What Wasn’t Here In Dubai... Minus 10 Years!
Dubai changes at an almost lightening pace and new buildings seem to pop up overnight as if by magic sometimes! Here’s a list of what are now 10 mainstays of Dubai but, surprisingly, weren’t here 10 years ago!
Mall Of The Emirates- some of us would be lost without this superb mall! The Mall officially opened in November 2005 and took 5 years to build! It now attracts over 31 million visitors a year! The Discovery Channel program about how they built Ski Dubai is a must see!
Terminal 3, Dubai Airport- Construction of Terminal 3 began in 2004 and the new $4.5 billion Terminal 3 opened on 14 October 2008, and was built exclusively for the use of Emirates Airline. Terminal 3 is the single largest building in the world by floor space!
Arabian Ranches- Arabian Ranches was one of Dubai’s first freestanding developments and the first villa sales were launched in 2004, the Golf Club opened also in 2004 and the Polo Club in 2006. Now, home to many families in Dubai, this residential area is a main stay of Dubai life and it’s hard to believe The Ranches haven’t been there forever!
Global Village, Emirates Road site- Global Village actually started in 1996 as a small site along the Dubai Creek with small kiosks selling products and handicrafts from different countries. More than 500,000 visitors graced the Village during its first year. It moved to its new location on Emirates Road in 2005. It now attracts over 5 million visitors a year!
New Al Garhoud Bridge- The old Al Garhoud Bridge was the second bridge constructed that crossed the Creek, after Al Maktoum Bridge. The original bridge opened in 1976. In 2007, nearly 9,000 vehicles crossed the bridge every hour at peak flow! To solve the major traffic problems caused by the old bridge, a replacement was constructed in 2008. The new Al Garhoud Bridge has a total of 14 lanes, 7 in each direction. It is able to handle 16,000 vehicles per hour now!
Burj Khalifa- The construction of this iconic tower began on 21st September 2004, with the exterior of the structure being completed on 1st October 2009. It officially opened on 4th January 2010- only a year and half ago but a trip to the top has become a must do for residents and visitors alike. It currently holds 17 world records for being the tallest or highest in various categories such as tallest skyscraper, building with the most floors, fastest elevators and the highest mosque!
The Sevens- What began 40 years ago with a small band of British expatriates has now grown into one of the premier Rugby Sevens events in the world! In 2006, with a full venue capacity of 32,000 at the old Al Awir venue, the tournament had officially tripled in size since 2001. The new venue opened in November 2008 and has a 55,000 crowd capacity.
DragonMart- Home of many a bargain and odd purchases, DragonMart is the gateway for the supply of Chinese products in the Middle East. Inaugurated on December 7th, 2004, the 1.2 kilometre-long DragonMart is the largest trading centre for Chinese products outside mainland China.
“New Dubai”- The residential developments - Emirates Hills, Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, The Meadows, The Greens, The Views, The Springs and The Lakes, have effectively changed the face of Dubai within the last seven years and redefined lifestyles in the emirate. It’s hard to imagine what is home to so many people now did not exist 7 years ago.
Facebook- It’s hard to believe that what has now become part of most people’s daily routine wasn’t available in Dubai 10 years ago. Facebook launched here in 2005 and has helped expats stay in touch with their loved ones and friends all round the world ever since.