Home Movies of Dubai my Father took in 1970s

I came across these two Videos on Vimeo a couple of years ago. They were made by Marc von Wyss during visits to Dubai in 1970 and 71. These Super8 Movies later passed to Marc's son, Martin, but without an explanation of their contents. Martin published these movies on Vimeo and asked if anyone could explain the content. I had the pleasure of meeting Martin and talking him through what was in his Father's Home Movies.

Len Chapman

Marc von Wyss

Mr Wyss worked for Holderbank Financière (now LafargeHolcim). His visits to Dubai appear to have been associated with establishing a Cement Factory in Dubai. Al Ghurair Family who later established the National Cement Factory in Al Quoz Dubai.

These are the places and people shown in the first movie

  • Opening sequence - not identified
  • Radio Communications Tower McDermotts Fabrication Yard Dubai Creek
  • Cement Storage Silos on Dubaiside

  • Dubai Creek Captain's Stores
  • Rig Tower fabricated in McDermotts Yard being towed out of Dubai Creek
  • White building is Bayt Al Wakheel
  • Supply Boat servicing off shore oil rigs
  • Rig being towed out to Al Fatek Offshore Oilfield
  • Bambouri Cement Barge being towed to meet Cement Ship prior to load cement

These are the places and people shown in the second movie

  • Dubai Creek from Carlton Hotel (?)
  • Shell Oil & Bitumen Tanks on Dubai Creek
  • Creek & Customs Cargo Wharves Dubaiside
  • Nevil Allen (Halcrows) with his daughter at his house
  • Member of Al Ghurair Family in Desert
  • Mr von Wyss with member of Al Ghurair Family
  • Desert area behind Chicago Beach
  • Dubai Creek activity
  • Al Ghurairs at Dubai Airport
  • Mr von Wyss departs on Gulf Aviation BAC111
  • Nevil Allen with Al Ghurairs
  • Port Rashid. Shows Nevil Allen and Jack Briggs Chief of Police

Martin von Wyss explains

My father, Marc von Wyss, the man in the necktie, made these films on his first visit to Dubai using Super8 film. Some of the men in the airport departure shots might be Abdullah Ahmed Al Ghurair and Saif Al Ghurair. Is it Saif Al Ghurair in the desert with my father, another man, and the donkeys? Also shown are many images of the Creek from both sides; Nevil Allen, engineer and advisor to Sheikh Rashid, at home; Nevil Allen and Jack Briggs, Police Chief, at Port Rashid. If you have any insights or information about the people in this film, please let me know at HERE Thank you.

Martin von Wyss

Many thanks to Len Chapman and Les Harris for shedding light on the people and places depicted.

Did the Al Ghurairs build a Cement Works?