‘Moments’ photo contest celebrates souqs of Middle East

Photographers from the region are invited to capture the diversity and stories of markets from around the Arab world, which have been at the heart of the region’s culture and history.
Updated 19 June 2019

‘Moments’ photo contest celebrates souqs of Middle East

National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) and Almarai have announced the ninth edition of “Moments,” the annual regional photography competition calling all aspiring photographers from around the Arab world. 

The competition provides the winning contestants a chance to learn from National Geographic photography experts through a photography travel expedition.

The 2019 “Moments” edition is themed around the souks of the Middle East and invites photographers from the region to capture the diversity and stories of markets from around the Arab world, which have been at the heart of the region’s culture and history.

The competition is held in partnership with Almarai, which has been a strategic supporter of this platform for the last six years as part of a shared vision of nurturing youth and talent from the Middle East.

“Moments” will feature a returning category this year for photographers aged 13-17.

Almarai has been a strategic partner of the competition since 2014.

Abdulrahman Awadh Al-Harthi, acting executive director of television and executive director of Abu Dhabi Radio Network at Abu Dhabi Media, said: “The ‘Moments’ photography competition is part of our continued commitment toward nurturing talents across all segments of society and encouraging the community especially youth to express their creativity and reach their highest potential.

“The great success of the competition gives us a new challenge to ensure we reach the largest number of applicants from diverse backgrounds and give them the platform to express their creativity and stories to be shared across the region.” 

Al-Harthi commended National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s strive for leadership and influence toward professional and amateur photographers in the region. 

Hussam R. Abdulqader, CMO of Almarai, said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with National Geographic Abu Dhabi for the 9th edition of the ‘Moments’ photography competition, through which we aim to inspire, encourage and celebrate youth across the Middle East and support them to achieve their highest potential through the art of photography.”

He added: “We remain committed to developing the photography industry in the communities we serve, and to providing opportunities for youth to flourish creatively and professionally as we have done across a wide spectrum of platforms as well.”

Attracting over 200,000 entries since its inception from across the Middle East and North Africa, “Moments” is part of a regional photography talent platform developed by National Geographic Abu Dhabi to promote and nurture local talents and help give them a voice and a platform to showcase the region and what they have.

This year’s judging committee will comprised Almarai CMO Abdulqader as well as Muhammed Muheisen, a National Geographic photographer, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, and founder of Dutch non-profit organization Everyday Refugees Foundation.

In this year’s competition, each story will carry with it an authentic, detailed and complete description of the image.


Russia’s cultural capital beckons GCC travelers

Updated 17 October 2019

Russia’s cultural capital beckons GCC travelers

  • Citizens of Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can now benefit from fast and convenient 
eVisa portal when arranging their next visit to the city of St. Petersburg.
Guarded by two marble lions at the entrance, the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg sits within the walls of a 19th-century royal palace in the beautifully preserved imperial city of St. Petersburg. Celebrated globally for its history and architecture, Russia’s cultural capital recently became an even more attractive destination for GCC travelers thanks to the introduction of a convenient new online eVisa process.
Launched at the beginning of October, the St. Petersburg eVisa portal enables citizens from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman to enjoy the benefits of fast and simple online visa applications. Travelers can simply fill in the online form, upload a photograph, and can complete the entire process in just a few clicks. Applications can be made within 20 days of traveling, and up to four days before arrival. The visa is valid for stays of up to eight days in St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad Region.
Felix Murillo, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg, said: “The introduction of the eVisa portal offers a new level of convenience for international travelers, making it easier than ever for GCC citizens to arrange a trip to our wonderful city. Our concierge team takes great pleasure in highlighting St. Petersburg’s historical and cultural visitor attractions, and will be happy to arrange anything our guests may require to turn every trip into an unforgettable experience. We look forward to welcoming visitors from the Middle East to our beautiful hotel to share cherished moments and create memories that will last a lifetime.”
The Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg is located in the upmarket Admiralteysky district and was originally constructed in the early 19th century for Prince Alexander Yakovlevich Lobanov-Rostovsky.
Since first opening its doors to guests in 2013, the property offers 183 rooms, including 26 sumptuously decorated suites.
Perhaps the most stunning of the hotel’s accommodations is the one-of-a-kind Lobanov Presidential Suite, where guests can gather by the living room fireplace for a night of intimate conversation, host an al fresco dinner party on the expansive private terrace with stunning views of the Admiralty building and the surrounding park, or retreat to the grand master bedroom for a quiet and cosy evening.
The hotel is inviting guests to embark on a range of culinary adventures across its three restaurants. Diners can experience pan-asian fusion flavors at Sintoho, authentic Italian dishes at Percorso and modern Russian cuisine at The Tea Lounge.
Catering to the needs of visitors from the Middle East, halal meat is available on request.