Dubai is known for its beautiful and tremendous modern architecture. The permanent building structures are new to the region as their old history is not filled with permanent structures. Most of the Arabs lived here were nomadic and was not leave behind monuments or buildings. The older regions of UAE are very limited.
Al Fahidi Historic District is located in area of Bur Dubai. This is a quite area with less traffic and no parking because it is not in traffic friendly area. This nicely restored district is a place with fully equipped with UAE’s heritage. This district is known as Bastakiya quarter. It is a perfect example of old and ancient areas being rebuilt and accessible.
The traditional way of life which was prevalent in Dubai from 1950 to 1970s is shown at Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood where buildings are built with wind towers and traditional building materials like stone, gypsum, sandal work, teak, palm fronds and wood are oriented side by side.
This separation by alleys, public squares and pathways, that gives natural and beautiful diversity to this district. This historic district is on the strategic location in Dubai Creek, which plays an important role in managing UAE and its commercial relation with overseas.
A slight glimpse of Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood’s history
The construction of this historical place have done back into 1980s. The location was capable for almost 60 housing units. Some of the building situated there are seprated by narrow and winding lanes.
This town of Al Bastakiya was constructed by two merchants from town named Bastak of Persia. They settled in Dubai to take benefit from tax breaks conceded by the sheikh. The buildings had fallen into disuse, and residential area began moving to newer area, and more comfortable area.
In 1980s half of the village was ruined to make way for the renewing and development of the office complex. Rest of the houses were used as warehouses or the residence of foreign laborers. In 1989 Municipality of Dubai asked to demolished the remaining parts of Al Fahidi historical neighborhood.
A British architect named Rayner Otter came to this place for the extensive renovation and have done renovation in the house where he was staying.
He started campaign to preserve this area by writing a letter to Prince Charles in this regard and asked him to visit Al Fahidi and explored this Historical area with him. While their visit to this area the Prince suggested that Al Fahidi Historical neighborhood should be save by preserving it and demolishing process was being canceled that same time.
After that in 2005, this project was initiated by Dubai Municipality to preserve the localities of ancient buildings and lanes in this district.
Also Visit: Dubai Attractions
A walk to Historic district
There are beautiful sand colored houses along the narrow walking streets and lanes equipped with wind towers that helps to provide natural air into the buildings. There are almost 50 buildings having cultural exhibits, shops, craft shops, Arabic coffee shops, museums, art galleries, courtyard café shops and boutique hotels.
The buildings of the district are recently used in promoting a number of varies cultural and artistic activities ranging from art exhibits, special museums, cultural societies, ateliers to cultural centers. The district also hosts a lot of cultural, seasonal and artistic events like Sikka Art Fair, Heritage week, National day Events, Artist in residence program, religious celebrations.
Beautiful and tremendous cafes, motels and restaurants are overloaded with heritage are distributed all over the district. There are almost 50 houses to explore start from SMCCU where you can join different tourist guides to walk around different aspects of the district and enjoy while getting knowledge about the local customs.
The visit to Al Fahidi Historical district is a perfect plan to get acquainted with the culture and Dubai’s old style of life with the rich values that can be visible in the design of the buildings and the way they are scattered all around.
The best plan is to visit the historic district and walk around in many narrow lanes feeling yourself into history and look for places that might interests you as they are very friendly.
It is advisable to come into cooler season in this district as one need to walk around among the labyrinth of lanes here so if we want to enjoy walking in the district so it will not be easy to walk in hot season.
It is noticed by some of the visitors who visited there that even many vendors are selling their stuff but still it is found the most peaceful and quiet place to visit. Whole area inside the district is comfortable for those even who cannot walk more or suffering from any disability so they can use wheel chairs to roam around the streets.
Visitors will have a demonstrative experience that how Dubai was in its old times and how they used to summarize their culture through their building so everyone passing by can have a clear picture of their ancient rich culture and heritage by just looking these buildings and monuments.
The Historical district also hosts different series of exciting programs and events all through the year. You will have a glimpse of great Emiratis past generations and their style of living their lives in this treasured historical place.
It is recommended to reserve booking ahead of time for the tour of Al Fahidi neighborhood district so it will be helpful to secure the slot and spot too. If you are booking with trip advisor, you can cancel before 24 hours to get a full refund.
There is almost no fee to get in this historical neighborhood. You need almost 4 to 5 hours to be there to walk into the labyrinth lanes and roam around there and visit many historical areas there.
It is almost open every day and no such timings to get in but if you want to visit full neighborhood you should have there in given below timings;
8:30 am to 8:30 pm full week except Friday.
2:30pm to 8:30 pm on Friday.
Visit official Page: Al Fahidi Historic District