A stroll down Satwa road, through the heart of the community, greets visitors with the smell of roasting chicken, the hubbub of a busy suburb and the bright flashing signs of shops advertising their wares.

A mechanic rolls a new tyre to a waiting motorist while another wipes the desert dust from a windscreen.

Textile merchants throw swathes of multi-coloured fabric into the air, measuring it for their waiting customers.

Tailors busy themselves adjusting clothes, accompanied by the rattling of their sewing machines. Ishwar, a tailor, opened Coventry Tailoring in 1989, and has been in Dubai since 1981.

"The best time for me in Satwa has been in the last couple of years," he told Gulf News. "I sleep well at night because I have satisfied customers. Customers buy the material in Satwa and then come here to have clothes made. The area has grown over the last 20 years: if I ever leave here, I will miss it very much."

A tailoring colleague continued: "For the last 20 years the textile market has been here - you can get it all in Satwa. People buy material at the market or shops, bring it to the tailors to be made and we can get the raw materials to make the clothes."

Just a short walk across Satwa Road, visitors following their noses can find some of the most well-renowned dishes in Dubai.

Ravi's restaurant has been serving up Asian sub-continental food for the past 30 years, welcoming customers of all nationalities, typical of Dubai's multicultural landscape.

Salim Marakkarkandi has been a waiter at Ravi's since he came to Dubai 18 years ago.

"Satwa is very busy with all the shops that have opened over the last 18 years. Our meat grill is famous, particularly the chicken tikka. The best thing I like about Satwa is the bargains you can find in the shops - everything is very reasonable," he said.

The bright lights of Satwa gleam as bargain-hunters weave through a maze of jewellery and accessories, stopping next door to buy traditional Indian sweets from the tiny cafes dotted around the area.

A short walk towards the Iranian hospital uncovers many home-improvement stores, with their plants and desert cactuses providing leafy accompaniment.

Satwa is a 'city' that never sleeps, a haven for community spirit, an Aladdin's cave offering a never-ending treasure trove of bargains for everyone who visits.

Satwa is busy, bright and bustling - a representation of life itself.

Insight: Development of suburb

Literally translated, Satwa means 'power' or 'authority'.

It was once a small suburb, but over the years it became known as a place offering low-cost housing, good food and shopping bargains, as well as a one-stop-shop for textiles, garments, tailoring, minor car and watch repairs and also hub of traditional restaurants for different communities.

It has expanded along with the rest of Dubai over the past 30 years, with a growing Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Filipino and Arab population.

Many expatriates live in Satwa because of its close proximity to the business centres.

The redevelopment of Satwa is already underway. Demolition has started in some areas of the suburb, as part of the Jumeirah Garden City project.

This project is still in the planning and development stages.