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Three places outside Kuwait City have been secretly calling me for some time.  The Mutla’ ridge in the west, which I am still to visit, the station of Umm il Aish, which was unfortunately removed before I got my act together, and Doha.  I read BloggerMathai’s post and decided it was time.  My cameras were in London so it had to wait… or so I thought.

My friend, Ali Al Rashed, was looking for any excuse to feed his new passion for photography.  He kindly arranged for some Nikon cameras and lenses and offered his company for the shoot.  It was in Ramadan, and the weather was extremely humid:  not ideal conditions but we decided to do it!  Sunset time was not really an option, so it had to start at night. We got together for a late suhoor and headed to Doha around 3am.  By the time we set-up after dawn prayer, the light was starting to change.  The clear uneventful sky did put on a beautiful change-of-light show, albeit an understated and slow-paced one.

The light was very low in the first thirty minutes.  The only shots worth sharing are the ones with a little cheated colour.  With the shutter left open, I used a flash light to highlight the wood on the closer dhow.  I don’t know who owns these boats, but I wanted to take bits of the beautiful wood home.  I can make a lovely gate for our house.

The last thing I expected to be shooting that day was a portrait.  It was a perfect opportunity to shoot someone (yes I realise) with their work environment in the background.  This man appeared out of nowhere from behind the fence.  He was with a group of four servicing some of the boats in the other dock.  He’s from India and has been in Kuwait, doing this job, for four years.  In that time, he’s only been to Kuwait City  three times!

We were lucky with the tide and managed to get away without muddy knees.  With Um Kulthoom playing in the background, we composed and shot to our heart’s content.  If you ignore the litter, most objects will tell a beautiful story.  It’s like reading an intriguing novel, with a character in it who uses bad language out-of-place.

The humidity at this stage started to overwhelm our resistance to thirst.  The sun was up so no more drinks!  We had to leave before we ended up regretting the trip.  It ended up being an uncomfortable day and we couldn’t wait for futoor time.  It was however, as always, worth the effort.

I plan to come here again, without the weather and time restriction.  If for nothing else, then at least to steal some of the fantastic aged wood on display… I may even bring a camera.


  1. some nice shots … walla am inspired to get out there and roam around kuwait more often!

    • Thanks. Follow that inspiration. We need more good photos of Kuwait online.

  2. The shot with the one listing boat in the upper right quadrant, with water shading into sky on the left – oh, Bu Yousef, WOW.

    What a great adventure, and what great material for a future shoot once the weather starts cooling. 🙂

    • Thank you, intlxpatr.

      It would be fantastic on a cooler day, with light clouds in the sky and just before sunset!

      One day…

  3. I just can’t get enough of your work!

    • Mathai
    • Posted 6 October 2010 at 5:33 am
    • Permalink

    ah! you finally went there 🙂 lovely capture of the rust and wood textures. I’m planning on going again when the weather gets cooler and skies are clearer. I’ll be going during sunset so that I get some different light this time 🙂
    My favs: # 3,7 and 10 😀

    • Yes. Thanks, Mathai.
      Maybe we go together.

    • Polar Panda
    • Posted 8 October 2010 at 7:56 am
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    It was fantastic to see more Kuwait pictures. Thanks.

    • Polar Panda
    • Posted 8 October 2010 at 7:56 am
    • Permalink

    The photos are beautiful. Wish to go to the place…

    • Thanks. Hope you make it there soon.

  4. Excellent photos, I love the contrast between the colors.

    • Thank you, Sami. It would be even more of a contrast at sunset. The light was not great.

  5. The litter is what kills me! Great shots Bu Yousef!

    • No matter how much cleaning takes place, there is always someone throwing it back. It wasn’t that terrible though.

  6. Nice photos! We went there too last Sept. & that was three days before the Eid

    • That would have been a week (max) after us.

  7. Awesome place and photos!
    This is one of the places on my To Do list too 🙂

    Sad in a way about the station of Umm il Aish :/
    But better for the environment for sure!

    Fascinating too that that guy lives out there and seldom goes to the city. He looks more like the rural type anyway 🙂
    Cool Portrait!

  8. كانت رحله وايد حلوة برغم الجو كان وايد رطوبة واستفدت من خبرتك ياخوي بالتصوير واساسا التصوير معاك متعه وايد الصور عحيبه يابويوسف

  9. Beautiful shots as usual, I haven’t been there yet and I want to go there soon! I need to find the way though!

    Love the shot with the flash that shows the wood! Amazing!

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