World’s Coolest Winter



With everything it has achieved over the past 50 years, the UAE has become a destination for those who seek exceptional experiences in various fields, and so is its winter, which offers unique and amazing options.

This competition uses the light to reflect the most beautiful natural, cultural and recreational landmarks of the UAE, highlight its diverse tourism activities and encourage the public and photographers to share their experiences in a winter that is full of activities and events, and to take the most wonderful pictures that reflect the uniqueness and beauty of nature, and the UAE’s fertile environmental diversity that enriches experiences. It allows them to enjoy its warm winter, in deserts, plains, valleys and mountains, uniqueness of its sea view, diversity of its wildlife, and celebrate the faces, streets and society of the UAE with the creativity of their lenses.


All participants MUST fill their Instagram account details into their profiles at

After uploading the photos and portfolios into HIPA Members system, All participants MUST publish their participated photos on Instagram with the hash tag #WorldsCoolestWinter

Participants should submit their photographs based on the following categories:

One Photo Category:

You can participate with single photo under each category


The desert of the Emirates is not just sand dunes but a landscape that contains many rich details and interesting variations that delight the eye, please the mind and motivate photographers to write their signatures on the most beautiful photos.


The length of the UAE’s coastline is close to 730km, and its beaches, its terrain, its visual details and its lifestyle all attract the creative lens to capture its full variety.


The mountainous areas of the UAE always feature in the list of the most important tourist attractions in the country, and areas such as Hatta, Jebel Jais, and Khorfakkan are some of the most prominent mountain tourism centres.


They are part of the country's cultural heritage and contain a range of attractions for tourists, whether local or international. The valleys of Al-Hilu, Daba'a, Shis, Ghalila, Al-Wariah all come alive in a UAE winter.

5-Emirates from above

The bird's-eye view offers another perspective on the UAE’s different regions and their distinct landscapes and features. The view from above highlights the subtle contrasts, the unique aesthetic features, and the broad, majestic sweep of the country.

Portfolio Categories:

You can participate with seven photos under each portfolio category

1-UAE in your eyes

Having topped regional and international indices of well-being and quality of life, the UAE is a model as lived by its residents and visitors. They experience the essence of Emirati lifestyle daily, and the lens in the Portfolio category will creatively portray the UAE's values in tolerance, coexistence and unity

2-UAE Wildlife

The wilderness of the Emirates, whose diverse landscapes and terrains provide a home to a rich array of animal, bird and plant life, seeks an expert eye and a patient lens to convey it to the world. The attentive will be able to capture the finest details of nature’s wonders.

3-Faces from UAE

Portrait photographers say they the face tells the full story of every individual, their successes and failures, their struggles and comforts, their hopes and anxieties. We are seeking a mosaic of faces that will represent the people of the UAE in all their emotions.

4-UAE Street Life

The fastest way to get to know the identity and culture of a country is to go out to its streets – discover its heritage, experience its present and anticipate its future. Life on the streets is a precise mirror of the world around us, reflecting society and capturing minute details and poignant moments. This category gives the photographer the freedom to express themselves through the world around them. Be inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Franck Robert and Paul Strand, who have realized how they represent street life in diverse and inspiring ways.

Rules & Regulations

By participating, you understand, acknowledge and fully, irrevocably and unconditionally agree to abide and be bound by the following rules:


  1. The competition is open for online submissions only through the registration page available on
  2. Submissions will be accepted from 00:01 on 20th December 2021 until 24:00 on 20th January 2022, UAE standard time (i.e. GMT +4). No submissions will be accepted after that time.
  3. Participants must be individuals aged 18 years and over, at the time of their submission
  4. You hereby certify that you are eighteen (18) years old or older at the date of submitting your photo(s) to the competition. You further understand and agree that UAE Government Media Office x HIPA reserve the right and will automatically and without further notice discard any photo(s) that are found to be submitted by a participant that is below eighteen (18) years old at the time of the submission.

