About Dubai as it used to be

DAIUTB is dedicated to recalling the people, events, places in Dubai as it used to be prior to 2003 and the changes Dubai has undergone during that time.

I arrived in Dubai on March 31st 1971 as part of a 3 man "Start Up" Team for Port Rashid with the intention of staying for a year. I remained in Dubai over 32 years working in Dubai's Ports!
Dubai underwent remarkable changes during that time but they seemed everyday events back then - just part of life in Dubai as it used to be. I took photographs during that time - but not as many as I now wished I had.
In later years I realised there was a story to be told of Dubai's development through those photographs and my recollections plus those who lived through those times.
When I retired in 2003, I learned how to build websites and restore old photographs and began building a website. In 2006, www.dubaiasitusedtobe.com went online and has continued to grow with both my own contributions and contributions from others.
DAIUTB has become a resource for schools, students, organisations publicising Dubai and Media wanting to know more about Dubai as it used to be.
I hope you find this latest version of DAIUTB both interesting, entertaining and easy to use.
Thank you for visiting DAIUTB.

Len Chapman
Brisbane Australia
April 2016

Content comprises recollections of the Website Author and those of Contributors with additional information from the Website Author's research.

Dates and Data included in the content of this Website are based on the Website Author's recollections and should not be considered as necessarily historically accurate.

Images are sourced from

  • the Website Author's images (for which he has copyright)
  • Images provided by Contributors for which they may or may not own copyright
  • Images scanned from old magazines, souvenier programmes and similar
  • Videos from YouTube and Vimeo

Images for which the Website Author has copyright may be used for educational and non commercial purpose provided User credits DAIUTB and/or Len Chapman as the copyright owner

Anyone wishing to use copyright images should contact the Website Author HERE

Images on DAIUTB are Lo Res. Hi Res versions of images for which the Website Author has copyright may be avaiable and licensed on request at an agreed cost for a specific use.

Images on DAIUTB are not for sale.

DAIUTB does not maintain a database of email addresses and does not distribute, sell or otherwise use email addresses for any purpose other than to communicate with the email address owner.

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There must be thousands of images of Dubai as it used to be hiding in Photo Albums around the World!

Maybe you have photographs or vdeos that you took back then that lie undisturbed in your desk drawer or maybe stored in an attic. Perhaps you have a relative - a father , brother, cousin - who lived and worked in Dubai as it used to be and has photographs from those days.

These photographs are worth bringing back into the daylight for their historical value. Doing so will help understanding Dubai's modern history - and it's fun looking back too!

If you do have these photographs or can locate photographs from those days then I will be pleased to hear from you. I can advise how to get those photographs onto DAIUTB. Please contact me for help