Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
- Name: Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Al Fahidi Historical District, Bastakiya
- Location: Al Fahidi St, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Reason to visit: It's one of the oldest heritage sites in Dubai
- Our rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 7am to 8pm
- Entrance fee: Free
- Recommended tour: 5 Days Dubai & Abu Dhabi Highlights
If you want to explore Dubai's past and culture, you should visit Al Fahidi Historical District, one of the oldest heritage sites in the city. Located on the banks of Dubai Creek, this district showcases the traditional life of Dubai in the mid-19th century. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about Al Fahidi Historical District, from its history and architecture to its cuisine and activities.
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Introduction of Al Fahidi Historical District
Things to see and do at Al Fahidi Historical District
Food at Al Fahidi Historical District
How to get to Al Fahidi Historical District
Events and festivals at Al Fahidi Historical District
Al Fahidi Historical District is a historic neighborhood that dates back to the 1890s. It was once a thriving commercial and residential area, home to merchants, traders, and pearl divers. It is also known as Bastakiya, after the Bastak region in Iran, where many of the residents came from. The district is characterized by its wind towers, or barjeels, which are traditional cooling devices that create natural ventilation. The district also has narrow alleys, courtyards, and mud-brick buildings that reflect the local architecture and culture
►Museums: Visiting museums is a great way to learn about Dubai's history and heritage, and you can also see artefacts and exhibits that reflect different aspects of UAE society and culture. You can visit several museums that showcase different aspects of Dubai's history and heritage, such as the Coins Museum, which displays over 470 rare coins from different eras and regions; the Coffee Museum, which exhibits the history and culture of coffee in the Arab world; and the Dubai Museum, which is housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in Dubai.
Galleries: You can admire various forms of art and creativity at several galleries that feature local and international artists, such as the XVA Art Gallery, which exhibits contemporary art from the Middle East; the Majlis Gallery, which showcases paintings, sculptures, and ceramics; and the Dar Al Khatt, which specializes in Arabic calligraphy and typography.
Cultural centers: The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) organizes cultural meals, tours, and lectures; the House of Artisans reserves and promotes the Emirati handicrafts; and the House of Poetry celebrates the Arabic poetry and literature. Learn more about Dubai's culture and traditions at these cultural centers, which offer interactive programs and activities.
Al Fahidi Historical District is a food lover's paradise, with a range of dining options that offer authentic and delicious cuisines. You can visit one of the courtyard cafes that serve traditional Emirati dishes, such as machboos (rice with meat or fish), harees (wheat porridge with meat), and luqaimat (fried dough balls with date syrup). You can also visit Meena Bazaar, also known as “Little India”, where you can find spicy curries, biryanis, and chaats. For a more upscale experience, you can dine at one of the fine restaurants that offer international cuisines, such as French, Italian, or Thai.
By metro: You can take the green line metro to Al Ghubaiba or Al Fahidi stations, which are both within walking distance from the district. The metro runs every 10 minutes and costs AED 3 - AED 7.50 depending on your destination.
By water taxi: You can take a water taxi or abra from various locations along Dubai Creek to Bur Dubai Abra Station or Al Ghubaiba Marine Transport Station, which are both near the district. The water taxi runs every 15 minutes and costs AED 15 - AED 100 depending on your destination. The abra runs every few minutes and costs AED 1 per ride.
By car: You can drive your own car or rent a car to Al Fahidi Historical District. There is limited parking available in the district, but you can find more parking spaces near Meena Bazaar or Al Ghubaiba Bus Station. The driving time and distance vary depending on your starting point.
Al Fahidi Historical District hosts several events and festivals throughout the year that celebrate its culture and heritage. Some of them are:
Sikka Art Fair: This is an annual art festival that showcases the works of emerging artists from the UAE and the region. The festival features exhibitions, workshops, performances, and screenings in various venues across the district.
Heritage Week: This is a week-long event that celebrates the Emirati culture and traditions. The event features cultural activities, such as folk dances, music, games, and crafts, as well as traditional food and drinks.
Al Fahidi Fort Tour: This is a guided tour that takes you inside the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in Dubai. You can learn about the history and architecture of the fort, as well as see the exhibits and artifacts in the Dubai Museum.