Time Frame: Building blocks

This is one of those photos that cries out for more than the usual amount of attention.

It was taken - well, we’ll get to that in a moment - but what it shows is the view across Abu Dhabi towards the sea.

There are relatively few images shot from this perspective, but most of the elements of the city at this time can be seen.

In the foreground is the souq, or at least part of it, and immediately behind the lighthouse-tower like minaret of the Otaiba Mosque.

In the centre, with the pitched roof on the skyline, is the British embassy, a building which still stands today. A second pitched roof, on the extreme right of the photograph, is almost certainly the first post office.

Further back, again on the right, is a long single storey building with windows. This was Abu Dhabi’s boy’s school and behind it, the framework of new multistorey block, one of the first in the city and completed in 1969 - which is how we can guess the date.

To get your bearings, imagine that today the gigantic Landmark Tower on the Corniche now towers over this landscape.

* James Langton

Published: May 26, 2014 04:00 AM