What was supposed to be just another weekend outing with friends, a cup of tea at our favorite haunt and loads of catching up, turned into an exciting road trip that I will not forget for a long time to come. There was this buzz of a possible storm approaching UAE and it was high time for us to hunt for a location. Loads of possible locations were discussed but, I had just one place in mind – Al Rams.
Al Rams is a fishing village located in the northern tip of UAE, about 100 plus kms from Dubai. I came across this place by chance a few months back, when I was lost in this unknown terrain. Since then I always wanted to go back and shoot a documentary about how laid back and simple this little coast was compared to the cities we live in.
I was accompanied by fellow photographers Aj and Brian. We started our journey at 3:00am from Dubai and reached Al Rams by 4:30am. As expected, place was sleepy and silent, fishermen were still enjoying their dreams, which gave us the freedom to scan the area and settle down with our gears. I had to remind myself over and over again about the purpose of this visit, which was to document the area and cover the events which follow, as I easily get distracted with sea-scapes and in no time, I would be trying out long exposures in all different angles. This time it was documentary shots which really mattered.
Silence was the mantra, absolute silence.
Most of these men were from Maharastra, India. For a change it was Marathi rather than Malayalam :)
No matter how little they earned, they seem to love what they did. There was no one to instruct them to wake up so early on a weekend, get into their daily routine, there was no ‘boss’ hanging around their neck to monitor their each move so early in the morning, but they just seemed to have the urge to be sincere in what they do and be happy with those little pleasures of life. They are like entrepreneurs on their own.
While the fishermen, on whose territory we were hanging around were still out for a catch, they had their gear ready to sort out their catch once they were back.
Decided to have a quick walk around the area, as it was beginning to drizzle and seemed like we would have to wrap up soon. Capturing the place these fishermen called their home was a subject in itself. Their homes were mostly broken, cracked and lacked the basic facilities.
Every corner had a story to tell. This particular house seemed to be abandoned but that’s how they live, or may be “Thats how they are supposed to exist”
The fishing business here is owned by wealthy locals, so wealthy that they could afford to let range rover rot as seen in the image above. They have their gigantic villas just few meters away from this place with all the comforts anyone could wish for and few steps away you get to see the other extreme way of living. Society is a crazy breed indeed.
Another one of those decomposing cars. They are all over the place.
It was interesting to see an innovative way of keeping water cool, Eco-friendly people around here.
As expected, the storm was just around the corner. Drizzle was getting heavier, light was getting dim. It was time to move on, back to the the city where we belong. The contrast of Al Rams to Dubai is astonishing. No traffic, no horns, no rush hours, no signals, no radars, no hustle bustle – it was an incredibly peaceful place to be at. Great getaway.
I strongly recommend every photographer in UAE to make a journey to this place and get your creative juices flowing. Be here for the sunrise, it’s stunning.
I believe in a journey being successful, when I return not with a memory card full of photographs, but a mind full of memories, this place does exactly that.
Good luck :)