Dubai might be famous for its futurism, but there’s plenty to explore in its past. Go beyond the modern architecture and discover Dubai’s history, from the old souks of Bur Dubai to the packed Dubai Museum.
Al Bastakia Quarter
This heritage site dates all the way back to the 19th Century – except these days, it draws more than just merchants. Take a wander through the narrow alleyways and take in the beautiful restoration of the area. There are a number of galleries here such as the Majilis and Ostra Galleries to keep art-lovers occupied for hours.
A traditional tea house
While you’re there, pop into the quaint Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Café. The inside is designed to make you feel like you’re in your own private paradise, with flower garlands, rattan furniture and soothing turquoise tones. Order a pot of tea or treat yourself to a traditional lunch and feel like you’re back in time. Middle Eastern staples such as hummus, falafel, kibbeh and fattoush are all on the menu.
Jumeirah Mosque should be top of any to-do list on a trip to Dubai. This iconic landmark is one of the city’s most famous, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s also a great place to get a feel for the local culture, especially if you take one of the daily tours. You’ll find out more about the relationship between everyday life and religion in the UAE as well as many Islamic customs, traditions and holidays.
Once you get a taste for Dubai’s history, head over to the Dubai Museum to explore it further. This museum is as old as the UAE itself and is in the city’s oldest building – the historic Al Fahidi Fort. Find out what life used to be like in galleries full of replica houses, exhibitions and photo opportunities. There’s even a room dedicated to pearl-diving – an important part of the region’s history.
Take a boat tour across the water in either a traditional wooden dhow or a modern water taxi. It’s a great way to find out more about the city’s rich history while having a chance to sit back and relax. You’ll pass many of the most famous monuments and can even opt for a dinner cruise.
Whether you like your history lessons up-close and interactive or told to you while you’re lounging on deck, there’s an old Dubai adventure to suit every mood.