Traditional Bedouin eating spaces and single-humped camels interspersed the desert biome that surrounded the Qasr al Hosn fort. For a period of 10 days, the Qasr al Hosn Festival celebrated centuries of authentic Emirati tradition and culture. Nestled between 21st century high-rises, the festival space — a microcosm of the pre-oil Emirates — was complete with bustling outdoor souks, mouthwatering luqaimat and people in traditional Emirati dress. With the presence of the customary wind towers — in Arabic, barajils — and the golden-brown sand in my beige flats, I was transported to 1960s Abu Dhabi. My experiences are encapsulated in the photos displayed.