Post-Apocalypse Dubai: Artist's eerie photos imagine wild animals roaming free among crumbling remains of abandoned desert city


With its soaring skyscrapers, ever-green golf courses and even a ski resort, the desert city of Dubai is testament to a determined battle between man and nature.
Yet with the global downturn and mounting debts threatening its future, it is not hard to imagine this sun-seared metropolis being swallowed back up by the surrounding sands as a financial meltdown prompts its wealthy sponsors to leave, followed by the 2million mainly foreign workers depending on them.
That is the post-apocalyptic nightmare scenario realised in eerie images created by the award-winning British photographer and artist Richard Allenby-Pratt.

Deserted Dubai: A zebra wanders along an empty motorway in the image created by Richard Allenby-Pratt in a bid to highlight the plight of such creatures whose own habitats have been plundered

With the streets and resorts devoid of human life and all building work halted, all that remain are the animals who are left to roam the crumbling remains of the former urban paradise and pearl of the United Arab Emirates, a gulf state that was until 30 years ago dominated by nomads.
Bizarrely, among the dogs and gazelles that you might expect in such an environment, there are also some stranger more exotic beasts enjoying their freedom.
They include a lion surveying the city from a platform high up the empty shell of a derelict apartment block and a zebra wandering along a multi-lane highway in the middle of the desert city as it is imagined sometime after 2017.

Lion king of the urban jungle: A lion surveys the abandoned city from high-up platform on the empty shell of a derelict tower

Also making appearances are a kangaroo hopping by skyscrapers, a puma in an abandoned resort, a hyena at a vacant housing development, a rhino at a dormant building site, a crocodile in the harbour and a giraffe stalking the outskirts with the world tallest tower, the Burgh Al Arab, clearly rising above the distant skyline.
Despite seeming distinctly unrealistic, such beasts do live in Dubai thanks to wealthy residents who see keeping wild creatures as status symbols and others are kept in its zoo.

Sands of time: Giraffe in the desert with Dubai's skyline visible in the background

What are roo doing here? A kangaroo hops along a canalside. But - as strange as it may seem - such exotic animals are kept by many wealthy residents are pets

Puma by the pool: Another exotic animal makes itself at home a vacant former holiday resort

Strange visitor: A rhino walks in the sand at an abandoned building site

Peacock in the plaza: A bird shows off its plumage beside the beach - but there are no visitors to see it

Roaming free: An ibex stares down through the shell of a building after the construction has long since ground to a halt

In showing what life would be like if animals did indeed inherit the earth, Mr Allenby-Pratt was attempting to show how exposed Dubai may be to a potential collapse.
He told Mail Online: 'These scenes are imagined as being shortly after the departure of the majority of people from Dubai and the subsequent collapse of the city's infrastructure.
'My main intention in this project is to highlight how vulnerable the Dubai economic and social model could be. Primarily because of it's reliance on an ex-pat labour force who have no ability to earn nationality.

Taking a sip: A dorcas gazelle drinks from water below a motorway bridge

'So 90 per cent of the population can never call the place home; which means, of course, conflict or economic unviability would result in a mass exodus and a consequent collapse of basic infrastructure.
'I introduced animals to the scenes to suggest that natural systems may ultimately prove to be more robust. The suggested scenario is that these are released zoo animals.

Hyena at a housing development: Look closely and you can see the animal laughing at the fate of the previous human occupants

Grazing: Gemsbok, native to southern Africa, roam among the scrub near an extravagant building project abandoned midway

A nice snap: A crocodile swims in a harbour long since evacuated by human life

Flocks: Aoudad, or Barbary sheep, graze near a former luxury hotel

‘I hope to highlight the fragility of our economic systems and the desperate need for us to live in harmony with the other occupants of our world.’
He also hoped to highlight the plight of such creatures whose own habitats we have plundered.
He explains: ‘This project imagines a future without people, where the relics of our unrealised ambitions are populated by some of the species we have, in the present day, come so close to exterminating.
The images are on display at his Abandoned exhibition at The Empty Quarter Gallery. To see other images, click here visit Mr Allenby-Pratt’s website.

Hidden: Look closely and you can see a dama gazelle near the shore of the Gulf

The downfall of Dubai: Imagining how the city might crumble

By Richard Allenby-Pratt

Dubai, Circa 2017
In January 2017 the media reported that the CEO of General Electric in Fairfield, Connecticut had called a press conference to announce his companies' energy research labs' successful development of ground-breaking technology for the cheap and clean separation of Hydrogen from sea water.
The prospect of a future with a totally clean, effectively-free, recyclable, and readily available energy source shook the world. The markets reacted immediately and the price of a barrel of oil dropped to below $10.
In Saudi Arabia the market reaction sparked street demonstrations that grew into a revolutionary movement.
The ruling regime used force to suppress the revolution and within months Iran had sent a military intervention force to attempt to depose the House of Saud.

Empty: A African wild dog stares out over the desert as it envelops the city

Saudi Arabia's Sunni neighbours in Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Qatar were sucked into the regional war, which the international community fell shy of intervening in.
Oil still flowed from major producers such as Russia, Venezuela and Nigeria and it was generally felt in the West and far East that the supply of oil from non GCC sources was sufficient to bridge the transition period until full implementation of Hydrogen technology.
By the end of 2017 Dubai was effectively deserted. Many of the wealthy locals left for their summer houses in the UK and elsewhere.

source: dailymail