Journey into Dubai’s past with a visit to the heritage district located on the banks of the Dubai Creek. Once the entryway to the Gulf’s most successful pearl diving port, the Creek’s legendary presence is still felt today as fishermen and merchants criss-cross the calm waters in their traditional dhows. By its banks is a testament to Old Arabia – the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Gypsum and coral buildings have been painstakingly restored to their original glory, complete with iconic windtowers that cast a contrasting silhouette to the city’s modern skyline.
This neighbourhood is home to some of the city’s finest cultural gems. If you explore, you’ll find XVA Art Gallery that showcases contemporary Arabian works, and the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, where visitors can learn more about Emirati traditions. Nearby is the Al Fahidi Fort – officially constructed in 1781, it’s the oldest building in the city. Al Fahidi is also dotted with quaint cafés and eateries offering up delightful bites. For an authentic taste of Emirati cuisine, head to Arabian Tea House, or stop by the Coffee Museum to learn all about the drink’s rich history while savouring special local blends.
The walled city (1800-1832) Records show that Dubai was a walled city in the early 1800s. The Al Fahidi Fort was built around the same time Dubai became a dependency. The wall on the Bur Dubai side extended from Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood through Al Fahidi Fort, ending at the Old Souk