How to Take Breathtaking Travel Photos in the UAE

Blog written on 26-07-2022

Have you ever wondered what separates the best travel photos from the rest? The best ones show more than just “I’m sightseeing in the UAE!” If you want a whole camera roll full of Instagrammable travel photos, you’ll need to learn how to take shots that tell a story. The best travel photos convey the feelings that you felt during your trip.

Learning how to tell stories with your photos isn’t easy, but you have to if you want the best travel photos online. Here’s how you can take breathtaking travel photos in the UAE:

Twelve tips for taking the best photos in the UAE

Photography is more about technique than equipment. While having a good camera helps in taking the best travel photos, improving your process enables you to take better shots. Here are twelve tips for taking the best Instagrammable photos in the UAE.


You’ll want the subject of your photos to be well-lit to capture all the details. After all, you don’t want to have shots where you can barely see what you’re taking a photo of. 

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Additionally, natural light will almost always look better in photos than artificial lighting. Try to rely on your flash as little as possible.


When you zoom in too much with your camera, you sacrifice the photo’s quality. This is why zoomed images tend to be grainy and less visually appealing. Instead, you should be positioning your body as close as possible to your subject. You may be able to see the Burj Khalifa from a few kilometers away, but you need to get closer to get the best shot.


Composition is how the elements in a photo are arranged within the shot. A well-composed picture is balanced and isn’t too crowded.

A simple rule of thumb is to use what photographers call the “Rule of Thirds.” This means that the subject of the photo should either be in the leftmost or rightmost third of the shot. It’s an easy rule to follow, and you might find that it will improve your travel photography immensely. 


The hours before sunset and after sunrise are called golden hours because they present a golden opportunity to take some stunning photos! In the UAE, it’s around 5:40 to 6:40 AM and 6:00 to 7:00 PM, respectively.

If you want shots of the UAE’s best attractions, remember that other tourists will be thinking the same thing. If you wish to get amazing travel photos and would rather not deal with crowds, get to the landmarks early!


When it comes to taking the best travel photos in the UAE,  less is more – at least sometimes. You can use empty space within your shots to draw focus onto something. 


It is absolutely essential to talk to people if you want the best travel photos with people in them. Taking pictures of people without their express consent is illegal, so always ask for permission before doing so.

If you’re traveling solo, you should also ask people if they’re willing to take photos of you. This is the only way to get non-selfie photos of yourself without a tripod.

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This may seem obvious, but if you’re going to be in the photos, you should remember to smile. A bright smile can make a good travel photo into one of the best ones. Of course, if you’re trying for a dramatic look, forget the smile, and do you!

Use a tripod/stabilizer 

Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with a steady hand for photography. If you’re willing to spend a bit more money, a stabilizer or tripod can enable you to take better photos. These can eliminate shaky, somewhat blurry shots.

Learn to post-process

Anybody can take raw photos and put them on social media. If you want the best travel photos, you’ll need to learn to post-process. This doesn’t just mean using a fancy Instagram filter but changing elements like the photo’s saturation and colors to make it look different. 

Mix up your shots

While Instagram encourages portrait shots, you should also practice your landscape photography. Trial and error is the best way to learn how to take the best travel photos.

Keep yourself protected

The UAE’s vast deserts are home to some breathtaking scenery. If you’re planning to head out there, be sure to bring everything to keep yourself and your gear protected. A backpack with all your equipment and some water are just some of the things you need if you want to get the best travel photos in the UAE deserts.

You’ll have to bring a lot more than those if you’re planning to travel to the UAE. Check out our blog post for 15 UAE travel essentials.


If you have a phone with a working camera, you can start practicing how to take the best travel photos right now. You can go anywhere in the world and start practicing travel photography. That way, when the time comes to take a trip in the UAE, you’ll know exactly how to take the best travel photos.

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Three sites to practice your travel photography in the UAE

Now that you know how to take the best travel photos, you need to know where to take them. Here are three Instagrammable sights to see in the UAE:

The Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, and you can find it in the emirate of Dubai. You literally cannot miss it because of its sheer size. You can take photos of it from the outside and try to capture its massiveness. You may also enter to take some pictures of its beautifully decorated interiors.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

You have to dress conservatively if you want to enter the largest mosque in the UAE, found in Abu Dhabi. Once you’re inside, you’ll be greeted with stunning decor and brilliant patterns all around. Remember that this is also a place of worship, so you must be on your best behavior once inside.

If you want to learn more, check out my article on the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Jebel Jais

The largest mountain in the UAE can be found in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Being a mountain range, you can find some fantastic natural shots, especially during golden hour. When the sun hits the mountainside just right, it is a spectacular sight. This is one destination you’ll have to visit if you want the best travel photos.

There is a lot more to see in the UAE, so sign up for an adventure to find out what they are. You should also check out our blog to do some additional research before you visit. Follow our Instagram as well if you want some inspiration photos for your next trip.

Ashleigh (Tingu Travel Founder)

I’m a travel curator who has visited over 30 countries and is currently based in Dubai. For more of Tingu Travel’s experiences, you can follow us on Instagram and Tik Tok @tingutravel