Published: May 22nd 2012May 22nd 2012
Old Town Dubai: A hideaway from the nearby skyscrapers, and where we have retreated to.
I think this is one of the nicest areas of Dubai to live in, especially if you want to be close to things and not have to rely on a car. There is the convenience of being able to access The Dubai Mall, cafes, restaurants, bars, cinema, all our shopping, gym, parks,the nightly fountain shows, by just walking out our door, across the road... Working in my studio all day, it was essential we could live somewhere I could easily access 'life' and coffee breaks!
Old Town sits in the middle of Downtown Dubai, across from the Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, an area of approx. two major blocks, with comparatively low rise housing. The architecture references the older Arabic style, with wind towers, carved arches, courtyards, Arabic lanterns, paved alleyways in between the high walls.
There are two districts : Al Manzil & Qamardeen, each with their own hotel and souk, although sadly the Qamardeen souk sits empty. Each district has approx 4 'communities' or Quarters in them, with names like Zanzabeel,Yansoon, Miska & Kamoon. Each Quarter is lined with paved lane
ways for walking between all the buildings, so it has a slight village feel, except without the bustling 'life'. It is lined with palms and thriving Bougainvillea & frangipanis. At night it is all beautifully lit up to accentuate the older Arabic style of architecture & design. There are pools dotted throughout the complex, which resemble what you would find in a hotel resort.... and it is a quiet haven from the chaos of Dubai roads and hoards of tourists at the Dubai Mall.
With 40+ degrees heat everyday now, and rising humidity, with a low of 30 overnight, it is essential to have somewhere cool to hang out. In the summer months from early May until late October, there wont be much opportunity to be outside apart from a quick dash across the street, or from air con car to air con building..
It has become essential to seek the narrow parts of shade on a street and to take shortcuts through underground car parks to avoid the daytime heat. Carrying water and a hat are also essential. Luckily our gym and nearest cafe are not very far away. Although the Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar
are only 'across the road', the 15 min walk can be challenging in the summer, luckily there are several shady walkways to make it to Souk Al Bahar where you are greeted by much appreciated air con!
Increasingly the days are spent at home in the studio, working on my next solo exhibition and staying cool from the outdoor heat. The evenings are still okay for a quick stroll across to see the nightly Fountain show, and around Burj Park, but they are becoming more humid too. It is the beginning of a hibernation of a different kind.
Okay so here is a photographic portrait... lots of photos to trawl through!
There are more photos below