Dubai is known around the world for being full of contemporary architecture, extravagant accommodations, incredible shopping and wonderful restaurants. Don’t forget, however, that Dubai also has a rich history and cultural heritage. With a diverse population, plenty of ancient structures, markets and museums, there is plenty to do, see and explore while looking towards Dubai’s past. Here are just a few of the top historical and cultural attractions you might want to visit if you’re going through Virgin Holidays.
Dubai Museum: This museum, located in Old Dubai, is a great way to better understand the history of Dubai and of the United Arab Emirates as a whole. One of the most incredible parts of the museum is found underground, where modern technology and ancient history collide. Using contemporary graphics and computer technology, there is a completely reconstructed souk from centuries past. Travellers will get to see, hear, touch and even smell what these old markets were once like in Dubai. The museum is located in the Al Fahadi Fort, built in the late 18th century and today the oldest building in all of Dubai.
Bastakiya District: If you are more interested in seeing what the architecture of Dubai looked like 100 years ago than admiring the skyscrapers that are now found throughout the city, then head to the Bastakiya District for a look. While many of the buildings are original, a number of the structures have been reconstructed in the traditional style. Although there is a small museum in the district, your best bet is simply to walk along the streets and visit one of the small authentic cafes or stores that are hidden between the residential homes.
Dubai Heritage Village: This attraction is part amusement park and part museum, providing plenty of information in a fun setting that appeals to children and adults alike. Tour traditional homes, see the food and dress worn by residents in the past and understand the transition from Dubai’s maritime culture to today’s modern world. Top aspects of the Dubai Heritage Village include the tented Bedouin village and the large armoury.
Sheikh Saeed al-Maktoum’s House: This historical building in Dubai was once the home of former leader Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum. Today, the entire structure has been turned into a museum so that visitors can get a peek at what authentic life was like in Dubai in the middle of the 20th century.
Jumeirah Mosque: Although Dubai is a progressive and tolerant city, many of its residents are Muslim. The Jumeirah Mosque is the largest of its kind in Dubai, and it is one of the few mosques that allow visitors to tour the interior. The view of the mosque is especially beautiful at night, when lights illuminate the whole structure.