Poetry in Pictures The Artistic Princess Sheikha Maryam Bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum



One of the most inspiring dynamic young photographers we have met in a long time happens to be Sheikha Maryam Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is an equally enthusiastic artist and poet. Luckily I was able to spend an evening with her and not only saw some amazing pictures she has taken but also got introduced to some of the subjects she uses in her photography.

A Business graduate of Zayed University, Sheikha Maryam started her photography career young, armed with a camera that she always carried with her on her trips to the desert, while checking on the animals at her house and on the farm and naturally taking in the emotive environment as well as the dynamic architectural scenery of the UAE.

Although Sheikha Maryam is not assigned any official royal duties yet, she takes great interest in supporting people with special needs and would like to dedicate time in the future with initiatives that helps make a change for the better in the lives of children affected by disorders.

Her goal is to help make children with special needs more independent and self reliant in being able to carry out their day-to-day activities and be able to relate to the technology driven society we live in today.

Talking about her pet passion, Sheikha Maryamís face lights up as she talks enthusiastically about her knack for being able to capture unusual things and moments and scenes that cannot be staged but has to be captured as it happens naturally. For this very reason, she is inseparable with her camera and this has resulted in her capturing some very special moments that are the highlights of the image portfolio.

Looking at some of the more artistic images that Sheikha Maryam has in her database, it certainly combines all three passions (art, photography and poetry) that is reflected in the tone of her images. There definitely is certain magic like quality to her photographs that emanates harmony, symmetry and nature all at once.

Some of Sheikha Maryamís best photos have in fact come from her visits to the stables and spending time in nature with wild cats and house pets who she loves and focuses on as her subjects for her photos.

On the personal front, Sheikha Maryam believes in a holistic lifestyle and organizes her day to day activities in a way that involves healthy eating, sports, getting in touch with nature, spending time with animals, especially tame and wild cats and taking lessons to learn new innovative things whenever she can.

Her love for technology and computers helps her with the editing and the finishing touches of her photos and she believes that we need to embrace technology to keep up with whatís happening around us. Sheikha Maryam believes hence that everyone should wake up in the morning with a goal and strive to pursue the goal through the day.

Sheikha Maryam had an enlightening quote to share that she heard from her father. HH Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum ìEvery morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up knowing that it should be able to run faster than the fastest lion or it will perish. And every morning a lion wakes up in Africa knowing that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or else he will die of hunger. So with every break of dawn, we also need to set our pace for whatever tasks we have to get done successfully by the end of day to survive the environment we live in.î

Maryam has many other gems of wisdom she has learnt over the years that helps her in the endeavors she sets out to accomplish. Currently her inspiration comes from the dynamic skyline of Dubai as she feels the pulse of the city with the scenery changing dramatically in short periods of time.

The change not only symbolizes more opportunities for all of is but it symbolizes the growth of a nation that is setting standards at a level that is admired by the rest of the world. Sheikha Maryam sees the opportunity to be able to photograph areas, buildings, natural settings that evolve regularly and become more photogenic every day. The beauty of the new areas in Dubai, the vibe of the many nationalities all set the mood for an interesting shot.

While we were talking, Sheikha enthuses on how the amazing views from her own living room gets better each day and offers her the opportunity to take dramatic photos of places like the Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis with a beautiful sunset in the background and naturally being able to photograph natural life elements in different settings. My favourite has to be her photo of a horse splashing in the water and Sheikha Maryam capturing the movement of the water against the hoofs and legs of the horse.

While Sheikha Maryam loves the sun and the abundance of natural light in UAE for her photos, she also likes to capture nature in UK and Europe during her summer holidays. The different colours captured through her lenses are what makes her most happy and sets the mood for the day.

Like most artists, Sheikha Maryam not only has an eye for photography, art and design but has a sharp sense for music as she enjoys violin and piano sounds. For leisure, she also enjoys watching documentaries.

Watching Sheikha Maryam with animals and how affectionately she relates to them is admirable. She has a sixth sense when it comes to comforting them or playing with them and this helps her understand their temperament, especially when she is trying to get the perfect photos of them done.

After just a few hours with Sheikha Maryam, it was evident that her talent in photography, art and poetry will take her to greater heights in the future in the art scene of the UAE. As a business graduate, her aspirations lie in enhancing her talents by creating pieces and exhibiting them in a gallery to inspire more young enthusiasts in the art and design industry.

Sheikha Maryam has all the right qualities to run a gallery curating different mediums of art, photography and poetry that provide an immersive experience to visitors that appeals to all their senses.

Personally, as Sheikha Maryam loves horses and has done some great photos of these magnificent animals, we hope her work would be showcased in equestrian events worldwide in the future.

Having an evening with Sheikha Maryam was delightful as she has followed her heart and produced images that reflect her passion for photography and we were inspired by how much she has achieved at such a young age. It was difficult to select only a few photos that she has captured but we leave with a promise that we will soon see a lot more of her photography becoming public in the future.

Before we leave, we ask Shiekha Maryam to share a thought with our readers. She tells us that we all have to work hard and strive to realize our dreams even if they are impossible and we will achieve close to what our goals are if not everything. Our team wishes Sheikha Maryam the best in all future art and photography projects, as we are confident she is a talent who will set the benchmark of her industry at the highest level attainable not only locally but also globally.


Shereen Shabnam