Unarguably, Dubai is the epitome of innovation and luxury living. Its conquests on taking a simple civilization and transforming it into a mega modern city are quite extraordinary.
Dubai’s Bedouin times and its surge of enthusiasm and perseverance to evolve into one of the ultramodern megacities of the world are absolutely intriguing. These rudiments of Dubai’s past and present moments can be witnessed firsthand at some of Dubai’s remarkable collection of museums and heritage sites. Here is a list of Dubai’s must-visit heritage spots and museums that you ought to check out while you are on a Dubai trip.
The Al Fahidi Fort in Dubai is the oldest building in the emirate and its historic settings make it a perfect spot for Dubai Museum. Housed within the fort, Dubai Museum takes you to a journey back into the times when Dubai was just a mere desert settlement. The museum depicts the simple and traditional life of Dubai before the discovery of oil which started its revolutionary modern era. The galleries consist of exhibits and life-size dioramas that showcase the daily life of time before technology and modernism. While you wander through these exhibits, you get the sense of Dubai’s incredible journey from an oblivion fishing settlement to a world-renowned avant-garde tourist destination.
Location: Al Fahidi area – Bur Dubai
Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday – 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. Fridays – 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Admission Cost: AED 3 per adult and AED 1 per child
Al Bastakiya Quarter
Away from the swaths of concrete towers and swanky Dubai tourist spots, Al Fahidi neighborhood in Dubai seems like an alfresco museum that has preserved the archaic township of Al Bastakiya. Cocooned between Bur Dubai and Dubai Creek, Al Bastakiya’s winding labyrinth lined with traditional Arabic houses, shops, and towering wind towers present a reminiscence of how Dubai thrived as a quaint township ages ago. Built by the textile and pearl merchants in the 19th century, a stroll around this neutral-hued neighborhood gives an insight into Dubai’s old-world charms and cultural background. The houses and shops have now been converted into Dubai art museums, galleries, and cafes; then again these have still preserved its original charisma. If you feel famished after a tour of this fascinating town, then head to one of the courtyard coffee houses and enjoy hot aromatic coffee and some authentic Arabian meal.
Location: Al Fahidi Street – Bur Dubai
Opening Hours: Daily – 9 am to 6 pm
Admission Cost: Free of charge
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
Set along the Dubai Creek is a magnificent 19th-century villa which was an official residence of Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum – a former ruler of Dubai. Over the years, this traditional house was converted into a museum and a cultural sector giving a glimpse into Dubai monarch’s ruling years. The residence and premises itself is an architectural marvel of the Bedouin times and is one of the popular Dubai tourist places. These coral-hued quarters consist of an incredible assortment of exhibits, historic documents, artifacts, Arabic paintings, lithographs, photographs and relics of Dubai’s fascinating history.
Location: Al Shindagha area, Dubai Creek
Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday – 8:00 am to 8:30 pm. Fridays – 3:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Admission Cost: Free of charge
[Also Read: What to do in Dubai]
Hatta Heritage Village
While most of the museums showcase a gist of Dubai’s mellowed down years of Arabian era, Hatta Heritage Village takes you back in time to witness an authentic Arabian mountainous rural village. Located in the outskirts of Dubai at the foothills of Al Hajar Mountains, this 3000-year-old expansive settlement was revamped to provide an exemplary prototype of the primitive era of Dubai. Hatta Heritage village is made up of a simple set up of 30 buildings, a variety of traditional shops and a set of farms and a freshwater canal. Here, you can imagine the traditional, humble life of Dubai before it advanced towards urbanism. The tools used for daily life, weapons, materials used for construction, sculptures, the style of construction and mountain ambiance – everything gives you a real-life experience of how naive and straightforward the way of life was in early years of Dubai.
Location: Hatta area
Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday – 7:30 am to 8:30 pm. Friday – 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Admission Cost: Free of charge
The latest addition to the spectacular attractions of Dubai is the Dubai Frame – an enormous picture frame positioned in such a way that visitors can view the remarkable landmarks of modern Dubai from one side and experience the picturesque vistas of old Dubai from the other side. Standing tall at 150-metre and 93-meter wide, the visitors get the best of old and modern Dubai. Located at Zabeel Park, Dubai Frame opened its doors to the public in January 2018 and since then has rapidly become one of the popular things to see in Dubai. Inside the Dubai Frame, you get to witness journey through time – through Dubai’s past, present and future. The whole landmark is a museum showcasing every aspect of Dubai’s lifestyle and growth. This architectural marvel is yet another feat that speaks that Dubai will never stop innovating. This stupendous attraction is a way of saying that the emirate will keep churning up groundbreaking attractions, break impossible barriers and create mind-blowing landmarks.
Location: Zabeel Park, Gate 4
Opening Hours: Daily, 9 am to 9 pm
Admission Cost: AED 50 per adult, AED 20 per child. Free entry for disabled visitors and senior citizens.
The essence of Dubai is captured in these heritage sites and museums. A trip to these cultural sights would certainly put an informative twist on your Dubai trip. It’s a great way to explore the culture of the emirate and you will be taking back a bit of Dubai’s edifying experiences along with the exciting moments you had on your trip. In case you are wondering how to apply for Dubai visa for your Dubai holiday, we are at your service to help you out and guide you through your visa related issues.