The year was 1998, and Dubai had a new visitor – an American aircraft carrier. The USS Enterprise docked at Jebel Ali Port in December that year on a visit to the UAE.
The “Big E”, as it was known, was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and at 342 metres was the longest naval vessel ever built. The ship had her maiden voyage in 1962 and saw action during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War, the 2003 Iraq War and elsewhere.
In Dubai, the ship hosted a concert by rockers Hootie and the Blowfish. The band behind the hit Only Wanna Be With You were in the region for a tour supporting American troops and also played in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Even former US president George H Bush appeared on deck during the visit.
The “Big E” was decommissioned last year after an illustrious career.
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