Explore the UAE’s Most Wes Anderson-Inspired Architecture
This Emirati photographer captured the region’s hidden symmetry
Sarah Ben Romdane
34-year-old Emirati photographer Hussain Al Moosawi is obsessed with cities and architecture. Making it his mission to capture the symmetrical beauty of Abu Dhabi’s most overlooked buildings, Al Moosawi’s intricate eye for detail looks like it’s come straight from a Wes Anderson movie.
Al Moosawi left Abu Dhabi in 2005 to study design in Australia. During that time, the UAE was going through unprecedented changes – particularly in terms of its landscape. After his return in 2013, Al Moosawi felt like he had to take some time to digest the urban transformations the city had been through to make sense of them. Passionate about the old and the new, the classical and the modern, the photographer came to realise that symmetry was everywhere. With his pastel-hued spellbinding close-ups, Al Moosawi seeks to put a spotlight on the versatile beauty of UAE’s uncanny facades.
“Observation is what guides my projects”, he explains. For him to discover these forgotten, undocumented gems, Al Moosawi spends time meticulously mapping out his neighbourhood street by street before shooting. Research he used to do while walking, he now prefers using a car in order to find more buildings. “If there’s one building that encapsulates what I feel it must be the Dubai World Trade Centre (also known as Rashid Tower)”, he says referring to his favourite building. “Despite being built in the 1970s and not being the city’s main landmark anymore, the tower is still attracting a great deal of energy even after almost 40 years. Most buildings from that era are overshadowed by later developments. It also happens to belong to my favourite style of modernism that incorporates elements of Islamic architecture”.