Here is the dhow harbour on Dubai Creek as seen from a water taxi. The photo itself is old, so I expect this vista may well have even higher high rises these days. The whole place was a building-site in the late ‘90s.
Dubai is of course the trading-tourist-business hub of the Middle East, if not the planet. Given its position on the Persian Gulf, it is likely that its trading past goes way back to prehistoric times. (Much still remains to be discovered beneath the desert sands that invaded the peninsula from the second millennium BCE).
There is little of great antiquity in the city now, although the dhows are of course successors of the fleets that traded down the African coast and across the Indian Ocean for the last two thousand years. The oldest surviving building is the Al Fahidi Fort built in 1787. It now houses a fabulous small museum; or rather, the museum was created by excavating underneath the fort courtyard and was easy to miss when we were there. And if ever you are in Dubai – it should not be missed.
Throughout the 19th century it seems the Creek-side settlement was little more than a village with fishermen, pearl divers, passing Bedouin and Indian and Persian traders. But by the end of the century the ruler of Dubai, was having a grand house built for him: the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House is also a museum, its fabric, including the fine (air conditioning) wind towers immaculately restored.
And then of course there are the covered souks (gold, spices, perfume), although these are now probably quite out-done by the plethora of shop-till-you-drop designer shopping malls.
And then there is the Jumeirah Beach hotel (modest version) and the arish , a traditional summer house, complete with hessian wind tower as seen inside the Al Fahidi Fort:
And now an old-new, yet almost timeless scene:
Lens-Artists: Old & New Please visit Amy who set us this week’s challenge. As always she has some striking photographs to show us.