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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Arabian Gulf (4 galleries) >> An expat in the Gulf tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Abu Dhabi Heritage Village | Abu Dhabi, 2010 & 2012 | An expat in the Gulf | Sultanate of Oman

An expat in the Gulf

My Arabian home for two years in the mid-Eighties was a spacious apartment above Hamdan Street, the main shopping strip of Abu Dhabi, fast-growing federal capital of the United Arab Emirates.

I revelled in views on three sides: to the teeming Indian shanty-town behind, now razed, to busy Hamdan Street five floors below, reawakening from its midday torpor in the cool of dusk; and a glimpse of the glittering, shallow waters of the Arabian Gulf (never call it Persian!), alive with shoals of sailfish.

Until the early Sixties Abu Dhabi was an impoverished fishing village clinging to a barren sand spit. At that time, older residents remembered vividly the days before petroleum, when Abu Dhabi named Home of the Gazelle by an early Bedouin hunting party comprised a single mud fort and a cluster of palm thatch huts, populated by miserably-poor pearl divers.

Returning after fourteen years I found a more mature, settled city, minus many of its adolescent pimples. May 2010: returning again, I recognised almost nothing of the city I thought I knew.

These images are all scans from much-handled 35mm negative and transparency stock.

In the 1980s the Meridien Laundry building once housed a hostel for expat nurses.
In the 1980s the Meridien Laundry building once housed a hostel for expat nurses.
My apartment is five floors up in the nearest building
My apartment is five floors up in the nearest building
Minarets, Abu Dhabi
Minarets, Abu Dhabi
Shoppers in the Central Market, Abu Dhabi
Shoppers in the Central Market, Abu Dhabi
An urban roundabout, United Arab Emirates
An urban roundabout, United Arab Emirates
Looking north from my apartment towards the Gulf
Looking north from my apartment towards the Gulf
The mosque in Airport Road
The mosque in Airport Road
Looking down Khalifa Street from Airport Rd
Looking down Khalifa Street from Airport Rd
Looking north over the port from my office in the Tourist Club district
Looking north over the port from my office in the Tourist Club district
Hash House Harriers jogging back to base
Hash House Harriers jogging back to base
Fifty runs with the Mainland Hash House Harriers!
Fifty runs with the Mainland Hash House Harriers!
Mainland Hash House Harriers' beach hut
Mainland Hash House Harriers' beach hut
Mainland Hash House Harriers' challenger in the annual A.D. Raft Race
Mainland Hash House Harriers' challenger in the annual A.D. Raft Race
The dhowyard at Bateen, Abu Dhabi
The dhowyard at Bateen, Abu Dhabi
David, Andreas (and me) dining at a favourite Indian restaurant
David, Andreas (and me) dining at a favourite Indian restaurant
'Hotel Deluxe' in the now-vanished shantytown behind my apartment
'Hotel Deluxe' in the now-vanished shantytown behind my apartment
An Indian baker in the now-vanished shantytown behind my apartment
An Indian baker in the now-vanished shantytown behind my apartment
Arab nationals take a break for coffee
Arab nationals take a break for coffee
Private Place for Ladies at the camel race track
Private Place for Ladies at the camel race track
Liwa Oasis on the edge of the Empty Quarter
Liwa Oasis on the edge of the Empty Quarter
High above Fossil Valley, outside Buraimi
High above Fossil Valley, outside Buraimi
Desert camels outside Fossil Valley
Desert camels outside Fossil Valley
Encounter with a camel, Fossil Valley
Encounter with a camel, Fossil Valley
Omani  mother and son, Buraimi
Omani mother and son, Buraimi
Driving home from the livestock market at Buraimi
Driving home from the livestock market at Buraimi
Twin camel foals at Buraimi, Oman
Twin camel foals at Buraimi, Oman
At the camel market, Buraimi, Oman
At the camel market, Buraimi, Oman
Four Arab Nationals passing the time
Four Arab Nationals passing the time
Three Baluchi labourers, the guys who did all the real work
Three Baluchi labourers, the guys who did all the real work
Omani egg vendor, Buraimi
Omani egg vendor, Buraimi
Crewman aboard a dhow, Dubai
Crewman aboard a dhow, Dubai
Dhow crew, Dubai, UAE
Dhow crew, Dubai, UAE
The Creek (Al Khor), Dubai
The Creek (Al Khor), Dubai
Dhow moored alongside the Creek in Dubai
Dhow moored alongside the Creek in Dubai
Abras, commuter launches, on the Creek in Dubai
Abras, commuter launches, on the Creek in Dubai
Along the Creek (Al Khor), Dubai
Along the Creek (Al Khor), Dubai
Dubai's Bastakia quarter, now much restored
Dubai's Bastakia quarter, now much restored
Dubai's Bastakia quarter as it then was
Dubai's Bastakia quarter as it then was
David exploring a remote wadi or dry gully
David exploring a remote wadi or dry gully
One of my first expeditions out of Abu Dhabi
One of my first expeditions out of Abu Dhabi
Bedouin camel train, even then a very rare sight
Bedouin camel train, even then a very rare sight
First Christmas in the Gulf: camping on the East Coast
First Christmas in the Gulf: camping on the East Coast
David with a young National
David with a young National
Jebel Hafit summit road, south of Al Ain
Jebel Hafit summit road, south of Al Ain
Toy soldier in a store in Al Ain
Toy soldier in a store in Al Ain
Arab village children in the Emirates
Arab village children in the Emirates
Ad Door, believed to be the ruins of an outpost built by the armies of Alexander the Great
Ad Door, believed to be the ruins of an outpost built by the armies of Alexander the Great
Jazirat Al Hamra, a ruined town outside Ras Al Khaimah
Jazirat Al Hamra, a ruined town outside Ras Al Khaimah
Two Davids in camp near Ras Al Khaimah
Two Davids in camp near Ras Al Khaimah
Mad dogs and Englishmen... and an Australian, venturing out in the mid(summer) sun
Mad dogs and Englishmen... and an Australian, venturing out in the mid(summer) sun
An oasis at Masfut, below the Hajjar
An oasis at Masfut, below the Hajjar
Date grove in an oasis
Date grove in an oasis
Mudbrick fort at Hayl, near the Indian Ocean coast
Mudbrick fort at Hayl, near the Indian Ocean coast
The ruined fort at Hayl, near the Indian Ocean coast
The ruined fort at Hayl, near the Indian Ocean coast
Welcome to the Sultanate of Oman
Welcome to the Sultanate of Oman
Entering the Musandam from Wadi Shamsi, outside Dibba
Entering the Musandam from Wadi Shamsi, outside Dibba
An Omani border post deep in the Musandam Peninsula
An Omani border post deep in the Musandam Peninsula
Looking down into the Wadi Bih, Musandam Peninsula
Looking down into the Wadi Bih, Musandam Peninsula
A rare waterfall pool, Wadi Agram
A rare waterfall pool, Wadi Agram
Tower built by indigenous Shihuh in the remote Musandam
Tower built by indigenous Shihuh in the remote Musandam
Pots in an abandoned Shihuh village
Pots in an abandoned Shihuh village
Entering the Musandam from Ras Al Khaimah, to the west
Entering the Musandam from Ras Al Khaimah, to the west
Quick look under the bonnet...
Quick look under the bonnet...
Picnic lunch high in the Musandam Peninsula
Picnic lunch high in the Musandam Peninsula
Mementoes...
Mementoes...