I’m on a one day trip to Dubai today, and as luck would have it, the skies are dotted with pregnant clouds with the sun’s rays trying to sneakingly break through here and there. It’s easily amongst the most beautiful days that I’ve witnessed in my over 40 visits to Dubai in the past several years. The juxtaposition of modern man made structures rising from the desert sands trying desperately to embrace, and perhaps rival God created Prussians and teals against the sky make for surreal imagery and indeed, awe inspiring visuals.
I’ve always called Dubai “India’s best kept city”, simply because of the overwhelming number of Indians that have made it their home. Yet, it is also an evolving modern city and it is quite remarkable how its rulers have created something so modern and incredibly advanced in the middle of a barren desert. That said, Dubai has never quite fascinated me as a city simply because of its unfortunate lack of character… you know…the kind that one sees in abundance in Europe and Asia; and what disappoints me more is because its not because the UAE does not have history to fall back on. However, although stone tools have been found at many archaeological sites, little is known about the UAE’s early inhabitants. Many ancient towns in the area were trading centres between the Eastern and Western worlds. The remnants of an ancient mangrove swamp, dated at 7000 BC, were discovered during the construction of sewer lines near Dubai Internet City. The area was covered with sand about 5,000 years ago as the coast retreated inland, becoming part of the city’s present coastline. Pre-Islamic ceramics have also been found from the 3rd and 4th centuries. Still, this past is not celebrated as much as it should be in present day Dubai… I’ve always felt that its culture could have been much better integrated into the mega city that Dubai is fast becoming.
But for now, I’d rather appreciate the effort that has been put in to create what has been created and revel in the fact that i could capture the images that i could today!
Man, in his throes of modern acceptance, may have chosen to neglect the past of this great region, but God, thankfully, never fails to complete the picture by blessing it with nature’s unlimited bounty.
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