UAE – my home away from home…

Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE

Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE

I came to this country when I was nine years old in the early 80s. From then onwards, I have always felt at home here in UAE. My father was working for Fujairah Marble & Granite Factory in Dibba and we spent some good years of our childhood in the rustic town, Dibba, Fujairah where almost everyone knew each other… We were staying at the company quarters inside the factory premises. We had two gardens in front of our house, one where we grew vegetables and the other for plants and a small Mulberry tree. We had neighbours from different parts of Asia like Bangladesh, Pakistan and people from different parts of India like Goa, Mangalore, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka & Kerala. We lived there like one BIG family! Kids of various age groups from different countries played together and grew up together and I would say those were the BEST days of my life… Whenever it used to rain- that too very rarely-we kids used to come out of our homes and dance in the rain with great gusto! It was celebration time for us whenever it rained and we all enjoyed those moments very much.

In 1993, we left UAE for our home county for further education and I returned back in 2002 after finishing my MBA back in India. I was really shocked by the enormous change which took place in the country by then. Dibba and other parts of the Northern Emirates didn’t change much but Dubai, Sharjah & Abu Dhabi changed tremendously that for once in my life in UAE, I felt like a complete stranger… I no longer had the sense of belonging here. Rolla Square in Sharjah was the meeting place for the labourers and other bachelors during the weekends. Sadly, this was closed for public and Triveni, one of the finest Keralite restaurants in Rolla, Sharjah, where we used to frequently visit as children was also closed down. It is sad that many places which are associated with my childhood have ceased to exist and was taken over by huge high rise buildings, shopping malls and concrete jungle!

I am proud and happy to be part of the new UAE which has become headquarters for BIG corporate giants and looked upon by awe with people round the world like the prestigeous Burj Al Arab, Dubai Mall and Dubai Metro. But, I still miss the old UAE where even the locals used to mingle freely with us expatriates like brothers. Now, there is a huge division between the locals, Arabs from various Middle East Countries and other expatriates. Sadly though, I too have learned to be a part of this crowd where strangers ceased to smile at each other…

~ by Sabitha Denis on July 8, 2009.

4 Responses to “UAE – my home away from home…”

  1. Nice read. I’m going to the middle east this summer, and I will be spending some time in Dubai. I lived there in the early 90’s when I was just a baby-toddler. I don’t remember much, so it will all be new to me.

    • I am glad you are coming back for a visit to Dubai. You will be amazed at the developments this country has made over the years, make sure you don’t get lost in Dubai! 🙂

  2. Nice blog, i came here 6 months back, it is very nice but i you said there is a lot of division between the upper class people and the lower once, There is no enjoyment here for common peoples, it looks that the city is restricted for the upper class as things are expensive, and person like me ,who came to support their family back , cann’t afford.

    • Righto! Sorry for not replying to your comment promptly! You should come to Rolla in Sharjah, you will get things at a reasonable rate in this part of Sharjah, mostly at whole sale rates!!! Why don’t you visit the beautiful beaches in Ajman and Khorfokkan?? I’m sure you will find some real time enjoyment there. Take care.

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