• Hala Badri: The exhibition provides a special insight into Dubai's history, heritage, and the customs and traditions of its society as well as its leading global position

Dubai, UAE: Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), in cooperation with the Consulate General of Japan in Dubai, organises a photo exhibition ‘Dubai in the Year 1962.’ This photo exhibition will be held at Al Safa Art and Design Library from 30 January to 17 March, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Japan.

Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture inaugurated the exhibition, accompanied by Dr. Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts & Literature Sector in Dubai Culture and Noboru Sekiguchi, Consul-General of Japan in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The exhibition is supported by the Sankei Shimbun Newspaper and Kimi Makishima- Akai, including 25 photos documenting life of Dubai in 1962, taken by Yoshio Kawashima, a Japanese photojournalist from the Sankei Shimbun Newspaper, during his visit to the Middle East, accompanied by his colleague,  journalist Hiroshi Kato.

Hala Badri affirmed that Dubai Culture is keen to strengthen the UAE's cultural friendship with other countries, which falls within the framework of the Authority's commitment to activate cultural and creative community exchange, saying: “We are proud of our relationship with other cultures, as it brings forth the UAE's soft power and positive reputation on the international scene, and hosting the 'Dubai in the Year 1962' exhibition expresses the depth of Emirati-Japanese relations, by celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding. The exhibition provides a special insight into Dubai's history, heritage, and the customs and traditions of its society as well as its leading global position, and includes a collection of exceptional photographs documenting various scenes in the emirate.”

Badri stressed that the exhibition demonstrates the creativity of a Japanese photographer, Yoshio Kawashima, and the realism of his images, adding: “Such exhibitions represent important platforms through which we look at the achievements of talent that work to explore aspects of human creativity, and contribute to enriching the thought and culture of society, which was embodied by a Japanese photographer, Yoshio Kawashima, in his photos that document important moments of Dubai's history. Our hosting of the exhibition in Al Safa Art & Design Library cements the emirate's position on the global cultural map as an attractive destination for creative talent in various disciplines.”

The collection of black and white photographs showcases Dubai's heritage and daily life before the emergence of oil, and the strong relationship that brought together the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the people of Dubai and his daily meetings with them at his majilis, in addition to highlighting the population around Al Fahidi Fort, which today houses Dubai Museum, as well as the creek banks, and the vitality of trade in the popular markets.

The Kawashima’s photos reemerged in 2008, when one of them was gifted to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Supreme President and CEO of Emirates Airlines and Group, by Kimi Makishima- Akai, who met Kawashima and Kato when she was working at Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Tokyo.

The display is a testament to the prosperity and strength of diplomatic and trade relations between Dubai and Japan, and evidence of the qualitative leaps achieved by the emirate over the decades.