Dubai may have become an ultra-modern metropolis in recent times, but the manner in which it has preserved its rich culture and traditions is truly commendable. This elegant city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was once just a small trading post. Fine gold and spices from the Indian subcontinent travelled to the western countries from this trading post and over the years, the city was greatly transformed with the discovery of oil. When you begin exploring the city with your sightseeing trips, you’ll come across quite a few attractions that are symbols of its rich cultural heritage and history.
Also known as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Al Bastakiya has its origins in the late 19th century, when it was home to only 60 houses separated by narrow lanes. Today it has become popular among tourists as a historic district of this city and many of them visit this place during their cheap holidays to Dubai to witness its old buildings and lanes. Nearly half of this neighbourhood was destroyed in the 1980s to accommodate a new commercial complex. Further demolitions were cancelled upon receiving a suggestion from Prince Charles during one of his visits that the neighbourhood be preserved.
Your cheap holidays to Dubai would also give you the chance to visit the official residence of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, who ruled the region from 1912 to 1958. Today, the city is ruled by his grandson, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. This is among the oldest buildings in Dubai and is located in the Al Shindagha area along the creek where life first began in this city. Built as the seat of the Al Maktoum family in 1894, this historic building is now a museum where you’ll find pictures and artefacts of old Dubai.
The Jumeirah Mosque is yet another cultural icon of the city, which welcomes visitors belonging to different faiths of the world. Visitors to this mosque are taken on tours run by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. You can also benefit from one of such tours during your Dubai holidays as it would help you in learning more about the culture and religion of the emirate. During the tour, you’ll also get the opportunity to sample some of the traditional drinks and foods of the Arabs, such as coffee and dates. As a mark of respect for the local culture, women are asked to wear a scarf over their head and keep their shoulders covered during the tour.
Built in the year 1997, the Heritage Village is worth visiting for knowing more about the traditional lifestyle of the emirate of Dubai. You can get introduced to the local craftsmanship, professions, customs and traditions during your visit to this village. It is located in the historic neighbourhood of Al Shindagha close to the Diving Village. Visitors to the Heritage Village would also get to enjoy the traditional music and dance forms. They are performed mainly during the tourist season from October to March.