Society Magazine

Treasure Chest

By Seabee
I've discovered a treasure chest. Or to be accurate, a treasure plastic bag.
Full of stuff I didn't know I had, it was hidden way back behind stacks of other stuff in the dark depths of a large cupboard.
A bag full of stuff from Dubai from 1977 up to about 1982.
I've been sorting through it and I've come up with a selection of photos and some other bits that I'll share with you over a few posts.
A real find was an old vinyl 45rpm record, one that we played at every gig we had with our mobile DuneBeat Disco.
The cover is the fabulous 'Life in the Emirates', but inside it the disc was 'Back in Dubai'...
Treasure ChestBut I did find a copy of 'Life in the Emirates', on an old cassette tape:
Treasure Chest
And there was another home-made tape, featuring 'Alex & The KayGee's, Live at the Cafe Royal, Dubai International Hotel'.
Dubai International was one of Dubai's earliest five-star hotels - it's still there opposite the airport but now changed to Le Meridien Dubai.
Back in the day it was the place to go. It had one of the city's first discos, Studio 7, and Cafe Royal, the fine dining restaurant. And it really was the best fine dining, with superb food and service and a big showband, which was Alex & The KayGees.
They started the evening with just the piano player, who was gradually joined by other musicians as the evening progressed. They ramped the sound up until eventually about fifteen musicians made up the big band, then the girl singers came on and finally Alex, the lead singer, with his big voice, big hair, big personality.
It was some show.
Here they are, with some of the Cafe Royal waiters. From memory, they were the first Filipinos to come to Dubai so they were real trail-blazers:
Treasure Chest
Cafe Royal was so popular that they couldn't fit in all the people who wanted to dine there, so on Thursdays they took the restaurant outdoors.
If you've been to the hotel you'll know it has nearly forty acres of landscaped gardens, and that's where they built a series of food stations, put down a dance floor and bandstand and had many more tables than they could have indoors.
Not a good photo but you'll get the idea. Dancers over on the top right, the bandstand just to the left of them:
Treasure Chest
Those were the days.

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