Monday, July 02, 2007

You know you lived in dubai long enough when

You know you have been here for a while:-

  1. You remember playing games in Sindbad
  2. Dixie Cola was a rival to Pepsi. In fact coke wasn't around when i was a kid.
  3. You remember Al Ghurari Centre and how it was the only shopping mall around
  4. You remember the opening of the first McDonalds at Al Ghurari Centre and the crowds that flocked to it
  5. You remember Naif as a residential area and not a 'Black Market'
  6. Trade Centre was a TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL building and could be seen from miles around
  7. Chicago Beach!! and the was stretches of open beach right next to it. Now its Jumierah Beach Hotel and the Madinat Jumeirah complex
  8. The Shindagha Tunnel would often leak and they would regularly close it down for repairs
  9. When you'd travel abroad NO ONE knew where Dubai was and you would always have to say things like: " Its next to Saudi or Iran"
  10. Sharjah was the happening city and families would go there for their parks
  11. Sharjah had that flyover right at the beginning of the city onto wahda street which would make me and my friends 'stomachs tickle' every time you would cross it. We nicknamed it 'tickle bridge'.
  12. Dubai Sharjah highway had a very famous and popular site now dwarfed by all the construction. The KFC and Hardeez restaurants which became a family hangout spot.
  13. You know you are a kid from dubai if you remember the biggest toy store back then: Dhadabai ( dunno if i got the spelling right) . There was a huge store located opposite present day Hamarain Centre/ JW Marriott.
  14. channel 33 used to air a hindi film at 10:30 on thursday nights
  15. there was a falcon roundabout just as you come out of shindagha tunnel and a flame roundabout near present Danata
  16. The expo centre in Sharjah was the most happening place in the late 70's and 80's. Everyone would come from all over to watch the circus, shop, eat, the ice creams.
  17. All the local TV channels would have "prayer intermission". A notice which would appear for a few minutes on the screen before the daily prayers.
  18. The cartoons, remember Grundaizer & Jungar and Captain Majid
  19. Sharjah fish and vegetable market pretty much remains unchanged thru the decades.
  20. Al Ain fun city was Disney land! Al Nasr Leisureland ( and you could ice skate) was next, followed by Al Jazeera Park in SHJ.
  21. Gulf News back in late 70's was in the format of today's tabloid section.
  22. Junior news and Young times? I used to love Young times!
  23. Hardrock cafe was the first and ONLY 'sky scraper' on SZR you saw when coming from Abu Dhabi
  24. The road to Abu Dhabi was two-lane and had speed humps
  25. Desert Springs Village was in the desert and had a licensed bar
  26. It took 15mins. from Deira to Safestway via Shindaga
  27. Safestway was originally called Safeway but had to change its name

Continue the list people... i will add them from the comments

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

the road from dubai to other emirates used to be dark with lights only at the petrol stations...the only building visible after defence roundabout was dubal...there was a colony in satwa where people with jobs at port used to stay...channel 33 used to air a hindi film at 10:30 on thursday nights..from deira, you could easily go and buy afternoon lunch from meena bazaar restaurant without thinking twice about the traffic..there was a car daihatsu which had a funny shape..there was a falcon roundabout on the way to satwa and a flame roundabout on the way to airport...you knew all the roundabout names

rosh said...
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rosh said...

I love this post, it's so soulful, put a smile on my face :) talk about comebacks eh?

whatever happened to Dixie cola? At one time they had so many flavours? I am glad they still have golden loaf bakery on Al Wahda, I've been going there since I was a few years old :)

Tickle bridge - the tickle in your tummy would happen as soon as the car got onto that bridge - right at the rise, I still have that, at times :)

Shindagha Tunnel trips used to be equivalent to a space trip you know... it's so exciting back then.

Though you've covered pretty much most memoirs, here's my share of thoughts, feel free to add as you see fit.

16) The expo center in Sharjah was the most happening place in the late 70's and 80's. Everyone would come from all over to watch the circus, shop, eat, the ice creams.

17) On weekdays CH 33 would start off with Bold & the beautiful close to 7:30pm, have a break for the call for prayer - then have knots landing, Falcon crest and in the following years Bevery Hills 90210. B&B started in 1987 @CH 33. Prior to which Dallas used to be most watched between freinds and I.

18) All the cartoons, remember Grundaizer & Jungar?

19) The Sharjah fish and vegetable market pretty much remains unchanged thru the decades.