YOUR Photo (s)

  1. You may submit one (1) photo in each relevant category of the competition except the portfolio category. You must provide a title and description for each photo submitted.
  2. The same photo must not be submitted in more than one (1) category. Any photo submitted in more than one (1) category will be discarded from the competition.
  3. Submitted photos must be an original file in JPEG format, with high quality and resolution, of a minimum 5 MB in size. The minimum of the longest edge should be no less than 2,000 pixels and the quality no less than 300dpi.
  4. Submission(s) from mobile phones and drones are allowed.
  5. You are kindly requested to upload the original photo(s) (RAW) or the photo(s) without any editing on the time of submitting the photo(s) to the competition.
  6. For the Portfolio category, you are requested to submit a series of Photo(s) on the same subject matter. The number of permitted Photos in each Portfolio are 7.
  7. All submitted photo(s) must not contain any tag(s), signature(s), initial(s), frame, border(s), logo(s) or any other references and/or marks added by the participant.
  8. Basic technical editing of the photo(s) is acceptable, provided that any such editing does not affect the authenticity and/or genuineness of the photo(s). Advanced editing used to create illusions, deceptions and/or manipulations; including compositing and creative retouching of the photo(s) is prohibited.
  9. UAE Government Media Office x HIPA preserves the right to assess and discard from the competition any submitted photo, contrary to the foregoing.
  10. Photos that portray or otherwise include inappropriate and/or offensive contents, including nudity, violence and/or any other contents deemed to be contrary to the UAE religious, cultural and/or public morals traditions and practices will be disqualified.


  1. The winner(s) will be contacted by UAE Government Media Office x HIPA and must provide their bank account details and personal details within seven (7) days from request received. The cash money prize(s) will be paid to each winner within a period of two (2) months following the announcement of the competition's results.
  2. UAE Government Media Office x HIPA judging panel has the right, at its absolute discretion, to turn down or reject any photo(s) or submission(s) without having to give any notice or explanation to the relevant participant.
  3. Any federal, state/ provincial/ territorial, and/or local taxes, fees and surcharges and taxes (whether foreign or domestic, and including income tax) on any prize that may be awarded to you under the competition will be solely paid by you.
  4. The decision of UAE Government Media Office x HIPA judging panel is final and binding on all participants in respect to all matters relating to the competition.


  1. Submitted photo(s) must be a single work of original material created and/or taken by you, must not contain any materials owned or controlled by a third party for which you have not obtained a license, permission or approval to use, must not infringe the copyright, trademark, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity.
  2. Upon reaching the final stage of judging, you grant UAE Government Media Office x HIPA, a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free, sub-licensable right and license to use, publish, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, create derivative works, distribute, have distributed, print, promote your submitted photo(s), in whole or in part, in any form, in all media forms now or hereafter known, anywhere in the world for any purpose, related to the contest, the publication in UAE Government Media Office and HIPA promotional digital and/or printed materials and formats broadcast such as on magazines, printed leaflet and brochures, website and/or through other public online feeds, promoting subsequent contests and/or the work of UAE Government Media Office and HIPA generally.
  3. You must obtain, solely bear the cost for, and provide UAE Government Media Office x HIPA within seven (7) calendar days of any request to do so, with any or all of the following:
    1. a) A signed written consent, release and/or permission of each and every identifiable individual person(s) appearing in your submitted photo(s), clearly authorizing you to use their picture or likeness for submitting the photo(s) in the manner contemplated by the competition, and authorizing UAE Government Media Office x HIPA to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the entry(s) for all purposes, in any media now or hereafter known. Please click here to download the draft of the Model Release Form.
    2. c) A signed written license from the copyright owner of any sculpture, artwork, or other copyrighted material that appears in your submitted photo(s), authorizing UAE Government Media Office x HIPA to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the relevant entry(s) for all purposes, in any media now or hereafter known;
    3. d) A signed written license from the owner of any private property included in your submitted Photo(s), authorizing UAE Government Media Office x HIPA to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the relevant entry(s) for all purposes, in any media now or hereafter known; and
    4. e) A signed written license or release letter from a person who has the right or is able to assert any right over the photo(s) (e.g. employer, agency, etc.) authorizing UAE Government Media Office x HIPA to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the relevant entry(s) for all purposes, in any media now or hereafter known; and
    5. f) Please click here to download the draft of the Release form.
    6. g) If you have been announced as a winner of the competition (in any category), you grant to UAE Government Media Office x HIPA, a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free, sub-licensable right and license to use, publish, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, create derivative works, distribute, have distributed, promote your winning photo(s), in whole or in part, in any form, in all media forms now or hereafter known, anywhere in the world and for any purpose, including but not limited to: display at a potential exhibition of winners, printing on personalized nol cards and/or online highlighting entries or winners of the competition, and promoting the work of UAE Government Media Office x HIPA generally.


