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Pictures Taken 40 Years Apart Show How Dubai Has Changed

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Pictures Taken 40 Years Apart Show How Dubai Has Changed

A pair of remarkable pictures shows how far the Emirati city of Dubai has come in a relatively short amount of time, comparing and contrasting the desert city over the past 40 years or so.

The pictures are taken from a pretty similar perspective and show that the skyscrapers, bright lights, and huge highways weren't always there.

In fact, once upon a time there were only a handful of buildings, a big roundabout, and not a great deal else.

One of the few things to remain the same between the two pictures is the Toyota Building - as it is known by locals - in the foreground.

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The Toyota Building years ago. Credit: NRL Group
The Toyota Building years ago. Credit: NRL Group

It's one of two 15-storey residential buildings that were built in 1974, just three years after the foundation of the United Arab Emirates, and it still stands there among the glitz and glamour today.

The Toyota Building is actually called the Nasser Rashid Lootah Building, and has absolutely nothing to do with Toyota other than a sponsorship deal for a sign on the top.

Despite that, it has become synonymous with the Japanese car manufacturer - not to mention one of Dubai's most recognisable buildings, even among the gigantic monoliths that are in place today.

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In fact, Dubai has come such a long way in such a short time that it now boasts one of the highest skylines in the entire world.

The Toyota Building in recent years. Credit: Flickr
The Toyota Building in recent years. Credit: Flickr

That's lightyears away from two 15-storey residential buildings and a big old roundabout, isn't it?

According to the official website of Dubai Tourism, Visit Dubai: "In terms of the number of buildings standing at over 150m, Dubai ranks third in the world after Hong Kong and New York."

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Not bad company to be in, right?

The website also states that Dubai has 'the greatest number of buildings standing at over 300m - 18 in all and 10 under construction - making its skyline taller than Manhattan's or Hong Kong's or Chicago's.'

The present-day Dubai skyline. Credit: PA
The present-day Dubai skyline. Credit: PA

Despite the remarkable transformation over the past 40 years, Dubai is actually quite a bit older than that.

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First mentioned in 1095, in a book by geographer Abu Abdullah Al Bakri, it became famous in the pearl trade during the middle ages.

Then, the city was walled-off in the 1800s, but continued to be a popular trading city with other countries around the world.

Everything changed when the city struck oil in 1966, which furthered Dubai's transformation into the huge global player that it remains to this day.

Featured Image Credit: NRL Group/Flickr

Topics: Dubai, Interesting, Asia

Tom Wood
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