Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 March 2018

Timeframe: Forget Sheikh Zayed Bridge, crossing into Abu Dhabi 1963-style

The causeway was prone to flooding on occasion, leaving cars stranded

Courtesy David Riley
Courtesy David Riley

Believe it or not, this was once the only road into Abu Dhabi. The year is 1963 and we're looking at the Maqta crossing. Two oil drums mark the entrance and the buildings in the background are custom offices for passport checks on anyone entering the island.

The photograph was taken in 1963 by David Riley, who was working for the British Bank of the Middle East (now HSBC) at the time. The causeway crossed a tidal channel and was prone to flooding on occasion, trapping cars. "During these occasions there was a certain camaraderie among fellow travellers, with passing vehicles stopping and 'collecting' anybody who had been stuck," Mr Riley recalled.

Thankfully the Maqta Bridge spans the channel close to this point today, one of three connecting the island with the mainland.


Read more:

Photographs of old Abu Dhabi chronicle a time long forgotten

When the Abu Dhabi-Dubai commute was an international trip mired by pitfalls