Dubai 2005

Thoughts on Changing Dubai

I visited Dubai as a Tourist in 2005. I had lived and worked in Dubai for 30 plus years then retired and left in 2003. In those two years Dubai had changed. That shouldn't have been a surprise! Not long before I left Dubai, I attended a gathering of the Shipping Community, ostensibly to present Awards to various members of the Shipping Company. However, the Guest Speaker, instead of talking about shipping talked about Dubai's future as a Tourist Destination citing Dubai's future need for 12,000 beds to accommodate visiting Tourists. The Shipping Community was bemused by the concept and the numbers. Now, more than two years on from that speech, Dubai was well on its way to achieving its objective of becoming a Tourist Destination. That led to me to think of some of the things Dubai had achieved along the way....

Len Chapman 2017

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    1979: Dubai's World Trade Centre was initially seen as a "White Elephant" - too far out of town to be useful. But Dubai grew out and around the Trade Centre until it became a Dubai Icon recognised around the World.
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    1996: Nad Al Sheba Horse Racing Track along with its Golf Club was a popular addition to Dubai's facilities.
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    1996: Nad Al Sheba was the first project to bring all of Dubai's communities together in a common interest - Horse Racing.
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    1996: Interest in Dubai's World Cup Race was universal and international
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    1999: Burj Al Arab changed Dubai's dynamics and replaced Dubai's World Trade Centre as Dubai's significant Icon. Astonishing to recall Local Residents were offered short stays at the Seven Star Burj for Dhs 250 per night in the early days!
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    2000: Emirates Towers were impressive modern buildings but never reached Dubai Icon Status in a way the Trade Centre or Burj Al Arab have.
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    2001: The East Coast was also starting to change with major Resort Developments getting underway
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    2001: Beaches that were once freely accessible to all were now becoming only accessible by the few.
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    2001: Areas that were once Villages had become Suburbs yet there was still space for the expansion that was to come.
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    2001: Sport became key to promoting Dubai to the World. Tiger Wood's first visit attracted worldwide attention but less so than if he had won his first Dubai Desert Classic.
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    2001: Now it was possible for Expatriates to purchase and own property at Emirates Hills. Properties came fully furnished if you wished!
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    2005: Dubai was now established as an International Golf Venue attracting world class players and worldwide television coverage. Jebel Ali Challenge was not a world class event but nevertheless World Class Players enjoyed this casual and informal competition as a lead up to Dubai's Desert Classic.
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    2005: Crowd could "get up close and personal" with many of the World's Top Golfers
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    2005: Ernie Els was a popular Winner of the Dubai Desert Classic. He graciously celebrated his win with the EGC Members in their hallowed Spike Bar!
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    2005: Skyline around Emirates Golf Course was starting to change as more apartment buildings were built responding to Dubai Government's intention to allow Expatriates to own property in Dubai.
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    2005: Dubai's newly built Golf Courses were, perhaps, the best places to view and appreciate how Dubai was developing and growing.
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    2005: Dubai's newly built Golf Courses were, perhaps, the best places to view and appreciate how Dubai was developing and growing.
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    2005: Even the well established Dubai Yacht and Golf Club succumbed to having Villas built around its perimeter
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    2005: It was still possible to see clear sky on the horizon without buildings or cranes in some areas of Dubai
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    2015: 10 years later much of that vacant space seems to be filled.