Monday, January 5, 2009

the desert dunes of UAE

The United Arab Emirates, a nation made up of seven kingdoms deep in the desertland of the Arabian Peninsula, must be as hot as it is reputed to be. Summer, which is from July to August, yields temperatures near 40 Celsius, but midday in the desert, the heat meter could rise as high as 45 degrees. Unsurprisingly, there is very little rainfall making the weather arid and dry.

Rub' Al Khali Desert mosaic

seeing orange
the blue sky contrasts sharply against the orange sand
Canon EOS 350D, 1/30s, f/5.6, 22mm, ISO 100

The northeast features the Al Hajar Mountains with no notable rivers or lakes. The coast facing the Persian Gulf in the east is flat. What dominates its landscape is sand and there is lots of it. Much of UAE is part of the Rub' Al Khali Desert, one of the largest sand deserts in the world.

Rub' Al Khali
the mountain ridges appear as barren as the desert
Canon EOS 350D, 1/800s, f/5.6, 22mm, ISO 100

red dunes
the parabolic sand dunes look red 30,000 feet above sea level
Canon EOS 350D, 1/800s, f/5.6, 22mm, ISO 100

Sometimes described as some kind of wasteland, the desert has stretches of rolling sand dunes in varying shades of yellow and ochre and at certain times of the day, even red. The marriage of the wind, the sun and the sand creates landscapes that could make you think of a beautiful red planet. On earth.

parabolic dunes
more surreal dunescapes in carmine hues
Canon EOS 350D, 1/1000s, f/5.6, 22mm, ISO 100

the desert exhibits lunar patterns
Canon EOS 350D, 1/800s, f/5.6, 21mm, ISO 100

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