20) Al Ain fun city was Disney land! Al Nasr Leisureland was next, followed by Al Jazeera Park in SHJ.

21) Gulf News back in late 70's was in the format of today's tabloid section.

22) Remember Junior news and Young times? I was a proud member of the Otto fan club :) Still have the membership card.

i*maginate said...

saw similar if not the same list on a facebook group.

funny looking back on history, nevertheless, and how things have changed.

localexpat said...

i*maginate,

I hope you are not accusing me of plagiarism. These are my own memories!

i*maginate said...

nope, i'm not :P

I'll not expand on my comment in case of any sensitivities ;)

A Kel called Wonder ...... said...

Wow......... sounds like a revolution! Dubai is my next destination (for my vacation that is) so my quest to know more landed me on ur site! And more i know. Will look out for these land marks and also hope i get some more suggestions from Emirates bloggers. x

D said...

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh... soooo true!!!

Brought back millions of memories...

Tickle bridge??? Lol ... YES!!! Miss that :(

nick said...

* Hardrock cafe was the first and ONLY 'sky scraper' on SZR you saw when coming from Abu Dhabi
* The road to Abu Dhabi was two-lane and had speed humps
*Desert Springs Village was in the desert and had a licensed bar
* It took 15mins. from Deira to Safestway via Shindaga
*Safestway was originally called Safeway but had to change its name

nzm said...

Great list!

#9 still applied up until about 3 years ago, until the Ports fiasco and the UAE promotions which saw Dubai forever known as that place where they have a big hotel shaped like a sail!

Do you remember when Sharjah was the place where one of the world's most richest cricket tournaments took place - and I think that at that time, it was also the only emirate where you could buy alcohol.

localexpat said...

"Sharjah was the place where one of the world's richest cricket tournaments took place"

That true it wasn't that long back actually that the whole tournament ended.

"and I think that at that time, it was also the only emirate where you could buy alcohol."

this i highly doubt. As far back as i remember sharjah has always been a dry city. Infact i am almost certain that sharjah has always been a dry city.

Maybe Rosh can fill us in on this seeing as he grew up there.

rosh said...

Re: cricket - I shall take the 5th (amendment) since am this huge anti-cricket crusader and all : )

Re: alcohol - dad's friends, my uncles and their friends took a 5 minute trip to good 'ol AJ for all sortsa fancy booze and they'd bring it back to respective homes in SHJ for parties, dinners, get together etc. My dad never drank, but I have heard the "let's get going to AJ" phrase right around the Christmas party days :) Of course one needed a permit to buy alcohol.

rosh said...

....to answer the question, yes I think SHJ was dry as dry can become. I hear they are going to drop this now?

localexpat said...

haha keep dreaming rosh.. sharajah has got a long list of things to drop before they allow alcohol.

You cannot legalise alcohol and still have 'decency laws' restricting the types of clothing that can be worn :-)

rosh said...

halla walla amigo - am serious :)
Apparently SHJ had this "agreement" with KSA (brrrrrr!) on "no alcohol, and now there is debate to part ways. Actually there are talks about it in town.

BuJ said...

did u write this yourself? it's excellent.. glad u got the McD right!

my god.. lots of reminiscing here :)

so true about channel 33 and indian films at 10.30 (called feature film)

also.. damn.. i ain't old enough to remember Naif as a "residential" area! hahaha.. man.. i don't wanna ask!

what happened to dadabhai toy store? they just disappeared!!!!

ROSH i knew u'd be here :)

btw, SHJ has always been dry.. but so many people confuse it with Ajman.. and there are very few signs between the two to tell you you moved out of one and into the other.

Mita said...

The taxi charged you double fare to drop you off at Khaleej Times because it way out of the city

rosh said...

You've been tagged localexpat! Let's hear it from you, please spill it all :)

samuraisam said...

It would interest you to know a certain group is plotting to get this site, my blog, and the uae community blog blocked.

email me for more information.

rosh said...

You know Mr LE - they say, blocking a blog, is the sincerest form of flattery and a fact, that your views are indeed TRUE :)

Jackie said...

Oh how iold is this...

sara said...
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sara said...

Dude your blog sent me in one hell of a memory lane, Tickle Bridge, Sinbad, Al Ghurair center, I was laughing so hard at all those memories I almost got kicked out of Central Perk. I have to thank you for the angry glares I'm receiving right now; you managed to tick on most things. One thing though.

