Sport has played a key part in Dubai's development. Dubai has used sporting events to promote Dubai internationally in later years. In 1966 sport was very much a local activity, in this case for expatriates working a dredging contract in Dubai.
Location is approximately where Al Garhoud Bridge Road and Al Mina Street intersect. This was the site of the first Dubai English Speaking School but taken over by the Contractor building Port Rashid. These unique photos are provided by Ludwig Hejze who lived and worked in Dubai in the 1960s and early 70s.
At the back is the old Dubai English Speaking School building surrounded by construction materials. Basketball court is also used as a tennis court.
This view towards Al Mina Street shows how Dubai as it had been with no visible development. In the early 1970s, this land area was sold by auction to Nationals on Sheikh Rashid's instructions with the proviso the land be developed within a specified time. If not, then Sheikh Rashid took back the undeveloped land and redistributed it for development.
This Tennis Court may not be suited to Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal but it has one feature they may welcome after playing tennis in Dubai's hot sun - a Drinks Bar!.
This is the only photo known to exist of Dubai's first Squash Court.
Located behind the Tennis Court, it was built by Port Rashid's Construction Crew with concrete block walls, concrete floor and no roof. Six mercury street lights lit the court at night so anyone playing then had to cope with a blue coloured light that was both dim and patchy. The concrete floor could become coated in blown sand and damp with humidity making it very slippery. During the day half the court was in shadow and the other in bright sunlight. But whatever its drawbacks this Squash Court spawned the growth of squash in Dubai.