I've visited the old souqs in Dubai a few times over the past year in order to capture life on the streets in areas which tourists and visitors rarely visit, especially before opening time. In the evenings you cannot walk 5 metres before you're approached by stall owners but arrive in the morning before opening time and you see a completely different side to everyday life in the alleyways and streets on either side of Dubai creek, which was the old centre of town.
Here are 10 shots from the area of the textile souq, spice souq, gold souq and fish market - all candid
1. An Omani man waiting for the tea shop to open for breakfast before work in the Textile Souq
2. Men sharing a conversation over a cup of tea, pouring the tea into their saucers to increase the surface area and cool it.
3. Gas Delivery in the early hours
4. A Middle Eastern couple walking past the entrance to the Spice Souq
5. A Pakistani man walking to work in the Textile Souq
6. A porter hauling fish at the Fish Market. Unfortunately I had an 85mm prime on my camera at the time, and no time to recompose as he wandered by, but his trance like state helps to emphasise the monotony of his job. I considered a tighter crop, but wanted to keep the roofing, lighting and tails of whole dried fish in the background for context
7. By evening, all these shops are open and bustling. In the early morning this old man is being helped to his family shop
8. Even in the early morning when the sun has just risen the mercury rises to over 40 degrees c. I've seen this old man a few times at the Fish Market, and he didn't want his portrait taken on subsequent visits to my first trip, when I was just shooting candids
9. Two men deep in conversation outside their cafe
10. Two elder Emiratis visiting a cloth shop in the Textile Souq - the first customers of the day. I had the 14-24 on board at the time so was pretty close but unnoticed!