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Art

Work In Progress

Words by Edgar Daily

Photographer Alex Atack captures Dubai’s ever-changing landscape of construction and growth; a project is about the half-built spaces, and how Dubai’s residents live among them.

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© ALEX ATACK.

Growing up in Dubai, my parents would take my siblings and I to the UK over the summer holidays,” explains Atack. “Arriving back to the UAE after five or six weeks away, we’d look out of the car window on the way home from the airport and point out all the things that had changed in the time we’d been gone.

“A new skyscraper would’ve started construction on what used to be an empty sand lot, or a complex of villas had been flattened to make way for a hotel. What used to be a small roundabout was now on its way to becoming a spaghetti junction.

“We’d play football in Safa Park – a huge green space with fair ground rides, ice cream stands and cafés. Then two years ago, they dug a canal through the middle of it, bulldozing half of the park and circling a section of downtown Dubai to turn it into an island. The city changed so quickly, and it wasn’t sentimental about what it got rid of. This is what Dubai has become known for, these construction projects are what you see on travel brochures and TV shows around the world.

“Because of this construction, residents live among an unusual landscape. The peripheries of the city resemble a graveyard of half-finished construction projects while in the city centres, land is constantly re-purposed for new construction ventures, meaning that the face of the city changes almost literally over night.

“I shot this series over two years on whichever camera I had on me at the time. This project is about the half-built spaces, and looks at how Dubai’s residents live among them.”

In Pictures. Half-built Spaces in Dubai Series

Photos. Keith Vaughton

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© ALEX ATACK. A worker stands watch outside a construction site on Sheikh Zayed Road.

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© ALEX ATACK. A worker stands watch outside a construction site on Sheikh Zayed Road.

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© ALEX ATACK. People sunbathing on JBR beach, with the construction of the Dubai Eye in the background.

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© ALEX ATACK. Construction on a mosque on the periphery of the city.

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© ALEX ATACK. Pillars to support an unfinished road project on the halted construction site of the Palm Island Jebel Ali.

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