Dubai has been a gleaming and glorious emirate that is also an amazing destination for a fun-filled family getaway. The city has always been known for its tall beaming structures and fancy, luxurious attractions for you to get awestruck at the first sight.
We all know about Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Mall and also may have been to these places to hang out. But now, let’s look slightly away from the mainstream and try to explore some interesting places in Dubai.
1. The Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House
It is a house of great historic importance and one of the oldest buildings in Dubai. Established in the yesteryear around 1894 along the Dubai Creek, the Saeed Al-Maktoum house was the former residential palace of Sheikh Saeed bin Al Maktoum who was the ruler from 1912 to 1958. The place is also the birthplace of his sons and grandsons thereafter.
You must visit this place especially if you’re fond of architecture. The building has amazing designs and lovely interiors that look super luxurious and charming. On the indoors, you get to explore a lot of artifacts and memorabilia of the old Dubai. Presently, the building serves as a museum known as the Shingada Museum where you can learn everything about the Arab empire with various exhibits laid out for the visitors.
2. Al Bastakia
The Bastakia Quarter or the Al Bastakia is one of the oldest regions in Bur Dubai or the old Dubai. It also known as the Al Fahidi Historic District of Dubai and one of the most scenic heritage sites spread over a huge area at the heart of Dubai. Many of the parts of the neighbourhood were apparently demolished but were then restored by the Dubai municipality.
Unlike the modern and trendy architecture that Dubai is known for, this place is characterized by large buildings that are made with the help of materials such as mud and wood. You can enjoy a walking tour as it is a small area and explore many important houses like the Dubai Museum, the Coffee Museum, the Arabian Tea House, Majlis Gallery, and Ostra.
3. Dubai Frame
The Dubai Frame may not be an off-beat attraction but surely is an iconic structure one must visit while in Dubai. It is the largest picture frame in the world that was opened to the public in early 2018 which showcases and connects the past with the present of Dubai.
Located in Zabeel Park, it consists of 2 towers of height 150 metres connected by a bridge called the Skydeck. It has some magnificent architecture made with a walk-over glass panel that turns from opaque to clear when stepped on. The clever engineering of this structure gives a panoramic view of the city where we can view the old districts of Dubai from the North and the modern view of the city from the South.
4. Zabeel Palace
Just within a few kilometers of distance from the Dubai Frame, you’ll find the Zabeel Palace which is also among the must-visits of Dubai. The Zabeel palace is the home of the UAE’s former Prime Minister that was built somewhere around in the 1960s. There is another Zabeel Palace that has cropped in the area, but it is the old palace that is the main highlight.
It was used as a residence till the ‘90s but then later it was opened for tours. The palace is packed with tight security especially the garden it houses. You can enjoy a nice and informative 30 minute guided tour in the palace. Also, did we forgot to mention that it has a spectacular view from the Dubai Frame Tower as well?
5. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Those of you who are enthusiastic about learning wildlife(especially bird-watchers), this place is surely going to be a wonderful experience. It is located at the end of the Dubai Creek and a protected wetland reserve in the desert region. It serves as the fishing area for three settlements in Dubai that is the Deira, Bur Dubai, and the Shindhaga region.
The area is home to over 180 different bird species with individual habitats that could suitable for most of them. There are some areas of a habitat that are salty, some are mangroves and lagoons which multiple species can use as a habitat. Also, there are three hides named the mangrove hide, flamingo hide, and the lagoon hide; the flamingo hide is the best place to view the flamingos at a distance.
6. Bur Dubai
Bur Dubai is Mainland Dubai and it definitely must not be missed if you want to explore the cultural essence of the city. It is home to various traditionally significant places such as the Grand Mosque, the Al Bastakiya that we covered earlier, many traditional old souqs such as the Meena Bazaar, and the list just does not end here.
There is Dolphin Bay, where you can scuba dive in the largest dolphin habitat over here, and many art galleries you can explore. If you want to learn more about Dubai culture then you can head to Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. And of course, the souqs give you an authentic experience of the rich culture and lifestyle found in original Dubai.
7. Dubai Pearl Museum
The Emirates NBD Museum is entirely allocated to pearl diving. The Dubai Pearl Museum is located on the 15th floor where you’ll find the most precious collections of Arabian pearls with a sound history.
The Arabians livelihood way before the discovery of oil largely depended on the pearl trade. Unique Arabian pearls of matchless quality can be found from the yesteryear of 1940s prime pearl trading times.
These pearls are actually owned by National Bank’s first chairman, Sultan Al Owais. You’ll find every piece of information you need to know about pearl trading in the earlier times. Pearl trading was very fruitful back then until cheap Japanese pearls came into existence and their business dropped. That’s when they took to another income.
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