The image of Dubai around the world is of ultra-modern skyscrapers, opulent interior decoration, luxury, five-star everywhere.
Well of course there’s that, but there’s plenty that’s not.
Remember that Dubai was a very small city and most of the new developments are in what was not much more than desert. There wasn’t an awful lot of ‘old’ Dubai, but the atmospheric older areas are still here.
One I like is Satwa, an older residential and shopping area in between the ultra-new Sheikh Zayed Road and the beaches.
Older villas are now, in Dubai terms, low-cost accommodation for expatriate workers and there are many apartment blocks, only a few stories high.
There are two main shopping streets, both sides of both roads lined with a huge variety of little shops selling just about anything you need.
There are plenty of cheap restaurants, cafes and coffee shops too and none of them displays the opulence that’s now thought of for Dubai. But I love them.
Here’s one I passed this morning for example: