The Emirates Diving Association held their 9th Digital Online Underwater Photography and Film Competition at the American University in Dubai’s Rotunda Gallery.

Digital Online was realised in 2009 by Marcelo Mariozi, a professional underwater photographer who had previously been involved in the organisation and set up of underwater photography competitions in his native country of Brazil. As there were no other underwater photography competitions existing in the UAE at the time, Digital Online was introduced by EDA for resident photographers to develop a relationship and human interaction amongst those unfamiliar with the underwater world environment. The competition holds both local and international marine life categories to offer variety between our local and international diving enthusiasts. The film category was introduced as an extension to the competition in 2012 to share our underwater world through motion pictures and deliver a better understanding of the habitats and surroundings.

The evening was a great success and sees the continuous and steady growth of new underwater photographers taking part and joining our regular yearly participants. The enthusiasm and passion strives on, and the drive to bring our underwater world’s conservation to the forefront increases over time. The purpose of Digital Online is to keep our underwater world visible by displaying its hidden beauties and to exemplify its importance to all life on Earth through the powers of its ecosystems. The event has attained equal success with the non-divers who come to support the participating photographers and videographers at the Awards and Exhibition Opening Night.


373pts Sibylle Blumenthal-Compact Best of the UAE

429pts Christopher Bridge-Compact Black and White

436pts Khalid Al Mansoori-DSLR_MILC Best of the UAE

459pts Angela Manthorpe-Compact

480pts Nick Moore-DSLR_MILC Macro

510pts Taner Atilgan-DSLR_MILC Wide Angle

511pts Iyad Suleyman-DSLR_MILC Black and White

The exhibition is open to the public until the 2nd of June so please visit the American University in Dubai from 9:00-17:00 week days and 14:00-17:00 on Fridays in the Rotunda Gallery, Building A to see all of this year’s photography and films.

We would like to thank all our devoted and new sponsors for taking part in Digital Online 2018’s event, for without them, the competition would not take place. A big shout-out to BFC Travel Management, Philippines Department of Tourism, Pier Uno Dive Resort, Azure Dive Resort, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort Fujairah, Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Millennium Resort Mussanah Oman and Seaoman Charter, Dive & Watersports, Grand Stores, Al Mahara Diving Center, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, InterContinental Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Marsa Musandam, MTM Marine LLC, Divers Down, Freestyle Divers, Al Boom Diving, The Palms Dive Center, SeaBreacher UAE and Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort.

A very big thank you to the American University in Dubai for hosting our Awards and Exhibition for the 4th year running.

We would also like to thank Andy Murch, Simon J Pierce, Imran Ahmad, Simone Caprodossi and Jonathan Ali Khan for being Digital Online’s asset guest judges. We are privileged to have such talented photographers and film makers volunteer their time to take part in this event.

368pts Maitha Al Qader-Compact Best of the UAE

401pts Rob Buurveld-Compact

408pts Sultan Althahab-Compact Black and White

425pts Hani Omar-DSLR_MILC Best of the UAE

467pts Levente Rozsahegyi-DSLR_MILC Wide Angle

477pts Mohamed Abdulla-DSLR_MILC Macro

498pts Michael Rall-DSLR_MILC Black and White

EDA does not disclose photographers’ names during the judging process. The competition is run fairly and without prejudice, professionally adhering to all of Digital Online’s rules and guidelines throughout.

343pts Ahmed Alkaabi-DSLR_MILC Macro

343pts Rudolpho McEniry-Compact Best of the UAE

394pts Ola Khalaf-Compact

407pts Andy Jones-Compact Black and White

418pts Steven Board-DSLR_MILCBest of the UAE

459pts Stewart Clarke-DSLR_MILCBlack and White

465pts Philippe Lecomte-DSLR_MILC Wide Angle

Print Works have been our right hand partner and an asset to Digital Online’s yearly exhibitions since 2009. To date, Print Works have printed a total of 581 beautiful images for this event. Thank you Print Works for the tremendous dedication.

I want to thank all our partners and prize sponsors who give so generously and really do make this a very inspiring competition to take part in. The collection of images and videos we have received over the years are a reminder of the precious underwater life we must protect if we want our future generations to benefit from the same treasures we are still fortunate to see through our own eyes today. And most importantly, we are able to share the beauty with everyone else who has not yet ventured below the surface!

Essa Abdulla Al Ghurair – Chairman

EDA have comprised a beautiful hard cover coffee table photography book, The Best of Digital Online – EDA’s Underwater Photography and Film Competition.

Together, we as divers and ocean lovers uphold the environmental importance and necessity of protecting our underwater world. The beauty and diversity which it holds is still one we are learning from and the images which flood these pages just reinforce why it is our duty to protect it. We all share these very special moments in it. Without it, we would not be here!

Each photo (all 292) has been cleaned from backscatter and enhanced for print purposes to give the viewer the ultimate experience of each photographers’ work. In order to not distract from the main focus of the images, all photographer credits have been placed at the back of the book – in the index – in the order in which they appear, the camera model used, and the location in which the photograph was taken. Each subject has been researched to identify the species and shed a little light onto what it is we see, which some of us may, or may not know.

The book will be available for purchase. Please email to order your copy. Price: AED 300.