Charles Chapman Visitor 1974

I first visited Dubai in 1974 at the age of 11. I returned to Dubai in 1981 and 1989 as a young adult. Back then my Father worked for Marconi's in their broadcasting division. He sold TV studio equipment etc around the Middle East.
During the summer of 1974 my Mother and I joined him on a trip that took us to Beirut, Damascus, Amman, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I have some very clear memories of Dubai as it used to be. I took photos during our visits to Dubai.
These are my Dubai photos and this is my Dubai story.......

Charles Chapman recalls Dubai as it used to be in 1974

My main recollection of Dubai is the dark wood pub-like bar at the Carlton Hotel. It had medieval shields as decoration which seemed out of place in 1974 Dubai! We moved to Cairo in 1976. I accompanied my Father on a business trip to Dubai in '81. We were held up in traffic on the way to Cairo Airport for a very long time. At the airport we were told President Sadat had been assassinated. The assassination took place at a stadium along the Cairo airport road and all traffic (with us in it) had been stopped. These are some of my Dubai photos from those times

COMMENT: Dubai Creek from Deiraside in 1974. Looks across to the Ruler's Office as it used to be. Note the Windtowers still in place in 1974 but later demolished.


(Charles Chapman)

COMMENT: Dubai Soukh in 1974. Dubai Soukh has probably changed the least over the past 50 years compared with Dubai as a whole. Its people have changed. There is now a greater mix of Nationalities both visiting and trading in this Soukh


COMMENT: Dubai in 1974. Today Windtowers are associated only with Bastakia. In 1974 Windtowers could be found across Dubai and Deira. Almost all were demolished to make way for apartment blocks, commercial buildings and houses. Many of the buildings in Bastakia suffered the same fate with the remainder marked for demolition until their historical value was recognised in the 1980s.


Evening in Deiraside by Dubai Creek in 1974 (Charles Chapman)


COMMENT: Dubai Creek from Intercontinental Hotel in 1981. This photo shows Dubai Creek as it used to be - a busy commercial waterway. The opposite side of the Creek is devoted to Offshore Oil Industries and Cargo Wharves. A Dilmun Navigation Tanker makes its way up Dubai Creek under tow to deliver fuel oil Shell Oil Company's Storage Facility at McDermott'sFabrication Yard, near to Al Maktoum Bridge on Deiraside. This fuel was destined for Workboats servicing Dubai's Offshore Oil Development Programme.


COMMENT: Al Fahidi Fort in 1981. Flags are being flown at half mast over Al Fahidi Fort at the news of President Sadat's assassination in Cairo on October 6th 1981. Dubai Government Schools employed many Egyptian Teachers so there was a strong connection with Egypt


COMMENT: Al Maktoum Street in 1981. Photo was probably taken somewhere along Al Maktoum Street towards Dubai Clocktower. The "black building" is distinctive and one of the first "architectural challenging" buildings to be built in Dubai. A "High Rise" building can be seen behind the "black building". It's the Hyatt Regency Hotel under construction. Hyatt Regency opened in 1981 as the centrepiece for Dubai's 1981 Motor Grand Prix. Probable location for this photo is shown on the following Google Earth Map. There were no high rise buildings in 1981 to block the view of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.