18 Jan, 2023


The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced the categories for its Twelfth Season of competition, which will be themed, ‘Diversity’. The new season will once again contain four main categories with ‘Diversity’ serving as the main theme, along with both ‘General’ (Colour and Black & White) category and ‘Portfolio (Story-Telling)’ category. Rounding off the categories will be a new category, ‘Digital Art’. The Twelfth Season will be open from 1 April 2023 until midnight on 30th June 2023 (UAE time | GMT: +04:00), on the official website     

The Secretary General of HIPA, Ali Bin Thalith said, “HIPA has been working on developing its knowledge and skills in order to continue achieving its vision of spreading the culture of photography. Our aim is to highlight the progressiveness of civilization and the evident bridges of communication between nations and cultures through the language of photography through the support of our communities around the world.

Bin Thalith also revealed that the ‘Digital Art’ category is a visual opportunity for those with digital technology capabilities to present works enhanced with meaning and nuances that boosted the overall work of art.

On the main theme of the Twelfth Season, Bin Thalith expanded, “Developments in global events are among the main drivers for prioritizing issues of concern to the public – both on an artistic and cultural level. From this standpoint, HIPA’s Board of Trustees chose the theme ‘Diversity’ as a crucial and culturally necessary topic in the global scene. It is a platform for coexistence and the guiding principle of tolerance, acceptance of others, and appreciation of differences. The arts play a crucial role in improving the quality of human communication and confront the topics that counter the prosperity of civilisation, such as extremism and racism, amongst others.”

Bin Thalith concluded, “We would also like to reiterate that the grand prize of US $120,000 is open to everyone participating in any of the categories, and hereby challenge all the established and budding photographers to expand their creative scope and seize the opportunity to win it all.”

Submissions for HIPA’s Twelfth Season will be accepted on the official website,
The deadline for submissions will be the 30th June 2023 at 11.59 P.M. (UAE Standard Time).

Categories for HIPA’s Twelfth Season of Competition:


A global concept whose origins go back to the beginning of time; of which the meaning also changes constantly due to the fluctuations of time, place, events and circumstances.

Delving deeper into the essence of ‘Diversity’ tells us that it is a basis for coexistent thoughts, including the principle of tolerance, acceptance and the appreciation of differences to benefit all humanity.

The photo that perfectly captures the artistic aspect of ‘Diversity’ translates and evokes a response from the audience. It is one that brings to reality the wonders of the world we live in, highlighting how different yet similar we all are as we share a kindred purpose.

Can your (photographer’s) photo have that subtle yet impactful effect on the viewer? Your understanding of the sublime meanings and connotations of ‘Diversity’, which is the differences and pluralism, should be engrained! It is your arena for creativity.

Portfolio (Story-telling)

The Portfolio category returns to afford photographers the chance to showcase their storytelling skills through a series of photographs. A strong photographic story delves into the heart of a subject matter and leaves no margin for misinterpretation. A portfolio of photographs allows photographers to capture the hearts and minds of audiences in a way which may not be possible through a single photograph.

Digital Art

Do you have a great photograph, but it does not convey all the messages that you want it to?

Do you feel that you are creative in the field of Fine Arts and are able to formulate digital formations that enhance the work that lives in your imagination?

Do you think enhancing your photograph digitally will take it to the next level? Then this is the category for you! Our fourth and final category is Digital Art.


This category remains a favourite among photographers who have an outstanding eye for photography which may not necessarily fall into any of the other categories on offer.

HIPA continues to offer participants two opportunities to participate in this category, instead of one. With one category open to black and white entries, a classic art form, and the other for coloured entries, giving participants the option to dazzle the jury with their vibrant compositions. 

HIPA Special Awards (Invitation Only):

Photography Appreciation Award

Many people within the photography industry are dedicated and relentless in their pursuit for excellence. These people offer their services and expertise without expecting a return on their efforts and therefore form a vital part of the photographic community.

The ‘Photography Appreciation Award’ is a special category for a person or group who has/have shown long-standing commitment to enhancing the art of photography. By awarding the recipient, HIPA hopes to give back a small amount of the respect and appreciation they deserve. 

Photography Content Creator Award

Service to photography is not limited to taking stunning photographs, but extends to editors, publishers, bloggers, researchers, inventors, promoters and all print and digital content creators that have had a positive impact on the industry and helped shape it to what it is today.

Emerging Person/Organisation in Photography Award


This award is presented to an emerging person or organisation that has shown outstanding work or vision in the industry, be it on a regional, national or international level.