Dubai – Photo Tip

Try to reveal something new about your destination

Dubai once made money from pearl diving, a hard and dangerous job. Now its people have found a better way to make a living, like Danielle, a madam with a string of high class call girls, seen here treating herself to a pearl necklace.

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Dubai – Photo Tip

Try to reveal something new about your destination

Traveling to Kabul via Dubai some years ago, the man next to me on the flight said many businessmen got off in Dubai because the world’s prettiest working girls lived there.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

It fascinated me and when I next visited Dubai I decided to do a story on prostitution, realizing how revealing this could be in a male dominated and Islamic country like Dubai.

On the Internet I found plenty of leads. I called a girl who was running a service with high class European girls (“not Russian,” it said). At first there was some confusion because she thought I was a customer but then she offered to talk to me and have her photos taken.

I followed her around for about two weeks and witnessed the enormous amount of money these girls were making, the presents they were getting and the polite manner in which they were treated. Often the customer would take a girl shopping and dining first before spending the night on his boat or in his penthouse.

In the end I got what I hoped for: a story showing Dubai society from an original and revealing angle.

Although strictly illegal under United Arab Emirates' and Islamic law, it is estimated there are...

Although strictly illegal under United Arab Emirates' and Islamic law, it is estimated there are around 30,000 prostitutes in Dubai out of a population of about 1.5 million. Most are women from the former Soviet republics, Central Asia or Asia on one-month tourist visas to whom the authorities turn a blind eye. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

NIKON D3

Aperture
ƒ/8
Exposure
1/250
ISO
250
Focal
35 mm
Flash
Yes

Although strictly illegal under United Arab Emirates' and Islamic law, it is estimated there are around 30,000 prostitutes in Dubai out of a population of about 1.5 million. Most are women from the former Soviet republics, Central Asia or Asia on one-month tourist visas to whom the authorities turn a blind eye.