‘7 Princesses’ Bring Steve McCurry, The Empty Quarter Together

Each of the seven Emirates has its own unique personality and traditions that are just as varied as the strong, beautiful women who live in each of them. Award-winning American photographer Steve McCurry teamed up with The Empty Quarter gallery to capture the majesty of each Emirate through his lens by photographing 20 amazing women across various landscapes of the UAE. The result of this project is the exhibition Seven Princesses, which is open for public viewing at The Empty Quarter gallery through April 16.

Abeer Al Suwaidi at the Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, featured in Steve McCurry's '7 Princesses' collection, on exhibit now at The Empty Quarter.
Abeer Al Suwaidi at Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, featured in Steve McCurry’s ‘7 Princesses’ collection, on exhibit now at The Empty Quarter.

Photo Credit: Steve McCurry

Safa Al Hamed, managing partner of The Empty Quarter, called McCurry one of their “muses in photography” and “the king of light.”

The photographer does indeed have a unique way of capturing images with his lens in a way that tells a story with each photograph he snaps. Each of the photographs in the exhibition builds on the previous one, and all showcase the UAE’s vibrant landscapes and cultures in a unique and powerful way.

The women he selected for his photos are stunning and strong. They make the already-lively surroundings come alive even more, making it appear as if each photograph is a living, breathing scene instead of just a photograph.

McCurry and The Empty Quarter wanted to capture not only the UAE’s breathtaking surroundings but also the important roles of today’s Emirati woman and how she influences the rest of the world. They then wanted to showcase these roles to the rest of the world with the goal of building bridges “between the UAE and international cultures presenting a unique and avante-garde point of view regarding the role of Emirate women within the society and their international influences,” states a press release.

Indeed, they have certainly managed to accomplish their goals, and it’s possible that the Seven Princesses show will encourage even more world famous photographers to go to the UAE and explore the incredible cultures, scenery and everything else the nation has to offer.

Amal Al Mutawa at the Dubai Mall, captured in a stunning image by Steve McCurry.
Amal Al Mutawa at the Dubai Mall, captured in a stunning image by Steve McCurry.

Photo Credit: Steve McCurry

There are so many different types of backdrops to capture in a relatively small area that variety is sure to be a hallmark of any photography project done in the UAE. The nation is a treasure trove of beauty any photographer will find to be a dream come true.

McCurry is perhaps best-positioned to explore the UAE, as he spent years traveling across India and the Middle East with nothing more than a sack of clothing, his camera and some film, snapping photographs of everything he came across to capture the diverse cultures in a unique and breathtaking way.

He has won some of photography’s most prestigious awards, like the National Press Photographers Award. He is also a four-time first place winner of the World Press Photo contest and many others.