Abu Dhabi, five years of change

  • The Emirates Palace Hotel dominated the skyline on Abu Dhabi's Corniche in 2008 .....
  • .... but new tower blocks, including Etihad Towers, near the Breakwater now also vie for attention.
  • In 2008 most of the residential and commercial projects at Al Reem Island were still on the drawing board .....
  • .... but the area is now at an advanced stage of construction.
  • The Central Market project in 2008 in central Abu Dhabi ....
  • .... is now a landmark with some of the city's highest towers.
  • The Eastern Mangroves Hotel was hidden from view by advertising hoardings ....
  • .... now the hotel is fully uncovered and open for business.
  • While the The Grand Mosque itself was complete, back in 2008 the landscaping works still continued ....
  • .... now with all work completed its an oasis of green.
  • Aldars headquarters were just starting to rise from the sand back in 2008 ....
  • .... now the 'Coin' building is one of the first landmarks when entering the city.
  • Changes in the Abu Dhabi skyline reflect the city's rapid growth ....
  • .... with an ambition to become a world-class destination for business and leisure.

April 17, 2013

As The National turns five, photo editor Brian Kerrigan looks at some of the past and present images of Abu Dhabi.

On weekends leading up to the launch of The National I sometimes found myself on the beach at Le Meridian Hotel. I'm not much of a beach person really, but it did allow me to clear my head looking out at the water and wondering what else I needed to think about in building a newspaper for Abu Dhabi.

Regularly my eyes would lock on a ship in the middle distance. It looked like a small oil tanker to me, but upon further inspection I could see it was something quite different. From it's bow a non-stop flow of wet sand pumped, slowly but surely building an island.

Someone arriving in 2013 would be hard pressed to believe Al Maryah Island (and Al Reem, Saadiyat, Yas, the list goes on) were mostly low, undeveloped sandy islands only 5 years ago.

As part of our marking 5 years of publishing The National, we offer you a small look at the city that blossomed all around us.

                       
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