Monday, May 19, 2008

Those were the days!

Going through a drawer full of old paperwork I came across a gem. A brochure from 1978 promoting the Excelsior Hotel in Deira.



We'd had some rain and the photographer thought the reflection of the hotel in the water was worth shooting. Dubai's first inland waterfront property?

From the same brochure here's what it really looked like:



It's all changed so much and Al Ghurair City wasn't built - not even started if I remember correctly - but the hotel is now the Deira Sheraton.

A couple of streets away was the brand new apartment block that I lived in, which was top floor right with views down to the Creek. Wow!



Boy, ain't Deira changed!

It was closer than the other watering hole, the Inter.Continental on the Creek so it became my 'local'. I spent many an evening in the colourful Banjo Bar...




Then usually on to the Eve Super Club...our sophisticated Night Club. For those days in Dubai it was too. They were adamant that they hadn't left a 'p' out by mistake, even though it was a supper club.

Actually, the food was pretty good and the cabaret was, mostly, good quality with acts/musicians brought in from overseas.



There were no models for photo shoots, so it was a case of rent-a-crowd; friends and staff or passers-by. Here's an example - someone who's been here since these days. The Jack-the-Lad pretending to be a guest in the room service shot is the now publishing baron Ian Fairservice of Motivate. In those days he was Deputy General Manager of the Excelsior, with plans to be the next Conrad Hilton rather than the next Rupert Murdoch. He later started 'What's On', the first English-language magazine here, and so the publishing empire was born.



And the Excelsior is where I first met the lady who became Mrs Seabee.

Aaahhhh....

6 comments:

Gautam said...

Awww...sweet memories!

alexander said...

I've a nasty feeling that your post today and mine come from vaguely the same place!

Brilliant brochure! I still have a copy of the old Gulf Cook thing that Motivate used to do... very retro early '80s stuff...

Seabee said...

Alexander, vague memories are coming back - are you talking about a spiral bound A5 size recipe book? Written by someone who was on radio in those days if I remember correctly? I have a copy in my big box of souvenirs that's in storage back in Australia.

Cairogal said...

Those are fantastic! I bet the unique mural of Omar Khayyam was a real draw. ;)

Peripatetic Engineer said...

If I remember correctly, the Airport Millenium Hotel, or at least the pool and old rooms in back, used to be the McDermott Guest House. That's where transients or single status guys stayed when working there. The yard was on The Creek. We used to catch the show across the street at what is now the Al Bustan Rotana.

rosh said...

Mercy, mercy, you killin me here. Nostalgia at it's best :) Lovely post and soulful pictures. UAE was a well kept secret.....sigh! I still can't figure, how things changed so much.