Reading My Way Around the World

Sunday 28 February 2016


Have you ever gone back to somewhere you lived before?  It's a strange experience.   In a previous lifetime I lived here in Dubai - for over 2 years.   I was young and naive, inexperienced and gormless as they'd say at home.  But I met a lot of lovely people and had an amazing experience that was very unusual for someone in their early 20s.

So we've stopped off here for a few days on the way to Australia.   My friend that we've stayed with was one of the people I met when I lived here and we've stayed in touch down through the years.

But it has been strange - such changes.

Dubai World Trade Centre
as I remember it in the 80s
This city only really started to be built in the 1960s and 70s - I was here in the early 80s and worked in the Trade Centre which at the time was the tallest building in the area and sat proudly out on its own, surrounded by desert.  Now it's dwarfed by all these huge buildings ...including the Burj Khaleefa, which at present is the tallest building in the world.  (Photos courtesy of the DWTC website)

And now, with the Burj Khaleefa in the background

But not only the workplaces have changed - where my friend lives is in a huge modern complex about half an hour out of the city centre. The mix of modern and old is overwhelming.

Dubai Marina lit up at night like a jewelled necklace

Isn't this a lovely idea to brighten up rubbish bins?

Burj Al Arab and the Emirates Hotel
Part of an old Portuguese Tower now housing Dubai Museum

In the Spice Souk

A Sunni Mosque

A Shi'ia Mosque with its Iranian style turret

An Abra crossing the Creek

Indian Wedding Jewellery in the Gold Souk

At Jumeirah Beach today with the Burj Al Arab in the background

Kite surfers at the Beach

And this is the house that I used to live in... wow!!
Couldn't believe it was still standing  well it nearly isn't - the whole road
is being demolished making way for new buildings
And it had been added on to several times in the years grown considerably since my days in it.
I have to tell you it was a very unsettling experience.  

Anyway, tomorrow we head to the Southern Hemisphere.  The workshops are pretty much booked out for later in the week - family will be waiting for us on Tuesday night and it's on to the next stage of the adventure.


  1. Hi Fil - how fascinating for you ... such fun for us. I wrote about Dubai's population 3 years ago ... 70,000 in the 1940s over 8 million now and no doubt that's grown in 3 years!

    So pleased you stopped over ... just enjoy the next part of all your travels - family and more friends down under ... cheers Hilary

  2. I had no idea you lived there! That's amazing! It must be surreal to see your former home. I haven't been back to Bali where I lived for a year since 2006 so I wonder what it is like now!x

  3. Yes it's always strange going back to places many years later but how exciting for you and good to see your old house still standing when as you say there has been so much new building going on over there. Great photos - thank you for sharing :) Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

  4. Interesting for you to see somewhere after so many years. Lucky you, would love to visit Dubai. Hope all goes well in Oz.

  5. My cousin went there and felt it lacked soul. Maybe they should be more careful with tearing down all the old neighborhoods. I myself always wanted to see it, as it looks like an amazing place.

  6. I am just back from the trip I told you and catching up with posts now! I have just seen you are still in Australia and will be for some more weeks! This post about Dubai is amazing - yes, it is a bit different from the time you lived there! But I am glad you went back and saw it in a different light, and that you had new experiences! Happy Easter!


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