Located on the western side of the Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai is a historic district in Dubai. The name literally translates to Mainland Dubai, a reference to the traditional separation of the Bur Dubai area from Deira by the Dubai Creek. The district is home to several mosques including the Grand Mosque with the city’s tallest minaret, and the blue tiled Iranian Mosque. The city’s only Hindu Temple is situated between the Grand Mosque and the Creek.
Bastakiya is a historic area and is considered to be one of the oldest settlements of Dubai with the some of the structures being constructed during the first quarter of the 19th century. Known for its traditional Arabian atmosphere and architecture, it is a must see for travelers. Most of the area features old courtyard style houses which are identifiable with their wind towers. Known as Barajeels, these wind towers were constructed as a way to cool down a building or construction in the same manner as modern air-conditioning units do. The walkway houses a large number of lovely outdoor restaurants serving excellent local Dubai cuisine.
Housed within the beautifully restored Al Fahidi Fort which was erected around 1787 to defend the city against any invasion, the museum’s diverse collection of exhibits offers a fascinating insight into Dubai’s history and cultural heritage. Converted into a museum in 1971, its galleries recreate scenes from the Creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date farms, and desert and marine life. One of the most spectacular exhibits portrays pearl diving, including sets of pearl merchants’ weights and scales. Equally beautiful is the recreation of the desert under the stars, portraying local hospitality where wanderers are welcomed to a night of feasting and stories. Also on display are artifacts from excavations in the emirate.
The Grand Mosque
Up to 1200 people can pray inside this spectacular mosque at any given time. What makes it stand out from other nearby mosques is the fact that the minaret at the Grand Mosque is nearly 70 meters tall and that the mosque has 54 beautiful domes.
Sheikh Saeed’s House
Dating back to the late 1800s, Sheikh Saeed’s House was built in a commanding position near the sea so the Ruler could observe shipping activity from the balconies. With its wind towers and rooms built around a central courtyard, it is a fine example of regional architecture, and features a pictorial archive of early Dubai and Maktoum family.
Heritage and Diving Villages
Al Shindagha is located at the mouth of Dubai Creek and is home to the heritage and diving village. Potters and weavers display their crafts at the heritage village while the diving village recreates life in Dubai as it was in days gone by.
Cruising down Dubai creek is a unique experience. Sail along the Creek on a traditionally decorated wooden dhow and enjoy music and live entertainment while enjoying your dinner.