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23 April, 2004

The Secret of Shady Pines

Hidden away past Nad Al Sheba, behind a Sheikha's palace, lies a little-known wonder of Dubai. Here is a natural, marshy wasteland, where scrubby bushes burst from the sand and grasses cling to the moisture of the sunken, sandy soil.

Along one side, irrigated but lovely nonetheless, is a half-mile long avenue of pine trees, their shaggy branches arching over to provide shade.

Here is somewhere horses can be exercised, avoiding the heat of the day. Here is a place that people can take dogs and let them roam around off-leash. It is a secret pocket of countryside in the middle of the desert.

Walking here reminds one that local people have grown up missing more than snow and ice. Just being able to wander somewhere semi-wild, and see unmanicured shrubs and plants is a rare novelty here.



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