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Lost photos reveal how Dubai looked over five years ago

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Lost photos reveal how Dubai looked over five years ago

Rediscovered collection found in forgotten Facebook album praised by historians

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DUBAI: Historians and Dubai residents alike have been flocking online to examine a series of newly rediscovered photos that offer a glimpse as to how the city looked over five years ago.

The images, initially thought lost, were recently found at the bottom of a long-forgotten Facebook album by former Dubai expat Clive Bottlebank. Experts claim they date back as far as 2007.

“It’s a remarkable find,” said Allegra Fontaine, head of Dubai Heritage Arts and Arts Heritage Committee. “Few photos from this important period in Dubai’s history are still remaining, so to see such a large collection and in such good quality is a real treat.”

Among the 23 photos in the collection are images of the downtown district of Dubai before the completion of the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall or even the Dubai Fountain, along with shots of the Dubai Marina area with a few less towers and branches of Starbucks.

“Wow! Amazing to see what the Mall of the Emirates looked like before the Fashion Dome was built, what a cool #historylesson,” commented Krishnan Puck on Twitter.

“Look at what everyone was wearing back then! How embarrassing! LOL!!!,” tweeted Simone Hussein, before later adding, “OMG, is that a Nokia N93 in one photo?? Proper old Skool!”

Speaking to The Pan-Arabia Enquirer, Bottlebank admitted that it was totally by chance that he stumbled across the photos.

“I’d honestly forgotten ever taking them, but the other week I found myself flicking through old Facebook photos in a fit of boredom and there they were, at the bottom of an album entitled ‘Life in the Sandpit’,” he said.

“It was amazing remembering how Dubai was back then, it was like another world. I mean, just look at the traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road… total f***ing gridlock. Those were the days.”

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  1. M.

    April 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I absolutely love this site, thank you for “reporting”, keep up the great job!

  2. Anonymous

    April 25, 2013 at 6:54 am

    …so where are the photo’s….

    • Anonymous

      April 25, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Unfortunately because the age and being only 3 Megapixels he quality isn’t good enough for todays HR internet..!

  3. dazk55

    April 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    old Bottlebank has a point, Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR) traffic used to be awful.

    I remember when we only 6 places that were known by their initials:
    can anyone remember them ?

    Do I win 5 Dirhams ?

  4. Anonymous

    April 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Tears of nostalgia…
    Those were the good days.

  5. Carlos

    June 27, 2013 at 6:56 am

    “Look at what everyone was wearing back then! How embarrassing! LOL!!!,” My God, it’s only 5 years, not 2 decades!

  6. Adrian O'Connor

    September 21, 2013 at 1:21 am

    I remember when Al Wahda St was known as the Champs Elysees of the Middle East. Those were the days!

  7. christoswin

    October 7, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I dnt some how see the pictures where can i find them.

  8. Del

    October 7, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I remember when 2nd December Street was called Satwa High Street. Where’s my car with a ribbon wrapped around it?

  9. M

    October 8, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Where are the photos?

  10. SurrenderMonkey

    November 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Never mind five years ago, I built a time machine and travelled to the Dubai of 2050: the entire city will be built to form a Starbucks logo visible from space! Don’t ask for any trips in my machine as I’m building it in 2017.

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