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Five Indians – Shantha Kumar Shivam Laila, Sujan Sarkar, Sourav Das, Apratim Pal and Navin Kumar – are among the winners of the ninth edition of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA)  announced in Dubai on June 7. The main theme of the 2019-20 season was ‘Water’.

Australian photographer Jasmine Carey won the grand prize of $120,000 for her intense photo of a sleeping humpback whale and its baby in the South Pacific isle of Tonga. Emirati photographers Yousef bin Shakar Al Zaabi and Rashed Al Sumaiti brought a doubly sweet victory for the country with their creative brilliance in the ‘Water’ and ‘General – Colour’ categories.

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One third of the season’s prizes went to the Gulf region’s photographers – Saudi photographers Abdullah Alshathri and Fahad Faraj Abdulhameid (third and fourth places, Mobile Photography); Kuwaiti photographers Fahad Al Enezi (General – Colour, first place) and Talal Al Rabah (General – Black & White, first place); and Iraqi photographer Karrar Hussen (Portfolio, fourth place).

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Indians lensmen won three awards in the Water category. While the first place went to François Bogaerts from Belgium, the second place went to Shantha Kumar Shivam Laila from India, the third to Buchari Muslim Diken from Indonesia, fourth to Sourav Das from India, and fifth to Yousef bin Shakar Al Zaabi from the UAE.

The other two Indian award winners were in the Mobile Photography category – while Apratim Pal claimed the first place, Navin Kumar came fifth. HIPA Secretary HE General Ali bin Thalith thanked His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council and Patron of HIPA, for his continued support of HIPA and the art of Photography. He also praised the creative efforts, talent and dedication of the Arab region’s winners.

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HIPA also holds monthly instagram photo contests.