We take a look back in time to mark UAE National Day
Time Out staff
A sea of red, white, green and black will wash over the emirates this week in the run-up to National Day, as the UAE prepares to celebrate 41 years in existence. No space is left untouched as the city’s homes, cars, buildings and even people are draped in the colours of the UAE flag.
Yet surrounded by all these modern nuances, it’s easy to forget how far Dubai has come in the past four decades. To emphasise this, we found four long-term residents who captured the city on camera as it was blooming. Here, they share their photos and reflect on the city as it is now and how it was then.
Burj Al Arab, 1997 Photographer: Malcolm Murphy, 64, British, who has lived in Dubai for almost 18 years.
This is a fish-eye view from the sea, looking up at the enormous structure rising from the Arabian Gulf waters. It’s an interesting shot of the helipad under construction – I’d never have believed the likes of Roger Federer and Tiger Woods would eventually play on top of the building. The hotel officially opened in 1999.”
Sheikh Zayed Road, 1995 Photographer: Gulf News; observed by Asad Azizi, 29, Iranian, who has lived in Dubai all his life.
This picture was snapped from the World Trade Centre, not long after the Crowne Plaza hotel was built – when they first proposed building it, everyone thought it was a mad idea to build a hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. You’ll also notice that there were no interchanges on the old road.”
Dubai Airport, 1980s Photographer: Graeme Wilson, 42, British, who has lived in Dubai for 22 years.
I took this photo on a visit to Dubai. The city was just starting to progress: Sheikh Zayed Road was still Abu Dhabi Road and there was one lane in each direction. The airport, as it looked then, was palatial – we wondered why Dubai needed such a plush airport. Dubai International Airport will become the world’s busiest international airport in the next few years. But I cherish the fact that I was here when Sheikh Rashid was just embarking upon his project to shape a 21st-century miracle. He did it.’
Dubai Creek Yacht Club, 1995 Photographer: Lulu Skidmore, 49, British, who has lived in Dubai for 21 years.
Back then there wasn’t much around this building other than the creek on one side, the golf club and a car park. I remember thinking that not only was the Yacht Club built to look like a yacht, but it also had an amazing aquarium restaurant inside. It became my favourite place. Now it’s surrounded by the Park Hyatt hotel and other luxury villas and developments.’
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gordon Dec 05, 2012 08:09 pm
I have lived in Sharjah and Dubai since 1977 and the Hilton Hotel, which was part of the Trade Centre Complex, was the first hotel on the Abu Dhabi Road. It opened in 1979 and the Metropolitan opened shortly after that, long before the Crowne Plaza. Coming from Sharjah the T/C seemed so far out of town you wondered why people wanted to live there. Unfortunately I don't have a photograph of the old Dubai airport, but the carpark was immediately in front of the main building and you had to carry your suitcases up some very steep stairs to get up to the entrance in to the check-in area. That was when there was a very small Duty Free in the corner and JW whisky was Dhs.11.00 a bottle!