Behind Dubai’s picture of modernity and tall buildings; there is other part which portrays the true rich heritage of the city. Old Dubai, in the city’s north, mainly consists of two areas: Bur Dubai and Deira. Old Dubai has its own vibrancy which is very different from the modern city that everyone else knows. To experience the true essence of Dubai, visiting Old Dubai is a must.
Old Town Dubai’s architecture is historic in nature, and the abras and spice souks are still present. The oldest building in the city, the Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787, which now is home to the Dubai Museum, is located in Old Dubai. The Dubai Trade Centre is also an iconic spot. The bygone architecture in this part of town takes you back in time. Dubai Creek is where the true essence of Old Dubai lies; the government is working towards making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The wooden dhows are world-famous and are only found there, it is decorated in a specific way and shipped to different parts of the world.
The art scene is a very big part of Old Dubai, the city’s first gallery was started in Bastakiya, which is now filled with many more art galleries and is competing with Dubai city. It is unique as it captures the old traditions and nature of Dubai and combines it with contemporary art. Visiting and getting mesmerised by the art here should be a definite entry in your things-to-do-in-Old-Town-Dubai list.
It is said that the most authentic and affordable Dubai cuisine can be found in the Dubai Old City. Gordon Ramsay opened the restaurant Verre in the Hilton Hotel. The most authentic Mexican food in Dubai is found at Eden Hotel, Satwa. The chicken satay is a must-try at the Indonesian restaurant Karama, 4B street. The Basta Art Café is ideal for a coffee break, and authentic Pakistani sweets are available at Ravi Sweets, Satwa Road.
There are old Souks on either side of the Dubai Creek – textile ones on the south side, spice and gold souks on the north. These are the inevitable destinations of anyone visiting the Creek area. The gold souk has over 300 jewellery shops, and you can buy jewellery at the cheapest rates here. The ‘Big Souk’ is one of the largest markets in Deira. It has a huge textile market and a wide array of herb and spice markets.
The Dubai Creek
The Dubai Creek was a fishing spot and a gateway for trading. It was also a pearling site. You can go on boat rides here: The abra, a wooden boat, takes you to the other side, Bur Dubai, it is a unique experience. The Dubai Heritage Village in Old Dubai takes you back in time as it has preserved the old styles of living in Arabian villages. The residence of Sheikh Saeed is now a museum where important documents and photographs are displayed.
You can choose a tour of the city arranged by us at DAMAC Maison to visit Dubai’s historic parts. The ‘Dubai City Tours’ takes you to parts of Old Dubai besides tours other parts of the city.