After unifying in 1971, the UAE has come a long way and there are several spots that mark its rich heritage.
In Dubai, there are many sites that display the nation’s history and pay homage to where it all began.
As an ode to the UAE’s long-standing cultural heritage, here are seven renowned sites to visit in Dubai.
Designed to pay homage to the UAE’s coffee culture, this concept features different roasting and brewing styles close to the country’s heritage. From Middle Eastern techniques to a wide selection of coffee documentaries, visitors are educated about the ins and outside of its historical significance in Dubai. Located in Al Fahidi in Bur Dubai, this heritage hub promises a relaxing atmosphere with traditional regional architecture.
Designed to highlight the nation’s history and how the seven emirates came to unity 1971, this heritage site displays a fascinating collection of artefacts. The museum is a masterful tribute to the manuscripts on which the union agreement was originally signed. With key photographs and interactive audio-visual exhibits, visitors can experience the UAE’s archival symbolism in a creative manner. Located in Jumeriah St. 1, it’s open daily from 10am to 8pm.
This expansive area is nothing short of lavish gold jewellery, handwoven fabrics, traditional oud perfumes and exquisite souvenirs. For visitors and tourists wanting to take back a piece of the UAE, they can opt for bespoke jewellery pieces as a special memento. Known for an array of exotic spices, this neighbourhood has a plethora of high-quality spices and locally-blended teas to take home. Additionally, visitors can discover the colourful textile market in the heart of Bur Dubai.
Hatta Heritage Village
Go back in time to the life of ancient villagers with a host of citadels, forts and towers in Dubai’s mountain town. With springs and lush valleys, visitors can experience the life of villagers who have adopted a sustainable technique of living. To visit nature’s beauty first-hand, the Hatta Dam provides activities such as kayaking for that picturesque spot. For an insight into the UAE’s traditional techniques, visitors can view the villagers’ inherited traditions that include jewellery making, weaponry, pottery and more for an ideal afternoon getaway.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding
Founded in 1998, this centre was founded to educate expats from different communities living and visiting the UAE. Located in a beautifully restored wind tower house in the historic, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai, where visitors can interact with local Emiratis and learn about traditional cuisine. With a 360-degree experience, guests can take a seat on the Bedouin-style carpets and indulge in a traditional Emirati meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner and experience a guided tour of the neighbourhood.
Arabian Tea House
To experience fine Emirati hospitality, this venue has provided the first Emirati cuisine since 1997. With authentic elements such as rattan chairs, lace curtains, turquoise benches, visitors can enjoy a cup of traditional Arabic coffee known as gahwa to explore the city’s past. As a relaxing oasis to talk and unwind, customers can go back in time to when old architecture reigned supreme. This concept is situated in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood which was previously known as Al Bastakiya.
To delve into life before the discovery of oil, this ancient museum takes visitors on an unseen journey in a quaint, low-slung military fort from the 1700s. From pearl diving to fishing, light is shed upon ancient occupation and other archaeological finds. The galleries recreate scenes from the creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date farms and desert and marine life. Again, the museum is situated in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Built in 1787, this fort was once the monarch’s base and highlights the history of the UAE.