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From empty roundabout to city hub

A 30km stretch of what is now called Shaikh Zayed Road was built between 1993 and 1998, as the sand and dust gave way to skyscrapers and landmarks.

  • A 30km stretch of what is now called Shaikh Zayed Road was built between 1993 and 1998, as the sand and dust gImage Credit:Gulf News Archive
  • Trade Centre and the Defence Roundabout has changed dramatically. Image Credit:Gulf News
Gulf News

Dubai: This picture of the Dubai Trade Centre Roundabout was taken by photographer Javed Nawab nearly 30 years ago, who remembers Shaikh Zayed Road as being "a distance away" from the main city.

In 1979, most people wondered whether it was such a good idea when the Word Trade Centre was unveiled on a patch of land on the side of this single lane highway.

Today, the 3-km stretch between Trade Centre and the Defence Roundabout has changed dramatically. Shaikh Zayed Road was earlier known as the Defence Road.

That is why you have the so-called 'Defence Roundabout' or the First Interchange near the 'Toyota Building'.

The Trade Centre Roundabout is also an important landmark from where the expressway stretches 55 kilometers to the border of Abu Dhabi.

Motorists unused to roundabouts found it nerve wracking entering the traffic flow, till Dubai Municipality and the police decided that it was necessary to install traffic lights.

The aerial shot shows the most striking part of the road, with its skyscrapers. It has been dubbed as 'Manhattan of Dubai' by most expats as it is home to most of Dubai's skyscrapers, including the famous Burj Dubai. Nearly 30 kilometers of the road was built between 1993 and 1998.

Motorists who frequently travel to Abu Dhabi also know Shaikh Zayed Road as E11.

The last roundabout on this road is the sixth interchange at the entrance of Jebel Ali Village, The Gardens and Ibn Batuta Mall.

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