8 Things You Would Remember If You Were Raised In Al Barsha

The year of 2005 changed EVERYTHING!

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If you grew up in Al Barsha during the pre-Mall of the Emirates (MOE) days, this post is going to serve as a major flashback for you. 

From a ghost neighborhood in 2001 to becoming one of the most sought-after and busy areas in 2017, Al Barsha has undergone a truly remarkable transformation. 

And at the very heart of this community is the iconic 'MOE' which completely changed the way how Al Barsha is perceived by the citizens of Dubai. 

Ready to take a trip down the memory lane?


1. Al Barsha was initially considered to be a sleepy 'hood

The idea of going for a long drive in early 2000 consisted of families taking a trip to the Al Barsha area. It had very few residential complexes and even fewer villas at the time, and it was considered to be located in the outskirts of the main Dubai. 

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2. The area was the first choice for driving instructors looking for an easy initiation for their students

Can you imagine what it must have been like? A vast expanse with only sand and dunes in sight, no wonder it was the chosen area for drivers to hone their driving skills at. 


3. Carrefour opening was the TALK of the town

It was all shiny and new, and was THE place to get more exotic products. And it made it so much easier that it was all on your doorstep. 

4. The construction of MOE started in 2003 and a board saying 'the largest mall outside North America' was placed at the site

At the time, MOE was the only and biggest mall people knew was coming up in Dubai; and the anticipation was very, very high! 

5. The news of MOE getting the largest indoor ski slope baffled people

Snow in the middle of the desert? People definitely had a tough time believing in such a possibility. But when it was finally made, a lot of people described it to be surreal! 

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Ski Dubai

6. People didn't know what traffic jam was

Although the roads that snaked across the residential complexes were packed tightly behind the Mall of the Emirates, traffic jams were still strictly unheard of in the Barsha area. 

7. Tourists started spending majority of their time in Barsha area

With over 400 retailers and more than 65 restaurants along with the popular Ski Dubai, it made sense for tourists to spend majority of their time in Barsha area near MOE. The opening of Kempinski Hotel in 2006 also helped facilitate the same.  


8. The years since 2005 completely changed the way how people viewed Al Barsha

People from the main Dubai started spending their weekends at MOE, the area received a major boost in terms of real-estate development. Several housing complexes and restaurants started cropping up which further bolstered the economy and generated plenty of employment opportunities for people. 

Written By

Nikita Mukherjee

Being fairly new to Dubai, Nikita is still trying to find that perfect crème brulee. She loves buying cakes for no reason and then complaining about gaining weight in the same breath. She is obsessed with books, memes, pant suits and desserts—in no particular order. When not writing, she’s busy sleuthing unsolved cases on the internet.