DUBAI // The clothes lines, abandoned furniture, sealed-up homes, graffiti-spattered walls and gaping holes in place of air conditioners are almost all that is left of a once-thriving community of families and single men in cosy, two-bedroom flats.
The Sheikh Rashid Colony in Karama now wears an abandoned look after many of its residents packed up and left.
A few are still stuffing nearly three decades of memories into cardboard boxes as they reluctantly prepare to move.
Many, such as Vineesh Vasu, take with them fond thoughts of a spirited community, helpful neighbours and a carefree childhood.
"I grew up here. All the neighbours knew each other. The kids used to play around," said Mr Vasu, who lives with his pregnant wife, brother, sister-in-law and niece.
"We are moving into a bigger space but the community has gone.
"People have passed around telephone numbers hoping to keep in touch.
"This place was much better. It has been lucky for us. We have grown up here and we have saved a lot of money. Now half our salaries will go on rent.
"My parents started their lives here but I will be starting my new family in Satwa."
Some apartments accommodated three generations of the same family. "They have grown up there, got married and had children," said Deepa Rijith, whose husband grew up in the complex.
"It was very difficult for my husband to leave.
"Though the flats were small, we would have preferred to stay here. Even though they were two-bedroom flats, the number of people living in each house was huge."
Mrs Rijith and her family moved to another building in the same area in March.
"We didn't want to leave the locality," she said. "If we live in Karama, we can keep our memories alive."