An ode to Dubai
Radhika Acharya on why she loves this city of dreams
DURING MY FORMATIVE years in Goa, India, a long time ago, Dubai was seen as the “El Dorado” of Earth – a city or place of fabulous wealth and opportunity. The lucky few who landed jobs in Dubai were looked upon with awe and envy, and the typical Dubai-returned Goan could be recognised a mile off – with his colourful shirt, a thick gold chain and a radio in his hand! Cut to the present – in spite of living in Abu Dhabi for close to 20 years now, Dubai still evokes the same feelings of awe and pleasure for me.
I love driving into Dubai from Abu Dhabi on the Sheikh Zayed Road – whether it’s majestically by the public bus or more sedately by private vehicle. I enjoy every minute of the roughly 1 ½ to 2-hour ride depending on the mode of transport.
In the past, we would see herds of camels in the distance, but that’s no more so, with the rapid development happening along the Dubai-Abu Dhabi stretch. However, as we cruise along, I keep my eyes wide open to catch sight of the odd Lamborghini, Ferrari or Porsche go whizzing by. I am never disappointed! Until some years back, the first indication that we were nearing Dubai would be the two crossed guitars – the symbol of the old Hard Rock Café – and I would nudge my boys to glance outside the window when we would come level with the building. It’s now just a memory, of course.
It’s exciting to catch the first glimpse of the Burj Al Arab in the distance. It’s even more so today as the architectural dream hotel plays hide & seek among the many high-rises which have since come up along the road.
My heart misses a beat and I seem to catch my breath each time we pass the Burj Khalifa and I bend my head downwards and sideways to get a full and lasting glimpse of the tall and handsome structure, and I stay in that position until we move out of the line of its vision. The thrill and excitement continues as we enter the city and stop at the first traffic signal before we take the road to where we’re actually headed. I am one of the fortunate few to be living in this city of dreams!
City Times reader Radhika Acharya describes herself thus: “I’m quite intelligent sometimes, but sometimes is rare!”