22 May, 2008

Say goodbye to Satwa

Satwa is one of the oldest parts of Dubai (albeit now with the most economical rents in the heart of the city), and is currently due for redevelopment.

Below is an image from Gulf News from an article entitled “Family evicted from Satwa home now lives in tent”




An interesting and indepth coverage of business owners’ and tenants’ viewpoints on the imminent demolition of their premises and homes can be found in an article in this week’s Time Out Dubai edition. It also features a snippet from the post of alexander, a prominent UAE blogger and journalist.

Some are planning to move to their countries of origin after some 30 years in the UAE; others anticipate moving to Al Barsha, according to the article.

Some of Satwa’s highlights include Ravi Restaurant; the vast array of tailors; the infamous shawarmas and fast food…and a whole load more: you name ‘em.

Savour the delights while you can.

21 comments:

Proud Emirati said...

This is capitalism fed by greed in its finest form. Shame on the ones feeding it.

rosh said...

"Her youngest child, sixteen-month-old Fadeela cries "day and night" due to irritation from the heat"

This is horrible!?!

Satwa, like Deira & Bur Dubai forms the soul of Dubai. Now it's starting to feel like Monaco.

Woman in Black said...

How very sad, there was an interesting section on Sharjah radio today along the same lines that the Emiratis are no longer able to afford to have their own homes and that we are selling the land we have off to non nationals. It is a real shame that so many strugle and yet the ones living in the "mansions" complain

LocalExpat said...

It made me want to cry when I heard this....

alexander said...

LOL

That's ex-journalist! I did enjoy the Time Out piece, even if it did feature my favourite person's comments... but there are going to be a lot more stories like this in the future. It's tearing the soul from the city - a lot of Nationals are now escaping to the edges of Mirdif and similar out of town locations, while the city's workers are being offered soulless condos that are, oddly, becoming more and more reminiscent of Soviet era blocks. And whole families are being uprooted from their homes with little planning beyond the simple imperative to land clearance.

I don't think this is the last we'll hear of Satwa, but I don't think anything is going to change the road ahead.

And, yes, that's awfully sad...

Anonymous said...

Proud Emirati, some will retort to your statement by saying, "UAE is not a communist country, so there is nothing wrong with greed" or "Money is everything, you get nothing through keeping old buildings"

Mansur said...

Oh God no, are they really taking away Ravi restaurant? This is bad, real bad! Ravi is one of the best places to dine and they are taking it away!

I don't understand why Dubai can't preserve the old areas and let them be. It's bad enough the said family mentioned in the picture are kicked out and living in a tent, and you want me to believe this is Dubai, the City that Cares? (yes, for the elite I can believe!)

Carolynn said...

I enjoyed the T.O. piece. Like Alexander, my blog was quoted several times in the article (though my description of Ravis as the best Pakistani restaurant in the world wasn't "panicked", its a statement of fact!) I fear that to continue down the path of obliteration in the name of profit will doom Dubai to becoming "somewhere that could be anywhere" full of million dollar ghettos. That would be a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

What you find in Satwa is soul, frienship and activity without fuss, giving up pride and living up the bold and beautiful of life. Don’t destroy the heart of Dubai! What makes any place around the world more desirable to visit or live is the signs of preserving the past and feeling proud about that. Imagine a city full of modern skycrapers and man_made artificial malls, canals and pathways with no memory of the past. How boring to pay a visit!! How can a City That Cares wipe out its own heart? The issue as said by T.O from developer source is illegal workers! Are they joking or what? Who are they kidding?! If it was the case as said, I bet Dubai police is able to target every single of these illegal workers in less than a week. No man! It’s the confinement of assets through selling of these lands to whom (As they say Prince Walid of Saudi Arabia) that has blinded their eyes to see crying of people from basic living necessities. Have they forgotten that a big part of what has made Dubai as it is now is the truthful hard work of those low_income workers, labourers, tailors, bakers, …many of them residing in Satwa, Karama, and Naif area. The moment any delibrate planning starts based on greed, caring and humanity disapeares. Shame on greed!

mo said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U1NY4bfu_Q

hazel said...

I know some of those poor residents in that area have repainted their houses and spent their scarce income on beautification of their otherwise old villas in order to convince the authorities not to demolish their homes but unfortunately they’ve lost all. No remedy on their attempts. Unbearable, to listen to the crying, desperate voices of homeless. And yet we have buried our heads under the comfortable blanket of ignorance. Is anybody there to listen?

ColOman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ColOman said...

100,000 people dispalced. Who cares, there is money to be made for a few poeple.

Screw the lowest 10% of the population and then wonder why prices of goods are sky rocketing.

So much for Dubai being an economic model while screwing the social aspect and their own people.

Dubai' soul was sold long time ago when the word boom meant getting rid of your past in the late 90's.

the real nick said...

What a shame. Looking at a plan of the new development (apparently named Jumeirah Garden city) Satwa is an area of minuscule proportions in respect of the entire development - means it could easliy be incorporated and it wouldn't make a big difference. Several schools are going to go further up in Al Wasl and Safa, including the American School, Horizon and JESS. Half of Safa park will go.
What I don't understand is the magnitude of the new development which will squash not only Satwa but almost the entire Jumeirah / Umm Suqeim area between SZR and Al Wasl road. This kind of project is impossible to build in less than six to eight years, if not ten / fifteen.

Hello, Monster building site!

Proud Emirati said...

http://i31.tinypic.com/1para0.jpg

the real nick said...

Proud Emirati,
You know more than you let on, you little tease!
The development area has increased since your last post on the subject. Now it comprises the entire Safa park. Tell us more. NOW.
Please.

rosh said...

Safa Park's being eaten into eh? Well, sorta ruins this Saturday !@!$%#%^$%^ morning!!

hazel said...

Diversity and mixture of cultures, people of different color and various backgrounds living in harmony has always been an exceptional fact of Dubai life. What make Dubai a beautiful city are not only its clean green roads and tall buildings but also more essentially the imprint of daily scene of lively areas such as Satwa in random minds. The smell of freshly baked breads of old bakeries on their broken wooden tables, casual passing by of posh visitors through black “Burke’s of Arab women in Satwa, tinting of a three digit number plate brand new car in a tiny oily car repair shop, laughter of joyful Philippinas back from work, pleasure of an old lady in selling her twisted used bangle at a gold shop to buy a new design jewelry for her neighbor’s wedding, crying of a bare footed young boy in search of his fake addidas ball, hot sale of saris and textile hung on the sticks besides shops,… and you and me wondering among those as if we know each other for ages. …. This is called Dubai Identity. Nowhere else in the world you can experience it. Reproducing a replica of other completely different cities and forcing new identity on Dubai not only seems unfounded, but also will erase the unique identity of Dubai, which has evolved over years of history. Presence of old Satwa villas is not an obstacle in the way of the development of Dubai, rather the ability to see their uniqueness and be eager to refurbish and preserve them along with modern structures, is the barrier to overcome.

manimalcruelty said...

This is a very sad situation for Zahra and I do feel for her. Although I think it's irresponsible to have more kids than you can afford to raise.

Zahra: "I can understand my family's situation. My brother has seven children and my father has a six-bedroom house with sixteen people living in it," said Zahra.

What's wrong with 2 kids and a dog?

manimalcruelty said...

...by the way, very sad satwa is disappearing. That and a trip to Ravi was the most refreshing part of my 1st week in dubai.

Anonymous said...

Satwa Stories at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rspatuvx0w

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