Deepest Darkest Duty-Free Dubai…

I awoke at the godly hour yesterday… whispered hello to the awakening sun. Skipped the salutations… and wandered outside. To tip the pool attendant so he’d reserve the 2 pool loungers in the quietest far corner with that desert view… for when we finally decided to wander down poolside ourselves later. Yup a week back in Dubai and I’m totally in sync with the vibe here…

Sprog and I are taking a little sand-filled breather in the designer desert surrounds of Bab Al Shams… 45 minutes away from the looping highways and vertical street-towers of the city. I spent the better part of a decade in the nineties and early noughties living in Dubai. There isn’t a word for folks who reside here (you know like New Yorker or KLite). Dubaian doesn’t cut it. Maybe that’s telling. Cause really. Who belongs here? Of course I’d heard so much… firsthand… reported… about how ghastly it had become. How what was already a vast vacuous cultural wasteland had evolved into one of grotesque gaudy greed… This cautionary tale of rampant ego and coldhard cash. In magnitudes that deluge. And though I barely recognised this sprawling cityscape of clawing glass and metal,¬†you know what? it’s pretty impressive…

Some kind of beautiful even…

Dubai is absolutely fabulous at replication. They have Harvey Nicks, Galeries Lafayette, Gordon Ramsay, Nobu, Momo, Zuma, Baker & Spice, Dean & Deluca – New York London Paris Beirut – imported culture delivered wholesale on your dusty duty-free doorstep. None of this is pioneering of course. Vegas grew glitter in the desert decades earlier. There too barren earth was soaked for golf greens and palm boulevards. It’s probably best not to let your thoughts linger for too long on the level of the non-existent water table as necessities like backyard pools and dancing fountains are filled. Tune out the mutterings of religious hypocrisy, class strata, slave labour… and yet and yet and yet… life is what you make of it. I remember learning, ¬†growing, being fulfilled. When you uproot your life to live where most are without extended family, the friends you find become your family. Those who are generous and giving to a fault. Who knew and loved your children even before they were born. As you did theirs…

And in this global village of today, it’s only natural that friends from home pop up from time to time…

And in a city that values the shiny and the new I pilgrimed in sentimental search and found…

… my very first villa here. This shot snuck over the back garden wall. It’s fallen into terrible decay. But who woulda thunk? Still standing :)

And of course…

… my last villa here. The blue window was where Sprog’s bedroom overlooked the Burj Al Arab. And I planted that flame-of-the-forest :)

And right across the road ~ our little beach ~ a lot less quiet than back in the day but hey! miraculously still virgin beach…

And even as the tentacled motorways snake farther and farther into the much-treasured desert there is always enough space for that which we love…

Whilst always willing to embrace the new…

xox

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About goddessmoments

Am happiest when exploring our ever-shrinking big blue marble with my camera in hand.
This entry was posted in Family, Stuff and Snippets, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Deepest Darkest Duty-Free Dubai…

  1. Pia Zain says:

    This one’s just beautiful, Shireen. Memory and love, family and recognition, newness and change… all in one gorgeous bundle of images and words. You are truly gifted. Love love love

  2. Zainah Zain says:

    Simply put… Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Brought me a little peace when things seem quite chaotic and uncertain for me.

  3. Adi Aniren says:

    gorgeous :)

  4. Zaida Shaari says:

    Lovely….. :-))

  5. Deborah Fiona Nonis says:

    I love this post Shireen – btw, Rosalind Moorthy also lives in Dubai now

  6. Ratna Wasli says:

    Sigh… I feel you sistah :)

  7. Giddy Gadabout says:

    love this….thanks for bringing us along for the ride :)

  8. Rizal Zainudin says:

    Yaay! Thanks for the fab pics of Burj Khalifah

  9. Nur Suraya says:

    Love this post.

  10. Viji Krishnamoorthy says:

    It’s as if I was there…

  11. Liza Ramli says:

    Thank you for sharing what is definitely so special to you. xo

  12. Fara Rahim says:

    Love the pics cuz!!!

  13. Ras Adiba Radzi says:

    Thank you for sharing these moments Shireen- love them!

  14. Azlina Ali says:

    Next in line … Sharjah.

  15. Happy you enjoyed. Thank you all :)

  16. Rusnita Noor says:

    What a wonderful write up on Dubai Shireen with the most amazing pictures too. I really must find my way there, in the not too distant future :)

  17. misspinkles says:

    you images are beautiful :)

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