Posted by: englishdubai | August 21, 2008

Old School

For those of you who have been reading this blog will have picked up that I actually lived in the UAE as small child. The year in question was 1984. My Father at the time was in the oil business and he moved the family to Abu Dhabi for about a year. I remember the experience as being rather good. After all, with school starting at 7.45am and finishing most days by 1.15pm it left a lot of free time to enjoy the beach and the pool, perfect for kids.

My memories of Abu Dhabi and my time there are hazy but here are some impressions:

1. Living on the 17th floor of a building with views of a sports centre and handball courts

2. Driving my Father’s Mazda 929 down the beach

3. Spending hours at the Ramada Beach Club

4. Baskin and Robbins was a real special treat (even today their chocolate chip ice cream reminds me of Abu Dhabi)

5. Being amazed at buildings seemingly made of “gold” when driving along the Corniche

6. Never visiting Dubai – as people were afraid of the drive through the desert for fear of hitting a camel

7. A distinct lack of TV and having to rely on pirate videos

8. Cassettes coming in special heat resistant containers for storing in the car

9. Struggling for a year to learn the basics of Arabic

10. Playing cricket in the playground in 113F temperature

All of this came flooding back to me when by the power of facebook I came across a group dedicated to the Al Khubairat Community School that I attended. I was rather shocked to see a picture of the 1984 cricket team which contained yours truly. I am in the backrow third from the left to right.

It was quite special for me seeing this, as I don’t recall seeing any family photos of my time in Abu Dhabi and this is the only evidence of my time in Abu Dhabi. If I get the chance I will making a little excursion back to the school and area of Abu Dhabi where I lived to see if anything jogs my recollection of my time there.


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