The groom dressing of Traditional wedding ceremony in Giahdan area in Qeshm island, north east of Persian Gulf.
The largest island in the Persian Gulf, Qeshm (also known as Gheshm) is fringed with biologically diverse mangrove forests, attractive beaches and 60 Bandari villages. Its sun-scorched interior features geologically significant canyons, hills, caves and valleys, most of which are now protected as part of the Unesco-recognised Qeshm Island Geopark.
Qeshm is a duty-free zone – a sort of poor person’s Kish – but in a Gulf increasingly full of gleaming skyscrapers it remains refreshingly attached to the age-old Bandari way of life. Here, locals wear traditional dress, live in houses cooled by badgirs (windtowers) and work in boat-building yards turning out lenges, the large wooden cargo boats that have criss-crossed the Gulf for centuries.
The island has an abundance of wildlife, including birds, reptiles, dolphins and turtles. Local communities are heavily involved in projects to protect the environment, and there is some disquiet about the effect that the country’s first heavy oil refinery, currently being constructed on the island’s southern coast, might have on the hitherto pristine natural landscape. Construction of the refinery is scheduled for completion in 2013.