Tuesday was the first day of Eid here in the UAE. And Dubai was thronging. In particular, anecdotal evidence suggests there was a full scale attack on Dubai Mall. The Saudis threatened our borders, while the Omanis also advanced into retail areas. The GCC influx was in force.

More seriously, it occasioned such that I was forced to drive into old Dubai for a photoshoot of sorts. A half hour drive saw me in the vicinity of the old Dubai Museum, near the Arabian Courtyard hotel, and the Bastakiya heritage area.

The place was busy, and most of the Asians in the area had their pristine Eid whites on.From there, t’was a bit of a walk to the aabra station next to the Bank of Baroda, through the Textile Souk. Through nooks and crannies with spaces for crooks and nannies. Er….anyway.

And the closer I got to the water’s edge, the more hordes upon hordes I encountered. This area of town is usually busy, but Eid had lent a special quality of hustle and bustle to proceedings.

The Textile Souk Bur Duabi station is one if the main aabra drop-off points this side of the creek. Those wooden little boats ferry people from the far Deira side to here. The Deira bank of the creek I’m quite familiar with, due to several late night walks there back in the day. The Radisson Blu sits squatly there, with a decent bar called up On on the 10th which offers offers nice vistas of creek life.

The textile souk is not organic – it didn’t grow out of necessity. It was designed  for a specific purpose. All the shops look homogenous, standardized. It’s built for the consumption of tourists as well as people who live in the area. It was funnily incongruous to see white arms and legs occasionally stick out of a sea of brown faces. Those white arms and legs would look around curiously before attaching themselves to shops selling cheap knick knacks at inflated prices.

But boy o boy, did I mention it was busy? As in thronging busy? As in swimming against a tsunami of people? As in Dubai Mall giving away free chocolate, sex and rock and roll busy?

The water was tranquil though. It always is, somehow. The creek makes me happy. And I managed a random opportunistic shot of these lads loitering by the water, chilling with their mates. That made me happy too.

For all its seeming haphazard, full to the brim with random life, teeming with unplanned motion, joie de verve, Dubai authorities have taken a few security precautions. They’ve realized it’s nigh on impossible to get a four wheeled vehicle into these little culverts and cul de sacs. So, they have these, complete with first aid kits, etc. Yup, two-wheeled ambulances. The paramedics were taking shelter in doorways and relaxing on steps. Observing, chatting. Just being.

And we got down to business. A few pictures were taken of me leaning suspiciously casually against various objects that the photographer liked. But this still, taken with my little consumer camera, is my absolute favourite. And it’s quite easy to see why 😀

For he was looking back to see

If I was looking back to see

If he was looking back at me. 

Muchos fun and laughter and hilarity ensued.

Eid down in old town, in the souqs by the creek. It can be frustrating, and there’s really very little chance of finding any sort of parking. But fun in its own way. Like everywhere else in Dubai, everything’s for sale in old town. Including morals. But at least they admit it.

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