Arabia/Saudi Arabia

What a lot can change in two years

IMAG0941Last time I walked along the Wadi Hanifa the winter air had left me shivering. The stone and concrete wadi, a long straight bare channel, was all there was to see. On one side there was a road with benches every few dozen yards. On the other side was nothing: a scree slope leading up to a fence and a building site. A visit to the Wadi was something to do, but it was hardly something worth doing.

Now, all this has changed. The dingy wind-swept corridor has gone. In its place are grassy banks, palm trees, lights and promenades. Across the now shallow and meandering wadi are a crop of brand new old mud huts, and a palace still under construction. There are little tourist shops and restaurants (including one or two it is possible to imagine entering).

In two years a complete transformation has been achieved. The place I knew is no more. In its place is something…nice.