There is much more to the United Arab Emirates than the glitzy malls and skyscrapers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Australian photographer Irenaeus Herok has spent some time out in the desert with a drone and has captured truly amazing photos there. With a background in design and fine arts, Irenaeus specializes in Portrait and Nature Photography, drawing his inspiration from old master paintings and cinema. His work contains both traditional and contemporary aspects, balancing technical precision with his own unique photography style.

The battle between nature and humans is rarely starker than here in the UAE. The barren yet beautiful landscape has been built over with eye-watering speed, as Dubai for example has grown from an unremarkable port town to a bustling metropolis in the space of a few short decades. Nature has a knack for striking back, however, and Irenaeus documents this with his surreal, apocalyptic aerial photos that show the desert slowly eating away at highways and settlements in the Emirates.

Scroll down below to check out the remarkable aerial photography shots for yourself, and vote for the most stunning pictures!

More info: Irenaeus Herok Instagram | Behance

#1

Another Tree Saved (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Another Tree Saved (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#2

As Far As It Gets (United Arab Emirates)

As Far As It Gets (United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#3

No One Said It Will Be An Easy Ride (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

No One Said It Will Be An Easy Ride (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

jeremy park
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

surreal and a little unreal.... do we really think sand would form such strong delineation on the road?

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#4

A Nice 4x4 Roundabout In Dubai. Shot On My Last Trip To UAE (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

A Nice 4x4 Roundabout In Dubai. Shot On My Last Trip To UAE (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

TheRubyFalcon
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love how most people still tried to make an effort to keep the circle and traffic laws and all

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#5

Resting After Training (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Resting After Training (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#6

Humans Vs Nature (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Humans Vs Nature (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Laugh Fan
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nature does seem to have the upper hand!

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#7

Quadra Oasis (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Quadra Oasis (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#8

Purple Roundabout (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Purple Roundabout (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Cassie
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love how there's tracks just everywhere through the sand like there was really no point in putting in a road anyway.

Hector Francisco
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

People like to hit the dunes off road with their 4X4 for fun.

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Dan Beck
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Is it painted purple, or that some sort of vegetation?

Kay Ann
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Painted. In most cases plants can nit survive with the extreme weather we have during the summer'. We hit at the most 52 degrees C.

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Kay Ann
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Christine.. it's Dubai. One of the 5 UAE Emirates.

Srećko M. Vukmirović
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Аll will be a desert again. Nature is stronger than money

Melissa Spencer
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When I look at these I keep wondering why they dont use drift nets like we do for snow.

Molly Block
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What makes it purple, I wonder??

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#9

The Most Popular Game In The World Is Played Everywhere (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

The Most Popular Game In The World Is Played Everywhere (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#10

Sandy (Emirate Of Abu Dhabi)

Sandy (Emirate Of Abu Dhabi)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Mangoes'nRum
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Roads here are only guidelines. In the desert any direction goes anywhere you want. As long as you have google maps.

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#11

Desert City Sunset (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Desert City Sunset (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why do humans always want to change the landscape from the natural environment to a false, unsustainable environment? Pools, gardens, trees, smack in the middle of a desert?

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#12

Wandering Sands (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Wandering Sands (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#13

Clean Crossing Setup (United Arab Emirates)

Clean Crossing Setup (United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Capermom
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My OCD kicks in looking at this picture. Why are the two halves on the bottom not the same size..?!?

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#14

Tarmac Island (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Tarmac Island (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#15

Let’s Make It Easy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Let’s Make It Easy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Charlotte Brine
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seriously who would be using those pedestrian crossings and where would they be going?!

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#16

Wandering (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Wandering (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#17

Nature Wins. Again (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Nature Wins. Again (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Laugh Fan
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't think I'd want the job of clearing these roads!

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#18

Wandering Around (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Wandering Around (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

cwa92464
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name... (Google it hipster)

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#19

Desert Highway (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Desert Highway (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#20

That’s Where I Want To Be Today (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

That’s Where I Want To Be Today (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Myriam Ickx
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Those are oryxes, a species of large antelope.

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#21

Roundabout (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Roundabout (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#22

City In Haze (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

City In Haze (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#23

The White Camel (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

The White Camel (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Giulia Betke
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You need a 4 wheel drive to pass these roads

#24

Incoming Sandstorm (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Incoming Sandstorm (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#25

If You Don't Know Where You Are Going, Any Road Will Get You There, L. Carroll (United Arab Emirates)

If You Don't Know Where You Are Going, Any Road Will Get You There, L. Carroll (United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Savant
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

but not the blocked one!

#26

Desert Road (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Desert Road (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#27

Fork (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Fork (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Justakid
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Am I seeing Double Negative by artist Michael Heizer there?

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#28

Sandy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Sandy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#29

Desert Roundabout (United Arab Emirates)

Desert Roundabout (United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Mangoes'nRum
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Some of these apparent dead ends lead to camping sites

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#30

It's Like Real Life. Some Roads Just End In Nowhere (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

It's Like Real Life. Some Roads Just End In Nowhere (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Greg T
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is fairly normal when there is a plan for the land, a shopping center, housing complex, ect... The construction trucks need a way to get there

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#31

No Landing Here (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

No Landing Here (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

Carole Olson
Community Member
4 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I see somebody from L.A. has been there...They left their graffiti etched on the desert to the right of the landing strip! Proves you will never get away from the Los Angeles graffiti wannabe's...….What a shame!

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#32

Xing (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Xing (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#33

Got Lost Again (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Got Lost Again (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report

#34

Unnecessary Complicated (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Unnecessary Complicated (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Irenaeus Herok Report