Dubai may harbour a reputation as a modern city, but dig a little deeper, and there’s so much more to the city than its skyscrapers, malls and luxury cars. In Bur Dubai, the city’s history is well and truly alive. The area is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the UAE, with a range of historic attractions to explore. Explore this area and you’ll leave with a whole new perspective on Dubai.
Things to Do
Start with a stroll through the maze-like lanes of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Dating back to the early 1900s, its heritage buildings were built by wealthy traders and pearl merchants. Today, they house a colourful line-up of museums, art galleries and courtyard cafes.
Explore local culture and customs at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, then head to the Heritage and Diving Village in the Al Shindagha neighbourhood. The living museum showcases traditional crafts, as well as pearl diving demonstrations.
Guarding the landward entrance to the city, Bur Dubai’s Al Fahidi Fort is impossible to miss. It now houses the Dubai Museum, which displays ancient archaeological finds dating back to the third millennium BC.
Another iconic sight in Bur Dubai is the Grand Mosque, just steps from Al Fahidi Fort. It’s topped by Dubai’s tallest minaret, which towers 70 metres above the city. While you’re by the waterfront, you can also check out the bustling Textile Souk, housed in a beautifully restored traditional bazaar.
Bur Dubai is dotted with bus stops and metro stations, which makes it easy to reach by public transport. Alternatively, you can hail a taxi and drive from downtown Dubai in just 10 minutes. Unlike the rest of Dubai, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is surprisingly pedestrian-friendly. Often, the best way to soak up the atmosphere is by exploring the area on foot.