The best photographs of 2021 - striking images of the world's biggest events

A look back at the year's big events and the most striking imagery

From supporters of outgoing US President Donald Trump storming the Capitol Building in January to the UAE celebrating its 50th year in style in December, the world's photographers captured some striking imagery of the events that caught the eye in 2021.

It was a year that saw great triumphs in sport, innovation, the arts and milestone events such as Dubai Expo 2020. New leaders were inaugurated or took power, but 2021 was also a year of great tragedy through many conflicts and climate crises. And it was another year where the Covid-19 pandemic continued to play a major part of everyday life.

Thousands of photos stream through the gaze of our photo editors each day. Here, The National's Picture Editor Tim Knowles selects 49 of the best.

Scroll through the photo gallery above to see the events that shaped the year.

More: The National's best staff photographs of 2021

Updated: December 29th 2021, 8:19 AM