Time travel is how I would describe the new Dubai versus Dubai in the early 80s. The pace of growth in infrastructure, population, shopping, dining, entertainment and business is second to none. Dubai in 2018 is a juxtaposition of the relatively older emirate I grew up in with the new modern metropolis. Several cab drivers have asked me if I were on a visit. To that I responded by explaining that I was visiting and I had lived in Dubai for 13 years at one time. They could not process the decades long duration, the era gone by, since majority of them were not even born in ’80s. My Dubai exploration began with the curiosity of a child together with a comfort level deep rooted in the ever so familiar culture, as if I had never left.
Having lived in Southern California for several years, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon several outdoor malls, shopping and dining beach side developments and around and within residential communities and offices.
Among my favorite is La Mer in Jumeirah. La Mer is a beachfront development with stores, restaurants cafes, art installation, walkways, water features and entertainment activities. The theme seemed to be inspired from the retro era of Southern California or maybe even the 60s and 70s decades. Vibrant, colorful and eclectic are how several of La Mer’s design and development can be described.
Another outdoor concept in Dubai is BoxPark, an urban setting to shop and dine. BoxPark is all things modern, straight lines, shipping container inspired design and very well organized. From my observation, the BoxPark “pop-up-mall” concept and design could be inspired by the two BoxPark locations in Britain, Shoreditch and Croydon.
Among the biggest outdoor developments is The Beach located in Dubai Marina opposite the Jumeirah Beach Residences between Sheraton and Hilton hotels. The Beach comprises 70+ shopping and dining establishments, literally steps away from the beach.
There is a lot more I will share about the new and old Dubai in other articles. Without a doubt I look forward to visiting this amazing city where impossible is nothing.