Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I hope we never lose it

What the world sees of Dubai is all the new glitz and glamour, and the kitsch, the excesses like Versace Hotels' refrigerated beach.

Not only tourists but also a surprising number of expat residents are only aware of the new developments. Shopping means modern malls, dining out means in five-star hotels, such as you find at Festival City:

But that's not all there is to the city. Thankfully we can still wander around parts of the old Dubai, such as Bur Dubai where I was yesterday.

Small streets, small local shops, cafeterias, hustle and bustle, a sense of a real city with real people. I love the old parts of town.

Then I drove through Nad Al Sheba where even older Dubai was evident, with the scrubby desert landscape that was all of 'New Dubai' only five or six years ago:

The camels being transported in the back of the truck over speed humps didn't look all that safe to me, so I hope they won't need to visit...

I really hope we never lose this stuff.


Anonymous said...

I am regular reader of your wonderful blogs and we would like to see your photo :), Luv ur humour, your style of blogging, like to see the gentlemen behind.

Peripatetic Engineer said...

I remember when camels used to wander near the McDermott Guest House (which is now a 2 star hotel near the airport) and there was only one hotel on Chicago Beach.

Seabee said...

Well thank you Anon....but much better if you use your own imagination rather than seeing a photo :-)

PE yes I remember that, and camels around my apartment block(Rostamani Tower) when it was the only one on Abu Dhabi Road. Chicago Beach is where we used to spend our Fridays, when it was an empty beach way out of town.

Dave said...

Seabee, this reminds me of a blog you did some time back highlighting the terrific way that Singapore has managed to update its older areas whilst still retaining the historic charm it possesses.

And do you know what the latest is with the Satwa demolition? I am hoping that the 5-Star project there may have been put on hold as a result of the credit crunch so that this fantastic area can remain as is at least in the short term........

Keefieboy said...

Dave beat me to it: how is Satwa looking these days?

Seabee said...

Dave & Keefie, the Satwa destruction is thankfully one that's been hit by the crisis.

I quote: "The master plan of Jumeirah Garden City is being revisited and pockets of the development are delayed."

Update here.

I was there last week and took some photos - I'll try to post them tomorrow.