August 16, 2015

In a 45 degree heat, early August day, whilst meeting a friend, I looked down from a TECOM 30th floor balcony onto the strangest little village with white picket fences and terracotta-roofed bungalows, far more reminiscent of vintage Palm Springs, California than modern day Dubai. Desert Springs Village was developed in 1973 with the appeal of very few neighbours, however today it’s surrounded on all sides by a mass of reflective glass and steel, Dubai’s TECOM district. The juxtaposition of TECOM with the Desert Springs crumbling concrete and boarded-up buildings is extreme. There are some properties which stand out as the tenants keep their village alive with manicured gardens and brushed driveways but they are becoming overshadowed by abandoned cars, a derelict swimming pool & playground and the general feeling that sadly the end is nigh..The only business that appears to be hanging on is a launderette drying scores of old rugs next to the empty pool. A resident tells us that since 2005 the complex has been threatened with re-development but to date nothing has progressed. That said, for residents its an anxious ongoing wait and sadly, looking at the skyline surrounding their lost oasis, time is ticking. Currently all but a few of the properties are occupied so there may still be a few years left before the new Dubai, which is no stranger to change, takes over.

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