By Dhanusha Gokulan www.khaleejtimes.com
Any person, across all nationalities and cultures, who landed in Dubai via an Emirates flight from 1996 to 1999 will never forget the welcome that they received at the Dubai International Airport.
Indeed, who can forget the immigration officials and the ever-smiling airport staff with a single red rose and a box of chocolate-coated dates? The little boxes, containing three or four of those delectable chocolates, were printed with motifs of the national colors red, white, green, and black.
The flowers and chocolates were, according to some of the older residents of Dubai, a perfect welcome gift. “You could be a tourist, someone who is trying to make it rich, or someone who is in transit. But all of that didn’t matter. What mattered was that little gesture of hospitality, which can never be forgotten,” says a Dubai resident.
In 1996, Dubai was just an ‘in transit city’. The biggest agent of change for the city, perhaps, was the preparation for the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). More info