11.59PM, 07.04.2024

Food Focus Dubai is back!

Food Focus Dubai is back!

For this second edition of our city-wide photography competition, in celebration of the 11th annual Dubai Food Festival, we invite photographers of all skill levels to share images that capture the city’s unique culinary offerings — with a particular focus on our city's rich and diverse street food scene.

Prize pool of AED 25,000 —awarded to 10 winners

Prize pool of AED 25,000 —awarded to 10 winners

10,000 AED to 1st place
5,000 AED to 2nd place
3,000 AED to 3rd place
1,000 AED to 4th to 10th place

The top 50 photographs will be unveiled at the Food Focus Dubai photo exhibition at the Etisalat Beach Canteen, as part of Dubai Food Festival.

Still the best place in the world to eat.

Still the best place in the world to eat.

Still the best place in the world to eat.

Dubai is home to over 13,000 gastronomy establishments, spanning an enormous variety of cuisines, price-points, and experiences. You can grab a shawarma under a neon sign late at night, or enjoy a stunning Michelin-star dinner.

For this edition of Food Focus Dubai, we're looking for images that capture the atmosphere and experience of our city's street food scene.

From bakers pulling hot naan out of clay ovens, to fresh slices of shawarma piled up on a plate — we want to celebrate our street food culture, and the incredible people who satisfy those late-night cravings.

Entries are open to photographers of all skill levels, using any equipment that can capture those decisive moments when shooting curb-side — images from smartphones are just as welcome as those using professional gear!

What to capture:

➤ Capture the diversity and authenticity of the city's street food experiences.

➤ Try to encapsulate a sense of atmosphere in your images — translating the unique environments and experiences on the street.

What to avoid:

➤ Do not submit photographs with identifiable subjects, unless you have express consent from the persons in the frame.

➤ Do not submit photographs of home-made meals or family BBQs — this is about celebrating Dubai’s street-food scene!

➤ Low quality images that are grainy, noisy, or under/overexposed — we want your absolute best!

➤ No alcohol in the photos.

➤ No selfies!

2023's top entries


Ahmed Al Khaja
CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment

Ahmed serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), where he plays a pivotal role in elevating Dubai as a top family tourism and shopping destination through an array of world-class festivals and events. His responsibilities include managing the Dubai Retail Calendar, which is designed to bolster the emirate's retail sector with city-wide shopping festivals, mega-sales and exclusive retail experiences.

Under his leadership, DFRE has seen significant enhancements in its signature events, including the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Food Festival, contributing to Dubai's appeal as a must-visit destination. Before his tenure at DFRE, Ahmed held prominent roles at the Dubai World Trade Centre, ascending from Vice President to Senior Vice President of the Venues department. Ahmed's academic foundation includes a BS in Aircraft Engineering and an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, USA.

Kara Watson
Lifestyle Festival Director, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment

Kara was born in Australia but has enjoyed calling Dubai home for the last 12 years. She is the Lifestyle Festival Director of DFRE and has been responsible for the delivery of Dubai Fitness Challenge, Dubai Food Festival and the annual gastronomy program  - all of which have successfully contributed to Dubai Being a happy, healthy and active city.

She is looking forward to seeing the city of Dubai come alive through your food stories pictures! Prior to joining DFRE, Kara was a senior manager at Red Bull Energy Drink for almost 16  years, so she understands and enjoys the power of storytelling through visual content.

Noora Al Suwaidi
Producer, Brand & Event Marketing Operations at Dubai Economy and Tourism

Noora Al Suwaidi is an accomplished Producer in Brand & Event Marketing Operations at Dubai Economy and Tourism (DET) who has been shaping Dubai’s image since 2015. With a Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Design from Zayed University, her expertise in creating engaging visuals and narratives showcases Dubai’s vibrant cultural landscape.

Noora excels in curating imagery that highlights the city's landmarks and dynamic lifestyle. Her work, which centres around promoting Dubai on a global scale, involves collaboration on photoshoots, editing projects and managing content systems. Her contributions help to shape the success of Dubai’s marketing campaigns and festivals, thanks to her commitment to promoting Dubai as a world-class destination.

Mohamed Somji
Director at Gulf Photo Plus

Mohamed is the Director of Gulf Photo Plus (GPP), a Dubai-based gallery and community organization cultivating visual practices in photography in the UAE, and across the wider MENASA region since 2004. As part of GPP’s commitment to developing visual and critical literacy, the organization engages the community with regular educational and art programming, exhibitions of work from and about the region and providing resources for photographers from film developing and processing to fine art printing, a photobook store and more.

Mohamed is also the owner and founder of Seeing Things, a photo and video production studio employing a team of talented in-house artists who work primarily on art & culture projects. Our clients include Louvre Abu Dhabi, Alserkal Avenue, Jameel Arts Center, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, among other regional industry leaders.

Raz Hansrod
General Manager at Gulf Photo Plus

From Johannesburg but raised in Dubai, Raz has worked as a photo-journalist and commerical photographer (including for local food clients!), as well as a digital marketing expert for UAE foodtech startups.

He brings his marketing expertise and varied photographic experience to the community and business-oriented services that Gulf Photo Plus has offered since 2007, including: designing and producing regionally-focused exhibitions; printing and framing artists' and hobbyist work; educating some of the 15,000+ GPP alumni; or expanding the widest film and processing services in the region.

He has a soft spot for analog photography — and can't wait to see your food on film!

Submit now!

Submit now!