Telling Tales: An Oral History of Dubai

Project Background

Telling Tales: Oral History of Dubai is a commemorative book telling the story of how life in Dubai has transformed over the years. Through memories shared by locals, it offers a fascinating glimpse into Dubai’s history and the UAE’s culture and heritage. The photography created for this project was also exhibited to the public and special guests at Dubai’s XVA Gallery.

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates






Strategy & Structure | Content Creation | Editing | Proofreading | Creative Concepts | Graphic Design & Layout | Photography | Image Selection & Editing | Print Management | Retail Distribution | Warehousing

Creative Approach

Powerful portrait photography characterised by intense eye contact opens up a viewing window to the souls of the people who shared their stories as part of this captivating project. Award-winning photographer Paul Thuysbaert’s intuitive and imaginative portraiture is used to great effect in a sophisticated monochrome design which transports these stories into the present to tell Dubai’s compelling tale. The book is presented with a high-end print finish, complete with a slip case and textured dust jacket with die-cuts reinforcing the symbolism of windows revealing the lives of its subjects.

Editorial Strategy

The BBC’s Gulf Correspondent Julia Wheeler was granted the unique privilege of talking to some of Dubai’s founding citizens about how life once was in this mesmerising emirate. The collection of stories provides a rare insight into Dubai’s history as it has undergone one of the most dramatic metamorphoses in modern history.

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