Seventy-five year old Indian, Ramesh Shukla has been credited for his photograph out of which the iconic logo for the UAE National Day has been crafted. Shukla, who was the royal photographer in his prime, captured this rare photograph of the Rulers of the Emirates which today is used as the iconic image to symbolise the ‘Spirit of the Union.’
Shula was appointed by the Ruler at the time, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, to document various significant events and national landmarks, doing so from Sheikh Rashid’s helicopter.
His journey began when he arrived in UAE at the age of 22. Equipped with his camera, a 15th birthday present from his father, and a bicycle Shukla nurtured his passion by capturing the local sights and traditions of the city, eventually getting his work published in 22 newspapers and magazines in India.
Shuklah is also a recognized artist and has several credits to his name. He has painted several portraits of Sheikhs including the portrait of Sheikh Rashid, which has been used as the official photo at various institutions and as the postal stamp. To this day Shukla’s paintings hang on the walls of the Municipality, Union House and even at Dubai Metro stations.
His wife, Taru, often supported his work and was the first to take photos of traditions as celebrated by women. Their son, Nil Shukla, runs their family design and décor business in India.
The royal photographer continues his passion of capturing the sights and stories of Dubai even today. Shukla has two galleries in Za’abeel and Mall of the Emirates and plans to open a third very soon.
View Ramesh Shukla’s ‘Four Season’s Ramesh Gallery’ here.