Ahmed bin Saeed receives Arabic version of “Dubai 1962”

DUBAI: H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai World, has received the Arabic version of “Dubai 1962”, a unique collection of photographs by Japanese photojournalist, Yoshio Kawashima. Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer, Jafza presented the book, which was published with the support of Jafza. “Dubai 1962” originally published in 2012 in English, showcases unique and fascinating images taken by the Japanese photojournalist, during his visit to Dubai along with fellow journalist Hiroshi Kato.

Shiekh Ahmed was pleased with the collection of images, which provide a glimpse of the nature of daily life in the emirate, starting from Dubai Creek, passing through the congestion in the streets, right down to the business activities in the souq during that era.

He appreciated Jafza’s efforts in producing both the English and Arabic versions, allowing people to know about the rich history of the emirate and way of life in the sixties.

“From the daily life in the souk and along the creek, with the hustle and bustle of the busy street, to the wedding celebrations and the meeting with the benevolent Ruler Sheikh Rashid in his majlis, in this book the Dubai of 1962 is portrayed in its iconic glory.

“Kawashima pictures Dubai as a place in time that is virtually unrecognisable from the city of today, but remains a piece of history to savour and treasure,” Sheikh Ahmed wrote in his foreword to the book.

The photographs document the evolution of Dubai as a commercial hub and its strategic location, which made it a centre for commercial traffic.

Ibrahim Al Janahi said, “This book clearly gives a sense of the daily life at the beginning of the sixties, and the emerging characteristics of the U.A.E., and the beginnings of the extraordinary success story which is Dubai. Despite the comparative harshness of life reflecting in the photographs, each image tells the story of a situation and a moment in time that cannot be forgotten.” The book shows that Dubai was a leader in the business world even in history, as it is today, he added.

Both Yoshio Kawashima and Hiroshi Kato had come to Dubai for the special coverage of Japanese workers in the oilfields in Kuwait and Dubai, on assignment from the Japanese newspaper, Sankei Shimbun. They found Dubai, then a Trucial State, as a place with endless photo opportunities; as a result, in a seven-day stay in Dubai, Kawashima took more than 200 insightful and fascinating images of daily life in the emirate.

For over four decades, the pictures had been buried in an archive in Japan. A few years ago, when the name of Dubai started appearing in media in Japan, Kawashima and Kato were reminded of their visit, and paid a visit to Dubai Trade and Commerce Marketing offices in Tokyo to meet Kimi Makishima-Akai, who was working as Marketing Manager, to show their photos. Kimi was utterly overwhelmed by the sheer uniqueness of the images.

In 2008, after Kimi and Gota Akai returned to Dubai from Japan, Kimi presented these pictures to Al Janahi, who was very impressed with Kawashima’s work and decided to call Kawashima and Kato to Dubai.