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Dubai is one of a group of states at the southern end of the Arabian Gulf now known as the United Arab Emirates. In the 1960s they were members of the Trucial States, under the political control of the UK. For a fuller description see the page on Sharjah.

European-style accomodation was extremely scarce in the area, and although I worked at Dubai airport, I lived in the neighbouring sheikdom, Sharjah, making the journey to Dubai by Land Rover.

The coastline is barren and all the sheikdoms owed their existance to natural harbours in the form of creeks. Dubai was the most important. Its creek provided the best harbour and it had extensive trade with other gulf states and India.

Dubai was (and is) famous for its gold souhks (markets). To most local people a bank account was unimaginable, and a man's wealth was determined by the amount of gold jewellry that adorned his wife. A speciality for European visitors were rings or cufflinks made from gold sovereigns which were still used as currency in the area.