Dubai’s architectural wonders tell a story

DUBAI — El Sadiq Izzeldin Adlan is a prominent Sudanese who has been living in the UAE for 29 years.

By Omer Zakieldin (BEHIND THE SCENES)

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Published: Sat 25 Aug 2007, 9:08 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:00 AM

AdlanHe attended the primary and secondary stages of his schooling in Dubai and maintained his connection with the UAE during his university years in Sudan through regular visits to his family here.

Now in his early forties and a father of four children, the eldest of whom is in secondary school, Adlan is assistant manager in the National Bank of Dubai.

He is also deputy director for community affairs at the Sudanese Community Club in Dubai.

He is a life member of the club and also the secretary-general for the community’s Supreme Board.

Adlan has seen Dubai transform from vast tracts of sands to a city of high-rises.

“Dubai is, of course, a rapidly-changing place, new things are happening all the time. I think this is best exemplified by instances where one suddenly realises a new project is under way in Dubai and people living abroad have already heard about it,” he noted.

The Sudanese indicated that the growth witnessed in Dubai has received proper management by the emirate’s leadership, especially the international aspect. “Dubai is now a meeting place for many people. I am happy to be a Dubai resident, as it is a top global destination,” he expressed.

Adlan clarified that Dubai was not just glittering architecture, and pointed to the dynamic work put into each structure: “Dubai is not nice buildings only, we need to look at what is going on inside. Dubai Media City, Internet City, Healthcare City, Jebel Ali, the shopping malls, etc, they all tell a story. Each one of these projects has been a success, otherwise we would not have so many visitors.

“It’s not simply a case of tall shiny buildings,” emphasised Adlan.

When describing how the landscape has changed in the 29 years he has been in the UAE, Adlan said there was a time when he would be driving from Abu Dhabi and he could see the Dubai World Trade Centre from a distance of 20 kilometres.

“Now of course you have to be quite close to see it,” he mused.

Adlan cited Al Muraqqabat Road, where he lives, as another example of the changes he has witnessed. “Al Muraqqabat Road is now one of the liveliest in Dubai, but I can remember when it had sand dunes on which I used to play as a little boy.”

The current premises of the Foreign Ministry in Deira were once a playground where he and his friends went and played football, Adlan added.

When asked about what he expects the future to be for Dubai, Adlan stated that it was difficult to predict what, or when, other changes might occur.

“You can imagine something will take place in five years in Dubai, but then that something might actually have happened in six months’ time,” concluded Adlan.

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