Dubai - Do & See
Located in the imposing Al-Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 to protect the then-sleepy desert village from landward approaches. Life-size figures set in an intriguing diorama reveal what life was like before the discovery of oil transformed Dubai.
A Dubai must-do is a four-wheel drive excursion out into the sand dunes. They might stop to let you discover some of the wildlife. More likely, the drivers will race each other dizzyingly up and down seemingly impossible slopes. The day’s excitement ends with a barbecue under the stars.
Arabian Desert Tours
An old windmill on Al-Faladi Street, in Bastakiya, displays traditional glassware, ceramics, furniture and fabrics as well as hosting 10 exhibitions of contemporary artists each year. Some 30 traditional houses have been restored in the neighbouring Shindagha quarter, while Bastakiya itself has atmospheric old alleyways to explore.
At 70 metres tall, this grandiose building has the city’s tallest minaret. Another fine edifice is the monumental Jumeira Mosque. Make sure to respect dress codes when visiting.
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House
Dating from the late 19th century, this mansion in Al Shindagha is a fine example of traditional architecture, built from coral covered in plaster. It houses a collection of rare stamps and coins. Close by is the Heritage and Diving Village, telling the story of the once-thriving pearl diving industry.
Inland, the Creek broadens into a wide marsh that is home to 27,000 birds—many of them colourful pink flamingos that are in year-round residence. Deira has a broad waterfront promenade, while the Bur Dubai side features a beautifully landscaped park.