Friday, November 11, 2011
Trip to Manama, Bahrain in 2003, with stop-over in Dubai - a pictorial journal
In late October 2003, I was sent for an official meeting to Bahrain. It was an interesting trip as it marks the first time I visited the Middle East. Below is the pictorial journal of that trip.
At that time, it was the rainy season and even from the waiting area in KLIA, angry black thunder clouds were ominously present in the sky.
As it was a company sponsored trip, I was lucky enough to travel business class. In 2003, the Business Class Lounge was very 1980s in design and furnishing. I was actually suprised there weren't many travellers using the lounge when I flew. Lounge was practically empty.
Got a direct flight to Manama, Bahrain and on arrival got myself a taxi to the hotel. By then, it was already dark so I turned in for the night. In the morning, I surveyed the city from my window.
As a city, Manama (in 2003) consist mainly of low buildings.
They only got one skycraper at that time.
Despite it being in October, the heat was unbearable. It was so hot, no one dared try to use the hotel swimming pool.
The hotel that I stayed in wsa The Regency. The decor is very old and dated.
The tiles used came from the 1970s!
It was hot that the only mode of transport even between short distances is via car. The bridge you see in the picture below connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.
The facade of The Regency, Manama, Bahrain. Very "fort" like. Date trees are all around.
This scene is so funny. They had statues of camels and their people decorated on their roundabouts for tourists.
Two brave souls against the sun!
The sea is close to the hotel. I was able to observe their traditional fishing fleet anchored in their harbour.
After the meetings were concluded, it was time for me to leave the city. Since I couldn't take any pictures when I arrived as it was already dark, I was able to take some shots of the airport on the way back.
This time, it wasn't a direct flight to KL. I had to transit for a couple of hours in Dubai.
A very desolate airport. Only planes of significant numbers were military planes. Note the lack of flags on the planes - spy planes perhaps?
A typical Gulf Air plane during that period.
In 2003, Bahrain airport was in the midst of intense construction. Cranes were everywhere.
Bahrain's airport main terminal.
Even a few hundred feet from the ground, Bahrain's is effectively a big desert.
Arrived in Dubai, spent another 3 hours in the lounge.
The lounge in Dubai is massive with a couple of interesting art pieces. The wall clock is a Rolex!
We all know about the beautiful buildings in Dubai now but way back in 2003, Dubai was nothing great to shout about. No tall buildings, nothing significant.
What you will notice is that Dubai was a huge construction site at that time.
A reclaimed island.
Related postings on Dubai: