The theme for this year's edition of the world's richest photography competition was Nature, and the winning entries did not disappoint. Each year, the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) offers an extremely substantial grand prize of $120,000 (approximately £98,000 / AU$169,000).
A photo of a gannett seabird swimming in a shower of bubbles, after breaking through the water surface like a live torpedo, won British photographer Henley Spiers, from Exeter, the ultimate prize in this year's eleventh season HIPA.
• Looking for the best lenses for bird photography? (opens in new tab)
The Hamdan International Photography Award (opens in new tab) was founded in 2011, and is generously funded by the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The award is free to enter and aims to encourage and spread the culture of photography across the world.
The Grand Prize-winning image was captured in the Shetland Islands in Scotland, and features a gannet diving in the water at 60 miles per hour. Spiers is a professional underwater photographer, and has shared that he is extremely fond of the location, where gannets would seasonally appear to nest.(opens in new tab)
"HIPA exceeded half a million cumulative participation from 205 countries, to become the most widely spread artistic brand in the world," said Ali bin Thalith, HIPA Secretary General.
"We monitor the artistic scene well, and we value the Asian situation, which has reached an advanced stage of maturity and reaping the fruits of planning."(opens in new tab)
Inspiring double-victories were had this year as seven countries made two appearances on the winners lists, including the United States, Canada, China, Russia, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
The Nature season this year witnessed a creative sweep of Asian photographers winning three places for Special Awards.(opens in new tab)
Ali bin Thalith shared his praise of the Awards' aim to dedicate artistic spaces and cultural initiatives in support of our beautiful planet and its future.
"The outputs of this season are high-end artistic messages armed with soft power capable of drawing the world's attention to the seriousness of environmental issues and the need to unite efforts and enhance common awareness of the importance of preserving our great home that we all share."(opens in new tab)
Thalith also acknowledged the outstanding Arab creativity from Kuwaiti-based photographer, Majid Sultan Al Zaabi, who won the Photographic Content Creators Award, as well as Qatari photographer, Ali Seif Al-Din, winning first place in the Portrait category, and Egyptian photographer, Ahmed Mahmoud Abdel Azim Abdel Razek, who won third place in the Portrait competition as well.(opens in new tab)
• You may also be interested in checking out the HIPA 2020 winners (opens in new tab), our buying guides to the best underwater drones (opens in new tab) and best cameras for wildlife photography (opens in new tab), as well as the best lenses for portraits (opens in new tab) to upgrade your gear.