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Dubai Heritage

Dotted around Dubai are a number of historic buildings and sites that offer a glimpse of a bygone era. The following are some of the most prominent

Dubai Museum

Al Fahidi Fort, which houses the Dubai Museum, was built around 1787, and once guarded the landward approaches to the town.Renovated in 1971 for use as a museum, its colourful life size dioramas vividly depict everyday life in the days before the discovery of oil. Galleries recreate scenes from the Creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date farms and desert and marine life. One of the more spectacular exhibits portrays pearl diving, including sets of pearl merchants’ weights, scales and sieves. Also on display, are artefacts from several excavations in the emirate, recovered from graves that date back to the third millennium BC.

Visiting Hours : Saturday to Thursday : 08:30 am -20:30 pm , on Friday: 14:30 -20:30 pm

Visiting Hours during Ramadan : Saturday - Thursday: 09:00 am -17:00 pm, on Friday: 14:00-17:00 pm

Public Holidays : open
Entry Fees : Dhs3 per Adult – Dhs. 1 Per Child

Telephone: 04-3531862

Sheikh Saeed’s House

The official residence of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai (1912-1958) and grandfather of the present Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,The house, which dates from 1896, today houses a rare collection of historic photographs, coins, stamps and documents that record Dubai’s history.

Visiting Hours : Saturday to Thursday : 08:30 am -20:30 pm , on Friday: 15:00 -20:30 pm

Visiting Hours during Ramadan : Saturday - Thursday: 09:00 am -17:00 pm, on Friday: 14:00-17:00 pm

Public Holidays : open
Location : Al Shindagha Area, facing end of Dubai Creek.
Entry Fees : Dhs2 per Adult – Dhs. 1 Per Child.

Telephone : 04-3937139

The Bastakiya

The old district of Bastakiya with its narrow lanes and tall windtowers provides a hint of old Dubai. A short walk from Al Fahidi Fort, it is the largest concentration of traditional courtyard houses in Dubai.

Visiting Hours (souq) : open from 10 am – 10 pm

Public Holidays/Ramadan : open

Telephone (Architectural Heritage Department- DM): 04-3539090
Entry Fees: free
Website of Souq Al Bastakiya :

Hatta Heritage Village

Nestled among the Hajjar mountains, overlooking a fertile oasis, the 16th century Hatta village provides a fine example of traditional style village architecture. Dating back four hundred years, it consists of two watchtowers, a mosque and houses constructed of stone, mud, reeds and palm tree trunks built around the imposing Hatta Fort dominating the village.

Saturday to Thursday : 08:00-20:00 daily
Friday : 14:00-20:00


Saturday - Thursday : 09:00-17:00
Friday : 14:00-17:00

Telephone : 04-8521374

Burj Nahar

One of the many watchtowers that once guarded the old city, built in 1870, the restored Burj Nahar in 1992 in its picturesque gardens in Deira is popular with photographers.

Visiting Hours : open

Location: Deira, Al Rasheed Rd, Next to DEWA –Burj Nahar Branch
Entry Fees : free

Sheikh Obaid bin Thani House

Located in the Shindagha area near Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, it was built in 1916. The 1250 sq.m two storey house is made of stone and mud with traditional style windows, doors and facades. The house has been recently converted to a museum.

Saturday to Thursday : 08:30 am -20:30 pm
Friday: 14:30-20:30


Saturday - Thursday : 09:00 am -16:30 pm
Friday : 14:30-16:30 pm

Public Holidays : open
Location : Al Shindagha Area, near Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House.
Entry Fees : free

Telephone : 04-3933240

Heritage & Diving Village

A traditional heritage village, located near the mouth of Dubai Creek in the Shindagha district, features potters and weavers practicing traditional crafts, as well as exhibits and demonstrations of pearl diving. It is a place where the visitor can take a step back in time and experience some of Dubai’s culture and heritage.

Visiting Hours : Saturday to Thursday : 08:30 am -22:00 pm .
Friday : 15:30 -22:00 pm.

Visiting Hours during Ramadan: Saturday – Thursday from 09:00 to 14:00 hrs, then it opens from 20:30 hrs till 12 midnight.
Friday from: 20:30 hrs till 12 midnight.

Public Holidays : open.
Location : Al Shindagha Area, facing end of Dubai Creek next to Sheikh Saeed’s House.
Telephone : 04-3937139
Entry Fees : free

Al Ahmadiya School &Heritage House

Established in 1912, Al Ahmadiya School was the first regular school in Dubai, located in the Al-Ras area of Deira. The two-storey building was renovated in 1995 for use as a museum of education. The oldest part of the house dates back to the 1890s, with many newer parts added in later years. It is a large courtyard house with more than 10 rooms and a rectangular windtower.

