Noura said serving the UAE is "a never-stopping life long mission". Image Credit: UAE Presidential Court

Abu Dhabi: Emirati photographer and anthropologist Noura Al Neyadi today was received by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who encouraged her to continue exploring cultures through the lens and foster understanding between peoples.

Noura expressed her appreciation for Sheikh Mohamed’s continued support for Emirati youth, which inspires them to pursue excellence in all walks of life.

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“I’m pleasured and overly honored to share this moment with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Talking about international projects & initiatives. Serving our leaders & AE is a never-stopping life long mission,” Noura wrote on her Instagram account (@nooralneyadi), on which she has almost 34,000 followers.

Helping communities

Noura goes beyond passively capturing the scene in front of her. In May, she was featured on CNN about her work in the African country of Chad, where she spent weeks living in a tent among native tribes, documenting their lives and culture, and drawing attention to the landlocked nation’s water crisis.

Shortly afterwards, Noura raised funds for the construction of water wells for communities there. During the month she was in Chad, Noura chose to shun modern comforts so she could be close to local people.

“I was completely disconnected from the world and just focused on the surroundings and the souls I got to meet throughout my journey,“ Noura in the CNN interview.

In her quest to sensitise viewers to the cultural and natural diversity of the world, Noura, who has a master’s degree in international business from Zayed University, has travelled far and wide – from the Sahara desert to the Arctic Circle.

Documenting heroes

At home – in the UAE – Noura visually narrated the stories of frontline heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, documenting their professional lives for weeks.

Noura, who is a creative consultant, also has an eye for architecture, composing landmarks of the UAE and cityscapes, sometimes with older buildings in the same shot, as if to capture the country’s rapid transformation in one frame.

Her work has been showcased at exhibitions and events such as the leading Sikka Art Fair in Dubai. She also provides brands with content for their business needs.

“I am focused on bridging the gap between brands and audiences through visual art - leveraging unique perspectives, creative treatments and storytelling. I enjoy bringing passion, energy and creativity to my approach to managing projects, partnerships and creative influencers for global and regional brands with experience over four-plus years,” Noura says on her LinkedIn profile.