6 January 2006

We can see clearly now...

...the smog has gone.

Over the past few days, Dubai and the UAE have been in mourning due to the death of its beloved Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who upon his death, held the posts of Ruler of the Dubai emirate, and was also Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.

Sheikh Maktoum was an instrumental force in the forming of the UAE in the early 70s, and was witness to his father Sheikh Rashid, and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed, signing the agreement that was the catalyst to the 7 emirates coming together as the UAE.

You can read more about these inspirational men from the links in the sidebar of this blog.

As a result of Sheikh Maktoum’s death, in the UAE, a 3 day mourning period was declared for the private business sector, a 7 day mourning period for the public sector and government, and an official 40 day mourning period for the country. During this time, there are no parties, no loud music, flags are flown at half-mast, and all celebrations have been cancelled or postponed – even the Dubai Shopping Festival and the marathon.

This has also meant that there has been no work since Wednesday – and in particular, there is no construction taking place on any of the numerous building sites that are dotted around Dubai. No red, blue, green or yellow overalled men to be seen anywhere.

As a result, there is also no construction traffic: cement mixers; cement pumps; water trucks; cranes; trucks carrying sand, gravel, iron, building panels, rocks or glass – and no buses carrying the workers. In fact, there has been very little traffic of any kind.

For 2 days now, the air has been pollution-free and crystalline. So much so, that today from our 21th floor (this is what it says on the sign!) office, we have been able to clearly see the Emirates Road to the east, and over that, the jagged Hajjar mountains that border the UAE and Oman. Out west to sea, we spotted the oilrigs – and the horizon - the latter is usually cloaked in a layer of smog that obliterates the setting sun, and rarely allows for a decent sunset.

This clear air is fabulous! It gives us hope that, one day, when most of new Dubai has been built and the construction traffic is reduced, the clear skies and superb visibility will once again reign supreme.

Bring it on!

The images of the Grosvenor House Hotel and the Dubai Marina were taken tonight just after sunset.


Dubai Sunshine said...

Wow..those are stunning pictures! They look like postcards! Amazing.

nzm said...

Thanks Dubai Sunshine!

You have no idea how often people say that about my images!

I take it as a compliment - it's better than saying that they look like chocolate box images - I think that I'd hit the first person who said that! :-)

Am placing a link to your blog from ours - hope you don't mind. Please email me @ nzm_uae(at)hotmail.com if you want me to remove the link.


moryarti said...

Luuurv the new UAE Bloogers Link .. :)

nzm said...

thanks, Moryarti!

something I whipped up in 5 mins! LOL


Dubai Sunshine said...

Thanks for adding a link to my blog! Very nice of you. As a matter of fact, I'll do the same with your blog on mine.

samuraisam said...

how about some larger copies of the images, it's a pity you put such small copies ):, doesn't do justice for the iamges.
also, what camera are you taking these photos with?

MD said...

the shots are gorgeous!

nzm said...

wow - lots of comments - and the Blogger auto email notifier doesn't seem to be working properly. Has anyone else, who has that feature activated, noticed this?

DS: you're welcome - and thanks for the reciprocation!

Samuraisam: I've been conserving my Blogger storage image allowance - but now that Moryarti has introduced me to PhotoBucket.com, I guess that I could make them larger. I just don't want the blog to become too large and take ages to republish.

btw - if you click on the images, they'll open a bit larger in the browser.

As far as cameras, I'm slumming it from what I used to use in a professional capacity. I'm down to 2 small Canons - an Ixus 400 and a G5. Am seriously considering in a Canon 5D at some stage - but need to save many $$$s - not just for the camera body, but for the lenses! And I need to get my teeth fixed first - bloody priorities! :-) Besides, with Photokina in Germnay this year, there'll be lots of new camera models being introduced around September.

md - thanks for the comment - I love to share my shots, and this blog has become a great way to do this - especially with our family and friends - if they're not bored silly, already! As soon as I get the chance, I'll be posting more articles on Dubai landmarks and there will be accompanying images.

Thanks all for the feedback!


samuraisam said...

yeah the 5d is really nice, i'm using a 350d and the 0.6X magnification factor (as the sensor isn't 35mm) pisses me off, having a 15 mm fisheye is like the equivelant of 25mm because of the different format, though supposedly the 5d fixes this (:

nzm said...

yes - the 5D is fullframe.

It's funny how a lot of my pro photog friends are now finding that ff is a turn-off - they're all saying that they prefer the format of their old sensors.

That strikes me as ironic - as I can remember the same friends bitching like hell about the cropping and lens magnification issues when they swapped their FF film cameras for the cropped frame digital cameras a few years back! :-)

nzm said...

btw - I also love shooting wide.

I bought a wide angle converter lens for my G5 and I use it a lot.

It's a great way to shoot.

samuraisam said...

the main problem i find with it not being full frame is that it really lessens the quality of brilliant lenses, you have to spend several times more to get a good wide angle than if you were buying for a full frame camera ):

kaya said...

NZM. Those are amazing pictures. The kind of image that you want blown up and made into a decal, and just gaze at to unwind. Really beautiful pictures.

nzm said...

To Samuraisam - yes, I agree. If you're going to get quality glass, and for it to do its intended job, then you need the right camera to use it on.

Just priced the 5D - ouch! Think that I'll be waiting a while for the prices to drop!

If you don't know it already - see this website for great camera info - in the sidebar, there's a great feature under the "Buying Guide" heading called "side by side". You can click on the camera models and do a side-by-side comparison of the different features.

DP Review.com

To Kaya - thanks for the compliments!


Aaron said...

Great photos :D