Visiting Hours: Saturday to Thursday: 08:30 am -20:30 pm .
Friday :
14:00 -20:30 pm

Visiting Hours during Ramadan: Saturday - Thursday: 09:00 am -16:30 pm.
Friday : 14:30-16:30 pm

Public Holidays : open
Location : Deira, Al Ras Area, Behind Dubai Public Libraries- Main
Telephone: 04-2260286
Entry Fees: Free

Neif Museum

Naif Fort built in a strategic location in the main commercial district in Deira, was the first headquarters of Dubai Police. The fort was also used as a prison.It represented secure stronghold responsible for maintaining a security, the public office of the public prosecution and the civil courts. The fort was built of a clay material called al Madar, known for its cohesive qualities, and Al Chandal, a characteristic of Naïf Fort is its tower, the first part of the fort to be built. The tower was called Al Makbad because it was partly used as a jail for criminals. The construction of the fort was order by sheikh Rashid in 1939. The fort was used to accommodate the office of the Accommodate-in-chief of the Dubai police. There were also general, intelligence and investigation office and accommodation quarters for some officers. In addition. an area was used as stable for patrol horses. The fort has a historic gun which today is situated in the courtyard of Naif police station. It was the first training center for police personnel, with the first batch of officers stating their training in 1956.

Visiting Hours
Saturday to Thursday: 08:00 - 19:30
Friday : 14:30 - 19:30

Ramadan: Saturday- Thursday: 09:00 -16:30

Telephone : 04-2260286

Majlis Ghorfat Um-Al Sheif

Built around 1955 as a summer retreat for the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the majlis is Located in the Jumeirah area near the sea and features a traditional palm tree garden with a “falaj” irrigation system.

Visiting Hours :
Saturday to Thursday: 08:30 am -20:30 pm.
14:30 -20:30 pm

Visiting Hours during Ramadan:
Saturday - Thursday: 09:00 am -16:30 pm. Friday: 15:30 20:30pm

Public Holidays: open
Location: Jumeirah
Entry Fees: Dhs. 1 For adult & children Above 6 Years.
Telephone: 04-8521374

Bur Dubai Creekside Promenade

The buildings lining the Bur Dubai side of the creek promenade provided the main panorama of the old city. The traditional facades of these buildings have been restored to their original state, with wooden windows, decorative gypsum panels and screens.

Old Souks

The two main souks of Bur Dubai and Deira are being restored to highlight the historical commercial roots of the city. Both markets are covered with traditional roofing materials, with shops featuring old-style wooden doors.

Archaeological sites

There are four main excavation sites in Dubai, at Al Qusais, Al Sufooh, Jumeirah and Hatta. The first two are graveyards dating back more than 2,000 years. The Jumeirah site reveals artefacts from the 7th to 15th centuries AD. These sites are not yet open to the public. However tourists or tour operators may obtain a special permit from Dubai Museum to visit the digs.

Visiting Hours for Jumeirah Archaeological sites:: 08:30 am- 14:00 pm

Telephone of Jumeirah Archaeological sites: 04-3496874
Location: Jumeriah, behind Emirates Hospital
Entry Fees : free

Union House

On the site of former ruler H.H.Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum’s office. A replica of the Ô Roundhouse ‘ has been constructed to honour the site where documents were signed in 1972 for the formation of UAE, uniting the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman. Ras Al Khaimah joined later.

Location : On the Jumeriah Beach Road
Telephone : 04- 3453636

Dubai Municipality Museum

The construction date of this building goes back to the late 50s.It became the headquarters of Dubai Municipality offices until 1964, and then the Municipality offices were moved to another building. Due to the importance of this building in the Municipality's history as well as its location amidst the commercial market near the bay ( Dubai Creek) In 2006, this museum was opened it included halls, exhibits and documents telling the history of the period during which the Municipality was established.

Visiting Hours : Saturday to Thursday from 07:30 am – 15:00 pm, close on Friday.

Location: Bani Yas Road, Next to Spice Souq, opposite Dubai Creek.
Telephone : 04- 3453636

Other Heritage Sites

Philately House: The building is located at Al-Bastakiyah area. In 1905, the building was constructed by using palm fronds and remained as such until 1930 where it was reconstructed to the two-story. And re-restored to fit with the current use of a museum of historical and traditional stamps.

House of the Camel: The House, known as "Beit Al-Rekkab" (House of the Camels), was built in the forties of the the twentieth Century in Al-Shindagha, next to the house of the late Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Al-Maktoum, It belongs to the late Sheikh Rashed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and was constructed along several phases. The building was refurbished and furnished to house the "Camel Museum" to explain the history of camels, there prestige to the Arabs, their names and camels in Arabic literature. The important elements and components of the building: Camel History, Camels and Arabs, The Race, Camel Anatomy, Camel Racing, Auditorium, Electronic Games and Administration.

House of the Horse:The building was established in the forties of the last century in Al-Shindagha to be used as a home for the late Sheikha Moza bint Saeed Al-Maktoum. The Building was refurbished and designed to house the "Horse Museum" to explain the history of Horses, there prestige to the Arabs, their names and mentioning in Arabic literature.The important elements and components of the building: History of Horses, Horse Bloodlines, Horse Physiology, and Horse Attributes, Horse Care, The Arabs and the Horses, Horse in Arabic Literature, Horse in the U.A.E., The Race Horse in the U.A.E. and Horse Racing .

For more information, you may visit directly the website of The Architectural Heritage Department- Dubai Municipality:
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