Back To The Future Day – How has Dubai changed since the 80’s?
Great Scott! It’s October 21st 2015. The date Marty McFly and Doc Brown travelled to in Back To The Future II. Much has changed since then, and looking around today, it’s clear the film didn’t get everything quite right. Where’s my flying car? And my talking jacket? Oh well. At least my self-lacing shoes are on the way.
But it did make us realise how quickly the world around us changes. Even though Dubai was progressing at a rapid pace, who would have predicted it becoming one of the world’s business and tourist superpowers 30 years ago? So let’s take a look at how much Dubai’s changed from the 80’s to the present day.
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport was small, sandy and not particularly pleasant. It was used primarily for short haul flights between other countries in Asia and the Gulf region, and didn’t have the capacity to carry the number of passengers needed for a true global city. After the construction boom in the early 1990’s, the airport went through a massive renovation process, including the building of extra runways and terminals, to become the megalithic structure of steel and asphalt it is today. DXB has now become a travel hub for international passengers, and by those figures ranks as the busiest airport in the world.
Sheikh Zayed Road
Sheikh Zayed Road is unrecognisable in the above picture, as construction had barely started in the area until around 1990. Previously known as Abu Dhabi Road, the road was renamed to honour the late Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the principal driving force behind the expansion of the UAE. The road stretches from Al-Silah in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and ends in Ras al-Khaimah emirate at the Oman border, running roughly parallel to UAE’s coastline along the Persian Gulf. Rapid expansion since the 90’s has turned it into the business and tourist hub of Dubai, being close to the Exhibition Centre, the Dubai Mall, and the iconic Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the tallest building in the world.
The Deira Clocktower was a lone landmark in a sea of sand, a precursor to the extravagance of development that was to come. Constructed in 1965, the Clocktower was erected as a symbol of Dubai, built in its oldest standing area, and stood alone at the roundabout among rickety buildings and tired old roads. It bears the history of being built before the independence of the UAE. The Deira area has changed tremendously in the last 30 years, the pace of construction in Dubai transforming it into one of the city’s primary business hubs. It also has plenty to offer for tourists, with five star hotels and gold and spice souks for the more culturally conscious.
Have you frequented Dubai in the last thirty years? How much has it changed every time you’ve visited? We’d love to hear your views.
And remember, if you’re moving to the UAE, or anywhere else, we can help you attest your documents. Just go to www.vitalconsular.com for more information.