Thursday, December 15, 2011

The REAL Dubai

Scruffy villa, shiny skyscrapers: hello Satwa!
I’ve blogged before about how I much love Satwa.  Last Friday, when much of Dubai’s great and good were staggering around brunches, swigging beer and insulting waiters, we took a drive through Satwa.   Not the main street, but the area adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road.  A few years ago there were plans to knock this whole area down and put a new development in its place. They started this, but thankfully didn’t finish.

It’s THE most enchanting and magical place. It has none of Dubai’s glam and glitz, which is precisely why I adore it so much. As we drove around at sunset, the adhan swooping through the open car windows, we watched the community, who usually drive our taxis, clean our floors and serve our food, hang out and relax. 
The buildings are crumbling, you dodge chickens and fat (and skinny) alley cats, if you’re lucky you even stumble across a few rogue peacocks (just how they got there from the Zabeel Place is anyone’s guess!). 

An overwhelming sense of calm always washes over me when I spend time there.  It has a spirit which is palpable.  With the glittering skyscrapers of Sheikh Zayed twinkling in the sunset next to the corrugated iron low rises, you can’t help but feel that this is the real Dubai…love it.

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