  1. You hereby hold harmless, release, indemnify and discharge UAE Government Media Office. x HIPA and its partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers and representatives from all liability, claims, judgments, demands, controversies, agreements, damages, actions and causes of action whatsoever, arising out of or related in any way to the photo(s), the competition or the conduct of the competition and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded, whether in law or in equity, no matter what the cause or nature, and you further waive any claims that you may state or assert against UAE Government Media Office x HIPA in association with the competition or any of its associated activities, or in any way related to or resulting from the photo(s), competition even if such injury or claims results from or is caused by the negligence or gross negligence of UAE Government Media Office x HIPA, in whole or in part. You further agree to indemnify and hold harmless UAE Government Media Office x HIPA from any claim arising out of your participation in the competition including, without limitation, all claims brought or asserted by any third party as a result of any injury or loss that you or they may sustain in any way associated with your participation in the competition./li>
  2. If UAE Government Media Office x HIPA, at its sole discretion, is of the opinion that you have breached any of the rules, we have the right to disqualify you from the competition, and in such circumstances you must re-pay to UAE Government Media Office x HIPA all costs undertaken in relation to your submission(s) and participation in the competition, including but not limited to (if and to the extent applicable) any travel costs incurred, and re-pay the competition prize money and return any trophies or certificates at your own cost.
  3. Under no circumstance will UAE Government Media Office x HIPA be liable for any: :
    1. lost, late, misdirected, stolen, illegible or incomplete Submissions;
    2. error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, submitted Photo(s)
    3. problems, failures or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing;
    4. incorrect or inaccurate information, caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Competition or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the Photo(s) and/or the Submissions; and/or
    5. injury or damage to any Participant or to any computer related to, resulting from or in connection with the Competition.
  4. If, for any reason, the competition is not capable of being conducted as anticipated, due to computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of UAE Government Media Office x HIPA, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the competition, we reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the competition as deemed appropriate, disqualify any participant, and/or select winners from all eligible photo(s) submitted prior to the termination, cancellation, modification or suspension. UAE Government Media Office x HIPA reserves the right to correct any typo-graphical, printing, computer programming or operating errors at any time.


  1. The Competition, your Submission(s) and the Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Emirate of Dubai and the applicable federal laws of the United Arab Emirates, and any aspects or disputes arising out of or in connection with the Competition and/or your Submission(s) will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dubai courts (as established by Law No. (3) of 1992 and Law No. (13) of 2016).

Prize Money

Single Photo Categories

Category Name Prize Money AED
Desert AED 7,000
Sea AED 7,000
Mountains AED 7,000
Wadi(Valleys) AED 7,000
Emirates From Above AED 7,000


Category Name Prize Money AED
UAE In Your Eyes AED 50,000
UAE Wildlife AED 50,000
Faces From UAE AED 50,000
UAE Street Life AED 50,000


John Stanmeyer

John Stanmeyer is an award-winning photographer, Emmy-nominated filmmaker and educator, dedicated to environmental, social, and humanitarian issues that define our times. For more than 15 years, John has worked nearly exclusively with National Geographic magazine, producing over 19 stories, resulting in more than 14 covers.  Between 1998 and 2008, John was a contract photographer for Time magazine. His years with Time resulted in 18 covers. 

