Old Dubai vs New Dubai

Over the last few years, Old Dubai has grown by leaps and bounds into what we now know as New Dubai. And without a doubt, this Emirate nation is truly unmatched by its neighbors.


But don't just take my word for it, with the help of Knight Frank, let's go through the years...


1994: 1 million tourists visit Dubai. For those who don't know, I was 3 years old around this time.

1999: Burj Al Arab - a global icon of Arabian luxury opened its doors. I'm now 8 years old. Time is flying for me but time is moving even faster in Dubai.

2002: Do you remember what you were doing when they completed the Palm Jabel Ali? At 11 years old I couldn't even comprehend the ability for man to create an artificial island shaped. Not only was it a man-made island, but they got fancy and made it into the shape of a palm ... in the middle of the ocean. I couldn't swim then...

2003: Neighbourhoods such as Dubai Industrial City, The World Islands, Business Bay, Techno Park and Emirates Hill are now completed. Can you imagine? I'm 12 years old and puberty hasn't even set in but Dubai is over there erecting buildings in the midst of nothing but sand and water.

2007: The Mall of Emirates opens - this is where you'd be able to ski and watch penguins waddle. Firstly, how? Secondly, how much AC is required to keep these penguins cool enough. Did I mention that we're in the desert?!

2012: 10 million tourists have now visited this amazing city and they also publicly announce it's first Minister of Happiness. I didn't know that was even a thing. I'm now 21 years old and I'm stressed because I'm one year away from completing my first degree.

2018: They complete the expansion of the Dubai International Financial Centre. This is the year I visited Dubai and the year my mind was blown.


I am now 28 years of age and if my level of growth was at the same level as Dubai, I would have been a millionaire by the time I was 10 years of age. This is to say that this Emirate nation continues to grow by encouraging new people from all walks of life and what's more admiral about this nation is that they never lost touch with their traditional roots.


When you're in Dubai, don't be sucked in by doing things for the "Gram". Be present and really acknowledge that your hotel was possibly nothing but sand or water a mere few years ago. Or that this nation started from humble beginnings as a pearling and fishing nation and grown to the glitzy city that you see today.



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© 2023 by Bernadette Chikowore