x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Abu Dhabi's sands of an earlier time

Of all the many travellers who have pulled out a camera while visiting the Corniche at Abu Dhabi, Sir Wilfred Thesiger was almost certainly the first.

Of all the many travellers who have pulled out a camera while visiting the Corniche at Abu Dhabi, Sir Wilfred Thesiger was almost certainly the first. This picture was taken in 1948, when Thesiger visited the city for the first time. He found a small fishing village grouped around the al Hosn or White Fort. This photograph shows a section of the sea front that, thanks to land reclamation, is probably close to where the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce tower now stands.

Arriving after an epic journey through the Empty Quarter, Thesiger was greeted warmly by the then ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who introduced him to his younger brother, Sheikh Zayed. The image shown here is provided by Motivate Publishing, which recently published a centenary edition of Thesiger's 1959 classic Arabian Sands, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the explorer's birth.

Time frame is a series that opens a window into the nation's past. Each week it will feature an image from the archives of both prominent institutions and private collections.
Readers are also invited to make their contribution and can submit ideas and photographs to yourpics@thenational.ae