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Al Amal Hospital: Taken in Al Amal Hospital a day before the building was demolished in 2017. Al Gurg’s niece was exploring the grounds when he took these shots. He believes that there is an appeal to abandoned places and the ambiance they create. Image Credit: Omar Al Gurg

Dubai: Behind the UAE’s glamourous skylines, Omar Al Gurg, 24, finds beauty and intrigue in the places that are not the typical backdrop to your regular tourist shots.

And through this passion, the young Emirati, who graduated with a degree in architecture from Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland, can combine his architectural expertise with an artistic eye, to capture the ultimate photo.

His journey behind the lens began at the age of 14 when he began posting pictures on social media app Flickr.

“I got many positive comments from strangers who were supportive of me because I was very young,” he told Gulf News this week.

Developing his talent he gradually realised his passion for creativity.

“Photography helped me find myself,” he said, “When I take pictures I zone out, I just focus on my camera and what’s in front of it. It’s like meditation for me.”

With an eye for the unconventional spots in the UAE, Al Gurg finds interesting areas to capture that aren’t your usual take on the emirates.

“I think it’s important to explore certain parts of the UAE that people have forgotten about,” he said. “I like finding spots outside the city, where there’s a whole lot of nothing. We are now surrounded by all of these modern buildings, which makes most tourist photos, quite generic. That’s why it is important to venture into the heart of the UAE.”

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Omar Al Gurg looks for his next subject Image Credit: Virendra Saklani, Gulf News

Al Gurg is grateful for the encouragement he receives in the UAE that allows its youth to explore creative platforms.

“When you’re in a city that’s constantly evolving with new buildings and new events, that in itself is inspiration for the public to develop and be creative alongside it.”

Having a supportive community, he said, is an important aspect of every creative’s journey.

“When you’re surrounded by creatives you’re always encouraged to be creative, you need to look at it as healthy competition.”

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Omar Al Gurg poses during a Gulf News shoot at Dubai Canal Image Credit: Virendra Saklani, Gulf News

He also emphasises the importance of using your art to keep you inspired and motivated.

“Use your creative outlet to get you through your rough patches in life,” he added.

Al Gurg’s photographs have been featured in numerous magazines throughout the years and he is currently working on an independent project, which is a photography book featuring buildings in Portugal with light traveling through them. With these shots he intends to produce a coffee table book that will explore how light makes people feel in certain places.