“I’m fascinated by the speed of the cities’ expansion along the coastline and into the desert,” photographer Philip Cheung said about the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He lived in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, on and off from 2007 to 2013, inspiring him to return each year afterward to document the changing coastal landscape, in a project called “The Edge.”
“Since I’ve first arrived in the UAE, the landscape has changed considerably. Continual construction of buildings, housing and infrastructure is an ordinary way of life there. The cities are expanding further and further into the desert, along the coastline and onto man-made islands. And as much as the landscape expands in area, it also extends in usage refinement and aesthetic sophistication,” Cheung told In Sight.
He also noted that more than the land was evolving.
“Not only have there been considerable physical changes, but the social landscape has also greatly transformed. The younger generations of Emiratis are returning from being educated abroad, bringing new perspectives and demands onto the local population, businesses and the government. And, interestingly, this happens while they continually and fervently embrace the cultural and religious traditions.”
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