Best Things to Do In Old Dubai

Just like many other major cities in history, Dubai grew around a water source. Yes, we’re referring to Dubai Creek. Our sprawling and modern city was once a small village of fisherman who settled close to the creek for work, and because it was the hub of the import and export industry for the region. Historically speaking, the Creek also served to divide the city into two main sections: Bur Dubai and Deira. While the latest additions to Dubai might catch much of the headlines these days, the Old Quarter is really considered the heart and soul of the city. In case it’s been awhile since you’ve strolled the older part of our beloved city, here are some things that are always worth doing in Old Dubai.

Visit the Dubai Museum

Even if you don’t love museums, you really should visit this one in Old Dubai at least once. The museum actually calls the oldest building in the city its home. The Al Fahidi Fort was built back in 1781. The fort is somewhat of an exhibit all in itself as it has served several important functions over its history. It was a the home of a monarch at one point, as well as a prison. The museum features multiple compelling exhibits that depict the beginning of Dubai itself. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the pearl diving trade that helped to shape the city, this is your place. There are even some displays featuring archaeological finds from the area and beyond.

Wander the Bastakiya Quarter

Nestled along the bank of the Creek, this gorgeous historical neighborhood was once where wealthy merchants dwelt within Old Dubai. It’s undeniably picturesque, and though some of the homes are now private residences, many remain open to the public. This area of the city was originally settled by mostly Persian merchants, and the name is taken from a town in southern Iran. The narrow alleyways ensure that the area remains very pedestrian friendly. You’ll also want to make sure to take note of the wind towers of many of the lovingly restored buildings. They were a remarkably effective, and necessary, early form of air conditioning. You may know the area is great for the art scene, cafes, and tea houses. We totally suggest wandering around and discovering a few more spots that you might not have visited yet. Insta feed fodder abounds. Do we need to say Coffee Museum? Basta Art Cafe is also always well worth a visit.

Spend Some Time Around The Creek

As it served such an important role in the history of Dubai, why not pay homage to the place it all began? When was the last time you crossed the creek in one of the shared abras? Sure, it’s not a luxury yacht, but it’s a fun and cheap way to feel a little closer to the city and its humble beginnings. The creek still remains an important part of trade to this day. You can totally watch local workers stocking dhow ships, just as they did during the birth of the city, at the Dhow Port. Somehow, there’s something very humbling about watching the workers do their thing year round. From here, you’ll also be afforded some beautiful views of Old and New Dubai. If you find yourself still by the Creek come nightfall, you might even consider an evening dinner cruise along the waterway.

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Omaya Michelle

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