I don't remember this but saw it in a home video, since I was a baby in the late 80's and only came to Dubai for vacations. Remember how Safa park resembled the endless dunes of Nad Al Shiba. I watched the video in complete astonishment with my father insisting this was safa park, IT LOOKED LIKE A FREAKIN DESERT!

Anyhow, I want to link this post to my blog if you don’t mind. You did a terrific job listing down all those ridiculous reminisces, I know I'll do a horrible replica if I tried.
Please, I'm on my knees right now begging, like that Korean footballer begging Ali Ahmad in Korea VS Iran game on that pic on "Emirates Today", did you see that?! I loved that pic for some reason.

Anyhow, waiting for your reply.

localexpat said...

"Remember how Safa park resembled the endless dunes of Nad Al Shiba."
To be honest I really don't remember :-) But I am glad you enjoyed the post

Anonymous said...

Taxis very in plenty and most were an orange datsun. You could actually negotiate prices with em.

safestway was safeway emirates.

Was the store next to Hamrain "the Centre"

Old cinemas - Deira, Dubai, Strand, Al-Shaab, Rex Drive in?

Anonymous said...

You all failed to mention one place that, undoubtedly, is a historical landmark in Dubai (and please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) Al Nasr Leisure Land.

Anonymous said...

What is the oldest McDs in Dubai?
and is it still open?

alias said...

When going to the cinema only cost 10 dhs!!! Oh what happened to those good old days?

I also remember Al-Wahda Street in Sharjah was the place to be if you were any cool heheh. Intercontinental Hotel down in al khoor was our favorite family treat. We celebrated all our New Years there..and for some reason I remember they didn't serve alcohol, which is why our parents took us there, or am I mixing things up?

samudrika said...

oh man! that post brought tears to my eyes from all the memories.

does anyone remember Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

and Al Mansoor video on Al Wahda Street where we would go every week for our weekly fix of Hindi movies?

and Pak Ghazi restaurant with their yummy alu parathas for the Friday morning 'nasta'?

and ramazan days when school was closed early for an entire month?

oh yeah and i miss young times and junior news too!

Anonymous said...

for all u die hard fans of hindi movies!!! like me!! ,who dont have pay tv but want to watch latest hindi flicks for free here a good news....i came to know many Arabic channels on nilesat showing bollywood movies every weekend.so here's the list....if u liked this info do post ur views guys....

1)ABU DHABI EMIRATES TV (shows latest Hindi movies every Thursday night at 11-30 uae time.)

2)KUWAIT TV 2 (shows latest Hindi movies every Friday evening at 05-00 pm Uae time)

3)INFINITY TV 2 (i don't have this channel but yeah it shows Hindi flicks..can anyone write here which day (thurs or friday)does it screen the movies plz?)

4)BAHRAIN CH55 (now this one is not yet confirmed as i don't get the signal for this one too but i heard from many people that it shows Hindi flicks on weekend)

5)IRAN TV (now this one i dont get but i heard it shows hindi flicks dubbed in arabic..,again i would like to know the timing if u guys have this channel)

6)ERITREA TV (i heard many times that this channel based in africa shows hindi movies on weekends,i dont know whether they dubbed it or not)

Anonymous said...

loved this post! have experienced every single thing mentioend and this takes me back to my school years!!! expo sharjah, alain funcity... and how i thought i would just die in that 'one loop' roller coaster!!!
Thsi si definitely home.... even if we dont get the passport!!!

Anonymous said...

Whoa all this things sounds awesome, I knew it 'cause a friend of mine who is always visiting
Viagra Online Without Prescription lives there and he's more than happy.

Anonymous said...

The tickle bridge experience can still happen if your going towards rolla from the road that goes from al Khan, i think it happens on alkhan bridge ?!

thermoswala@gmail.com said...

what a blast from the past you have covered most of it. I would like to add a few;
Apart from Dixie cola there was Canada dry

One of fhe famous DJ on the Dubai FM was Chris Mandes- I wonder where he would be now
The favourite toy store was Al Nasr Novelty store
cheap goods were made in Hong Kong
Ajeet was the name of the School bus conductor at St Marrys
The buiding which hhosted the VV & sons sign is still there ( it was still there when I last saw it few years ago so I hope its there)

Mark G. Colk said...

I can remember stay in The Beach Hotel in Sharjah. It was next to Holiday Inn... both hotels had night clubs/discotheques and beach parties.... with alcohol...When? ...1982