Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Lachrymose

One does try not to be an 'it ain't like it used to be' bore, but the sad truth is that Dubai was a great deal more fun in the 1980s than it is now. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

I used to enjoy listening to the tales of older residents when we first got out here; people like Sue and Pete Ellis, Gill Hollis and Shirley Robinson and Dorothy 'Dotters' Miles used to liven things up no end with old stories and photos of the days before the days when the Sheikh Zayed Road was two lanes of unfenced blacktop to Abu Dhabi. The days when Gill drove a Range Rover from Coventry to Dubai overland (well, apart from a roof-warping dhow trip from Iran) , when Sean Connery and company used to drink at the Aladdin Hotel in Sharjah (now a roadside garden) and when Hatta was a real day's journey.

And so this website, posted up to the UAE Community Blog by Localexpat is a truly fantastic thing for me: a hint of the Dubai whose last days I arrived just in time to see, a fleeting glimpse of an altogether more adventurous and really rather quaint life at the genteel edge of the explored world.

Do have fun at Len Chapman's website. It's truly a wonderful place and a little slice of history that really does deserve its own place on t'Internet. I recommend a nice cup of tea or even a 'cold one' and a good hour just to fossick about there...

3 comments:

Seabee said...

Yes, those were the days alright.

One thing doesn't change though - when I first arrived in 1977 people who'd been here a while were saying 'Dubai is spoilt, it isn't like the old days'

alexander said...

:)

Same here, only nine years later than you. And I really hate to listen to myself and hear those same old voices in my head as I repeat their words today...

Cairogal said...

I moved to Sharjah in 1998 and recall the stories from old-time expats who spoke of days when the SZ road was closed do to tribal fighting. I think the UAE has lost that exotic feel to it...the one that we associate w/ living in a strange land.

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