September 25, 2017

I Grew up in 90s Dubai | 90sUAE | My Childhood Memories

I am a child born in the 80s and grew up in the gulf country - United Arab Emirates in the golden era of #90sUAE.


It's going to be almost a decade since I left Dubai after staying for 22 years in the country which I called home - a place where I grew up, did my schooling, had successful careers, lots of friends and then just one fine day, I was suppose to pack my bag and leave the place for ever and never to return again. I tried to soak in as much memories as I could before leaving and I roamed how much I could in the very little time I had before bidding adieu.

You must be wondering, why a post now after a decade? Well, my dad will be retiring in few years from now and the thought of him leaving a place that he had conveniently called his home for over 30 years, is so hard to believe. My mind is still wavering at the thought and I am not able to accept the fact that my parents will also be leaving the country in few years from now.

I remember, I was very little when I first landed in this beautiful country. Back then we were not sure how long will be our stay and what the country has to offer, unaware of the fact that this was going to be our home for the next 30 years. The following year I was given admission in an Indian school, made lots of indian friends, had indian neighbours and I got divulged in an illusion of living in my own country. Life just went on and there came a day when I graduated and landed up my first job.

Every human being connects himself to the place where he grew up and for me it was Dubai. Going back down the memory lane of my growing up years before the high rises, glitz and glamour hit the country, which according to me was the golden era of Dubai.

Every year we celebrated UAE national day with much fervor and the country used to be jazzed up with national flag and abundant lightings. Each national day saw Dubai doing something extraordinary and entering the Guinness book of records. I remember one such record was made in the year 1996 for the world's longest cake baked by 507 chefs of 23 premium hotels in Dubai. This cake stretched over 2.53 kms and weighed 74,000 kilograms. However, the cake was destroyed in minutes as there were some car keys hidden inside them and people went crazy in search of keys to win the cars. Year after year, the country went on making world records each national day!

This was our first phone, so simple isn't it? Anybody who did the registration for a land line number was given this phone by the telephone service provider ETISALAT in those days. This was the only phone that rang in our homes and was placed at a central location in the living room, so that everybody could here the ring. It was an era of no mobiles and no internet, life was simple.


We did lot of socializing with friends and family. National holidays used to be a family outing time and live barbeques at various parks across the country.

School picnics in the 90s used to happen in Dubai Creek ParkMushrif park, Mamzar park and Safa park in Dubai and Sharjah National Park and Al Jazeera Park in Sharjah. The charm of these parks are still fresh in my mind and they had lots of visitors during national holidays. It was an attraction for families.
Mushrif Park Dubai - a pic from the 90s

Sharjah National Park - a pic from the 90s


I also had a school picnic once to Al Nasr Leisureland in the early 90s. It was such an attraction and had a fruit theme garden, horror house train, dashing cars and ice rink. I had also visited Dubai Museum and Dubai Zoo during my school trips. Well, Dubai had so much to offer back in the 90s as well.

Fruit theme garden - Al Nasr Leisureland

I had grown up savoring these snacks that you see in the pictures below and these are my loveliest childhood memories

Those were not the days of lays and kurkure, instead we had Emirates Pofaki, Pofak Oman, Raja Chips, Oman Chips, Pappy Snacks and Aladin, they were our life.


Areej, Sun Top, Shani and Laban Up were our favorite drinks.

Hobby, safari, milky chewies, center shock were the chocolates that we enjoyed. And that bubble gum we used to buy just to get the tattoo stickers.  

and the quality street chocolate box that was carried to school for birthdays....


Faisal the Little Arab Boy was our UAE Social Studies book in grade 1 and 2 that was taught across all Indian schools in the country. Faisal was a little 6 years old boy who stayed with his father, mother, brother and sisters. He used to study in Badr Primary School. As six year olds, we ourselves connected with this character so well that even after two decades he is etched in our memories. I still remember reading this page in school and feel that it was just few days ago. This book is out of curriculum from this year, ie. from 2017 and hence a part of the bygone era.



also, in the 90s we got lots of freebies like water bottles, tiffins, colour boxes and many other stuff with NIDO, RAINBOW and DANO milk powder brands.

These were some of the stuffs that every kid of the 90s would reminicise with.




Well, these were some of my memories that I grew up in the 90s in Dubai. Do you also have pics from the 90s Dubai, do mention in the comment below.

It's going to be a decade that I left the country and now I'm planning to write a post of my life after that, my kids, my jobs, a typical indian wife's saga, in laws, my roller coaster ride, facing the real life and much more. To find if it was good or bad, do keep visiting this website.

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