Getting lost in a photographer’s paradise

Emirate of SharjahMleihaAdventure

Sit down with professional photographer and instructor Charles Liban Jr (@charleslibanjr) as he imparts his wisdom on the most iconic shots Sharjah has to offer and how to shoot them!

As a kid I always dreamt of seeing the world and capturing it with a camera. I’ve imagined going to magical destinations that are not seen in ordinary life. Browsing through National Geographic and landscape magazines, I have been inspired by the beauty of mountains, endless deserts, camels, long journeys and ancient civilizations.

In Sharjah, an emirate in the United Arab Emirates located east of Dubai, you will experience a different kind of adventure. Pack your bags and get ready to explore a Stone & Bronze Age civilization, take unique landscape photos, walk in the desert, explore and visit different sights in Mleiha and its archaeological visitor’s center.


For those who want to take unique landscape or night sky photos, you must have with you at least one zoom and one prime lens. In these locations, there are massive landscapes and you will definitely need a wide-angle lens and a telephoto so you can either capture a panoramic view or compress the elements in the foreground and the background for a unique shot.

From the moment you step foot in Mleiha, you will sense you’re traveling back in time, feeling the need to explore and discover places people lived millions of years ago. One of the best-known destinations in Mleiha is the archaeological center where you can find more information about the place, the history and all the surrounding areas. Places such as Fossil and Camel Rock, the Valley of the Caves and the Faya Caves can all be discovered in Mleiha along with ancient desert paths and other remarkable sights.


Photographers will have the opportunity to capture majestic landscape photos especially at sunset. Even when the sun goes down, the night is magnificent. Finding the perfect spot to place your camera gear can lead to capturing an amazing long exposure shot revealing the Milky Way and the magic that’s surrounding it.

Remember to be very careful with your camera equipment in the desert; wind and dust can get into your camera’s sensor when you switch lenses. Make sure also your camera and lens is dust proof and weather sealed. Always carry a weather proof backpack and be careful when you take your camera out of your bag to take photos.

Families will also enjoy being out in the dessert. There are many activities and tours such as climbing the iconic Fossil Rock, ride Dune Buggies, explore ancient Stone Age caves and enjoy the new ArchaeoMOG tour. This is a great way for families to travel all together in one track and visit the museum, the stables, the Valley of the Caves and crossing through the desert in a two-hour tour.

Above all, have fun! Traveling to top destinations such as Mleiha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a once in a lifetime experience. You and your family will create beautiful memories and share your stories with your friends back home.


Charles Liban Jr

Dubai Based Fashion, Product, Lifestyle, and Travel Photographer.