“Our Union stems from our heritage…the Spirit of the Union paired vision with work, hence cultivating success.” – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
The mission of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority is “to enrich the cultural scene by maintaining a sustainable cultural ecosystem while preserving the Emirati Heritage and nurturing talents to enhance cultural diversity and social cohesion.” Aligning with this mission, the Heritage attractions of Dubai are all well maintained and bring their own significance and charm to the modern day developments around them. Old Dubai Walking Tour is our signature tour and our unique way of showing you Dubai’s history.
Built in mid-1800s, the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood was once a bustling trading hub for merchants. It was conveniently situated near the banks of the Dubai Creek and furthermore is protected from attack by ancient forts and watchtowers. Traditional Emirati architecture is characteristic in these restored and preserved houses. These have now been restored to serve as boutique hotels, art studios and cafes. We will walk through these houses, and understand their simplicity in design, their functionality and their relevance to how Dubai evolved.
The larger Old Dubai area plays host to traditional architecture, multiple museums, gorgeous street art, in addition to ancient fortifications. Our Old Dubai Tour delves into the city’s heritage and explores what early life was like in this desert trading town. It’s a great way to learn about the traditions of Dubai.
Dubai is particularly famous for its Gold Souk. Most visitors come here out of curiosity and eagerness to purchase some very high quality gold jewelry at very fair prices. The styles of jewelry offer a range from Western modern designs to traditional eastern sets. You can find pearls and precious stones and furthermore the helpful shopkeepers can help you choose something from their vast choices of ingots to intricate jewelry designs. The elaborate displays of gold are a sight in themselves.
Savory spices, fresh fragrances, glittering gold and silken shawls. Old Dubai boasts a cluster of traditional marketplaces (souks) with a variety of wares on offer. Whether you a looking for a souvenir knickknack or a diamond necklace, you’re guaranteed to find something to suit you here. Our world famous guides will give you the history and significance of the souqs and the role they played in the growth of Dubai. Furthermore, during our walking tour we tell you all about Dubai’s history as a trading hub as well. We’ll guide you through the various goods on offer, from agarwood to zaatar and mouth watering Shawarmas.
Our Old Dubai and Souk Tour begins on the Bur Dubai side of the Dubai Creek outside the Al Fahidi District. Guests can easily get here by Metro or by taxi. After walking through Al Fahidi Courtyard Houses, we walk over to the Dubai Museum, pass by the Ruler’s Court and then experience the famous Hindi Lane. After learning about the Old Textile Souk, Meena Bazaar and the Indian community’s influence on Dubai, we get to the Creek Waterfront Abra Taxi Stand. We look out onto Sheikh Saeed’s House and Heritage Village as we enjoy a traditional boat ride to get to Deira. Here we learn about the historic trading activities that go on even till today in the Spice Souk and the Gold Souk. The tour ends at the Gold Souk. From here guests can enjoy a Traditional Emirati meal if they choose. The Al Ras Metro is close by and provides connectivity to the rest of the city.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed encourages the Open Doors Open Minds ideology to increase a deeper cultural understanding of the Emirati way of life among those who live or visit Dubai. At Dubai By Foot, we uphold this spirit throughout our tour. Our guides are open to all kinds of questions you may have, be it about UAE history, women in the UAE, coffee drinking traditions, attire, architecture or philosophy.
In order to get a deeper sense for some of the attractions covered on this tour, you can read our blog on Heritage Attractions of Dubai.
Old Dubai Tour
Offered Daily at 10AM and 4PM.
AED 88 per person
The tour lasts for approximately 2 hours
Meet outside Local House Restaurant in Al Fahidi District
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