The Al Fahidi District occupies the eastern portion of Bur Dubai along the Creek. This tiny quarter is one of Dubai’s most engaging neighborhoods.
Established at the end of the 19th century by well-to-do textile and pearl traders, its labyrinthine lanes are lined with restored merchant’s houses, art galleries and cafés, and boutique hotels.
Al Fahidi is a picturesque step into Dubai’s past. Visitors can begin the tour in the morning with a cultural breakfast at Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. The center is housed in one of the District’s most elegant buildings, with a beautiful courtyard, pretty decorative grilles, hanging oil lamps, and wooden lattice on the second floor. The cultural breakfasts are a rare opportunity to meet Emiratis and learn about local heritage and traditions.
The view of the District’s rooftops are a link to the past too. You will also see the typical wind towers - the traditional form of air-conditioning, constructed to funnel cool air into the house. They were an architectural feature of buildings in the region.
The other areas to visit as part of the walking tour are the old city wall, the white mosque with its carved wooden doors with brass knockers and the intricate patterned decorative grilles; The XVA, a contemporary art gallery with several exhibition rooms around its shady courtyard café. And, next door to it, the Ave Gallery.
Behind Ave is the Majlis Gallery, Dubai’s oldest (since the 1970s) commercial art gallery. Situated in another beautiful house, Majlis specializes in more mainstream art such as Asian oils and watercolors of desert landscapes, along with calligraphy and sculpture. During your walking tour, you can also find souvenirs from among the beautiful ceramics, handicrafts, and jewelry or even try a special refreshing mint and lime drink!
For more details on the tours available and the costs, please visit: http://www.cultures.ae/bastakia_heritage.php