen based on the criteria of Technical Merits, Artistic Merits, and Storytelling, by an all-female panel, which included photography and videography entrepreneur Ausra Osipaviciute and Arya Chitra, the Head of Operations for Nikon Kids Photo Club. The selection process proved to be exceptionally difficult for the judging panel, as more than 750 spectacular entries flooded in from all over the region, making it one of the most successful contests ever organised by Nikon MEA – a remarkable feat considering the relatively small demographic involved.
An impactful collaboration
Speaking about the success of ‘WOMAN, PHENOMENALLY’ at the IFZA Majlis, Martin Pedersen, Chairman of IFZA Dubai, said, “It is an honour for IFZA Dubai to be part of this campaign that recognises and rewards the efforts of creative women in the region, to empower them, and turn their creative passion into a profession inside our business-focused community. We are delighted to welcome Muneera and Amal into the IFZA Dubai community, where people are motivated to create, inspired to succeed, and enabled to become part of an ever-evolving ecosystem that nurtures energy, creativity and excellence.
“We also celebrate the importance of collaborations that allow us to showcase Dubai’s ability to thrive beyond business, as well as the scale of the project and the meaningful results we have generated in empowering female creative entrepreneurs in the UAE and the entire region. So, we are very grateful to Nikon MEA for walking hand in hand with us in giving phenomenal women a platform to share their stories, and we look forwarding to more collaborations between IFZA Dubai and Nikon in the near future.”
During his speech at the IFZA Majlis, Narendra Menon, Managing Director of Nikon Middle East FZE, stated, “Not only did we ask the contestants to submit phenomenal photos, but we also asked them for phenomenal photos of phenomenal women with phenomenal stories. This competition is unique, in that for the first time ever, storytelling was a major part of the criteria, and we are awestruck at just how well Muneera and Amal have managed to encapsulate the essence of storytelling in their images.”
“With IFZA Dubai, we wanted to celebrate the achievements of women in the region; moreover, in choosing the prizes, we wanted to give the winners a true opportunity to shape a better future for themselves, not just as photographers, but as entrepreneurs. We are so grateful to have executed such a strong and impactful collaboration with the IFZA team, who have shared and supported our vision to shine a bigger spotlight on the amazingly talented and dedicated female photographers of the Middle East and Africa,” he added.
In addition to its ground-breaking collaboration with Nikon MEA, IFZA is celebrating the holy month of Ramadan with its very own IFZA Majlis, a unique networking platform. Honouring the season of giving and sharing, each Majlis is dedicated to a specific set of IFZA Partners and their employees.