I’m off on my first International trip for 2016 this Saturday, back to a part of the world which for many years I called home.
I moved back to England in the summer of 1999 after having lived my whole life (up to that point obviously) in Saudi Arabia. My primary years spent living in the coastal town Jeddah, my secondary school years in the capital, Riyadh.
This trip will be my first time back to the Middle East since coming here all those years ago. I’m not intentionally travelling for a nostalgic trip, but just being back in that part of the world will I’m sure bring back many happy memories.
We start in the UAE – staying in Abu Dhabi, allowing ourselves some time to check out Dubai, another place I visited in my younger years, way before the rapid development and expansion of this super city started.
After that, it’s off to Saudi Arabia for a spiritual holiday. We’ll be headed to the holiest sites in the world for Muslims, situated in the regions of Makkah and Madinah. Living in Riyadh I was fortunate enough to have both these cities practically on my doorstep, and I have visited them many times with my family throughout my childhood.
Like the UAE, the Saudi government are constantly expanding and regenerating the two holy sites (mosques) and the surrounding areas so I can imagine a lot of changes must have occurred in the last 16 years.
Although I’m having quite a hectic week trying to work, catch up with people and of course pack I thought I’d share a few old snaps I found. I’m quite looking forward to seeing how much has changed! (and to form my own opinion on whether its for better or for worse).
As much as I’d love to sit and spend the night reminiscing, I have some serious packing to take care of.
Anyone visited the places I’ve photographed above? Jumeirah beach seems to be the go to place for most people in Dubai these days… wonder if I’ll recognise it 😉