Al Fahidi Historical District: A Journey into Old Dubai

Introduction Of Al Fahidi

The Al Fahidi Historical District in Dubai, often referred to as Al Bastakiya, offers a captivating glimpse into the city’s past. Unlike the glitzy skyscrapers and modern marvels of Dubai, Al Fahidi is a serene escape where the heritage and culture of the UAE come to life. This historic area, dating back to the 19th century, is an essential destination for anyone looking to experience the traditional side of Dubai.

Al Fahidi

Exploring Al Fahidi: A Step Back in Time

As you wander through the narrow lanes of Al Fahidi, you’ll be transported to a bygone era. The district features over 50 restored houses, each showcasing the traditional architecture of the region. One of the most striking aspects of these structures is the wind towers, which serve as an early form of air conditioning, harnessing the wind to cool the interiors naturally. This ingenious design is just one of the many ways It connects visitors to the ingenuity of Dubai’s early inhabitants.

Cultural and Artistic Hubs

Many of the historic houses in It have been transformed into art galleries, museums, and cultural centers. These spaces not only preserve the heritage of the area but also foster a vibrant arts scene. Visitors can explore various exhibitions and installations, from contemporary art to traditional crafts. The Dubai Museum, located in the It Fort, provides a comprehensive overview of the city’s evolution from a small fishing village to a bustling metropolis.

Dining and Accommodation

Al Fahidi is not just about history and art; it also offers a delightful culinary experience. The district is home to several cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Emirati cuisine. For those looking to extend their stay, there are charming boutique hotels within the district that offer a blend of modern comfort and historic ambiance.

Accessibility and Admission

One of the best aspects of It is that it is free to visit. The district is easily accessible via local transportation, with the nearest metro station being It Metro Station. For those using the bus, the Al Fahidi Bus Station is conveniently close.

A Historical Perspective

Originally known as the Bastakiya Quarter, Al Fahidi was established by merchants from Bastak in Persia in the early 1900s. They settled in Dubai, attracted by the favorable trade conditions offered by the ruling sheikh. The district flourished until the 1970s when modernization led to the demolition of many traditional buildings. However, thanks to efforts led by local residents and expatriates, including the intervention of Prince Charles in the 1980s, much of Al Fahidi was preserved.

Must-Visit Attractions in Al Fahidi

  • Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU): Established in 1998, the SMCCU aims to promote cultural awareness and understanding. Visitors can participate in traditional activities, including guided tours, cultural meals, and discussions about Emirati customs and religion.
  • Coins Museum: Located near the Ruler’s Divan, this museum houses over 470 rare coins, offering insights into the monetary history of the region.
  • Conference House: This venue hosts various cultural exhibitions and events, showcasing the rich heritage and artistry of Dubai.
  • Dar Al Khatt (House of Calligraphy): This center is dedicated to the art of Arabic calligraphy, featuring stunning examples of this intricate craft.
  • Sikka Art Fair: Held annually in March, this art fair celebrates contemporary art and culture, featuring works by local and international artists.

Authentic Emirati Cuisine

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre offers an authentic culinary experience with traditional Emirati dishes. Visitors can enjoy a variety of meals, from a saffron-infused breakfast to a hearty chicken machbous for lunch. These meals provide a delicious way to connect with the local culture.


Al Fahidi Historical District is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Dubai. It offers a unique blend of history, culture, and art, providing a refreshing contrast to the city’s modern attractions. Walking through the lanes of Al Fahidi, you will find yourself immersed in a rich tapestry of tradition and innovation, making it an unforgettable part of your Dubai experience. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply looking to explore the authentic side of Dubai, Al Fahidi is the perfect destination.


Related Articles

Back to top button

Discover more from Digismartiens

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading