The best way to explore a destination is to know about its culture, history and heritage. The most intriguing attractions in any place are always the ones related to its culture. These cultural destinations engulf hundreds and thousands of year’s history behind its walls and legends of the pride and hardships that serve as the founding pillars of the modern-day tourist attractions.
It’s not every day that you come across a city that has adapted the modern trends of the world so beautifully while keeping itself firmly rooted to the ground. Cultural attractions in Dubai- one of the most developed cities on earth are the perfect examples of how Dubai carefully preserves its humble Bedouin past.
Here are some of the best cultural attractions in Dubai that you must see to completely experience the soul of this glittering emirate.
Dubai Heritage Village :
In the midst of the glittering skyscrapers and ultra-modern attractions, Dubai has created the Heritage Village that inspires the tourists to take a break from the present and take a sneak-peek into the past of Dubai when it was nothing but a humble Bedouin village.
The village gives you an experience of the local life of the villagers, their Islamic customs, costumes, traditions, professions, and craftsmanship. Almost all the respectable operators like Rayna tours include the tour of Heritage village as a part of your itinerary. You must take out an hour or two to see this humble yet significant place to get an insight of the culture of Dubai.
Bastakiya Quarters :
Offering a glimpse of the many facades of the local life during the pre-oil era of Dubai, the Bastakiya quarters might be small but is, without a doubt, the most engaging neighbourhood of Dubai. The history of the Bastakiya quarters goes back to the 19th century when the pearl and textile traders from Iran came and established these quarters for themselves.
From labyrinth lanes to the wind towers, art galleries to the ancient style merchant houses; the Bastakiya quarters is a destination that cannot be missed.
Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding :
Whether you’re in Dubai for a day or for a month, Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is a place you must visit. It is probably the best place in the entire emirate that introduces you to the world of Islamic religion, Arabic culture and Emirati cuisine in the most positive and innovative way.
Operating under the “Open doors. Open Minds” banner, the centre there are various programs offered for the visitors, starting from the breakfast, lunch tours to evening sessions. Enjoy the culture awareness through traditional Emirati meals, heritage tours, Creekside tours, and Jumeirah Mosque visits with insightful information about the culture of the city.
Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort :
The main museum of Dubai and one of the most visited in the entire country, the Dubai Museum was traditionally built about 200 years ago in the late 1700s. It was further renovated and additional artifacts found during excavations were added. The museum beautifully displays regular everyday life of the early era Bedouin villagers through life-like recreational displays of the trading markets, houses, wind towers etc.
The Al Fahidi fort is one of oldest forts of UAE built in the late 17th century and the Dubai museum is located inside the fort. The fort houses various warfare ammunition including cannons that offer a glimpse of the protection the fort offered to the emirate of Dubai in earlier days. Built in various phases, the fort during its best days has served as the king’s palace, a prison and also, a garrison.
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House :
Built in the year 1896, this house is the perfect place to understand the political and economic growth of Dubai from a small Bedouin fishing village to the biggest entertainment hub of the world. The house was the official residence of the ruling Al Maktoum’s family till the year 1958 andis now converted to a beautifully preserved museum receiving visitors all year round.
Not only does the tourists get an idea of the success chart of Dubai and the milestone decisions that changed the fate of the emirate but also take a peep into the royal residence and experience the how the ruler and his family lived. The place houses various historic documents, maps, coins and stamps, and other excavated artifacts.
Souqs of Dubai :
While some may call the souqs of Dubai more of a commercial attraction, the souqs still have preserved the soul of the ancient trading style, and that’s exactly why whether or not you want to shop, a visit to these souqs in Dubai is a must. The most famous souqs of Dubai are the textile, perfume, spice and the world famous Gold souq.
These traditional markets have their own vibe and feel of the bygone era. The vibrancy, the electrifying energy, the bargains, and the amazing traditional antique products together make them must visit place.
The emirate of Dubai is surrounded by various small emirates that are still untouched by the technological advancements and retain the age-old charm of the Arabian culture. Visiting small emirates like Umm al Quwain and Al Ain where life is still slow paced and the main income source is pearl trading will offer more insight into the history and culture of the Arabs. So, next time you plan to visit Dubai, these cultural attractions should definitely be a part of your itinerary for they are the only mirrors remaining of the rich history and cultural heritage of Dubai.