Our week has just improved tenfold thanks to the discovery of this video montage about Dubai: there’s spandex, insanely shaky camera work and a split second of the old Barasti, what more can you ask for?

The video was made for a World Chess Olympiad held here in 1986 – and yet there’s not even a touch of chess in the montage: but plenty of watersports, lounging, archery, dune bashing etc.

It’s so 80s it hurts but feels great at the same time: it’s also a rare video glimpse of what Dubai looked like around 30 years ago, another reminder of how much the city has changed in a few decades (plus, the fact the video features young camel jockeys – a practice which is now banned – shows that the progress in the UAE hasn’t been solely about skyscrapers).

What’s that jaunty song that pays homage to our fine desert-bound city, you ask? Back in Dubai was a 1980s local radio hit sung by Sal Davis (born Salim Abdallah Salim in Mombassa in 1947) – many of you will know it, and if you didn’t, you will now as it’s certainly catchy.


there’s a sun / and it shines there all the time / going home / to the smiles / on the faces of kids who remind me / Dubai is mine


While the song will be stuck in our head for weeks, we can surely all agree that this is the most exceptional moment of the entire four and a half minutes:


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