In 2001, John co-founded the prestigious VII Photo agency with six of the world’s leading photojournalists. Today VII represents more than 30 photographers from around the globe. 

John is an Emeritus member of VII and is a member of Ripple Effects Images, a collective of artists and storytellers working on women, empowerment and equality. He is the recipient of numerous honours, including the prestigious Robert Capa Award, POYi Magazine Photographer of the Year, and the World Press Photo of the Year in 2014. 

John lives with his dogs, Elfriede the Great Dane, and her sister, Eleanor, in the southern Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

Barbara Davidson

Barbara Davidson is a three-time Pulitzer Prize and Emmy award-winning photographer and filmmaker. In 2020, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

A staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times until 2017, Barbara spent much of the past decade photographing women and children trapped in a culture of poverty and guns. 

Barbara was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for her 2011 project, ‘Caught in the Crossfire’. She also received the 2011 Emmy Award for the same project – an intimate story on innocent victims trapped in the crossfire of deadly gang violence in Los Angeles.  Her coverage of the San Bernardino mass shooting earned her a Staff Pulitzer Prize, in 2016, for Spot News. 

While at the Dallas Morning News, her photographs were part of a team that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for breaking-news photography, for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina.  She was twice named Newspaper Photographer of the Year by the Pictures of the Year International competition, first in 2006 and later in 2014.

Barbara's photography is a vehicle for relaying intimate stories of human suffering and resilience throughout the United States and internationally.  In Iraq, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel, Gaza, Kenya and Somalia her images capture the essence of humanitarian crisis in the wake of war, while her photographs from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Sichuan earthquake in China reveal the horrific aftermath of natural disasters.  Beyond war and natural disasters, she has travelled widely for news assignments in Yemen, Nigeria, Rwanda, Nepal and throughout the United States and Canada.

Since leaving the L.A. Times, Barbara has served as lead creative and director of Volvo’s SC60 Moments, an innovative campaign that used the car’s safety camera system to create a photo exhibition. Photographs from the shoot were curated in an exhibition which premiered in London. The accompanying ‘making of’ film has attracted more than 1.5 million views. 

She was also the lead photographer and curator for the Global partnership to ‘End Violence Against Children’ where she documented the plight of children across three continents.  Currently, Barbara is working on her Guggenheim Fellowship travelling across the country making portraits, using an 8x10 film camera, of gunshot survivors.

In addition to her photographic work, Barbara curated a photography column ‘reFramed’ for the Los Angeles Times. She mentors emerging photographers around the world. 

She was born to Irish immigrants in Montreal, Canada, and graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography and film studies. She is a dual citizen of Ireland and Canada.

Shadi Nassri

Started in photography in 1986 with film cameras, and my start with digital cameras was in 2002.

2007 was my leap into the world of professional photography and specifically in night and landscape photography

Profesional landscape and nightscape photographer since 2011

Landscape and nightscape instructor since 2012

Astro photographer since 2014

Nikon school instructor since 2016 NIKON Middle East and NIKON Asia partner since 2016

More than 200 workshops gave in many Arab and European countries

Winner of many international and local awards such as Hipa in drone category Competition, Al Thani Photography Competition 2011, 2012 and 2013, Sharjah Arab Image Competition, Austria International Competition, Norway International Competition and many competitions of the International Federation of Photography and the American Photographic Society

Judging in many Arab and international photography awards

Photography tour guide for landscape and astro photography in many European and Arab countries

Aerial space photographer using drones since 2014 and award winning in this field.

 Representative of many international companies like NIKON, Leofoto and Lucroit