Archive for October, 2007

It’s not all glitter

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:


Before & after.

About a month ago I took a photograph of the area in Jebel Ali being prepared for the Dubai Waterfront development, which is where the Arabian Canal will begin. It looks like this:


Today Gulf News has an artist’s impression of how a section of it will look after the canal and its waterfront ‘city’ are built:


That’s some improvement!

New mega-project.

Back in Dubai after three weeks in UK & Europe, then showing visiting friends around the city and some of the new developments. At last I can put some time into trying to post here more regularly.

We need more authors for the Dubai Metblog by the way, so if you’re interested let me know.

Back to the post – today the papers have run the story that the Arabian Canal is going ahead. It’s been talked about for a while but the latest rumours were that it was either put on hold or cancelled altogether. It seems they were what most rumours are, untrue.

Arabian Canal will be a 75 kilometre waterway will come in from the Arabian Gulf at Jebel Ali where the Dubai Waterfront development is taking shape, flow inland around the new World Central International Airport and back to the Gulf close to Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah.

Graphic from Gulf News

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