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Know about Historical Places in Dubai

Dubai's Historical Places

Dubai’s Historical Places

Standing tall at 829.8 meters, the Burj Khalifa is indeed an iconic architectural marvel – a point of pride in every Emirati’s life. Not just the tallest building in the world, many such awe-inspiring buildings in Dubai make it a landmark city in the modern world.

But, Dubai is not just home to contemporary and glamorous man-made structures, fast cars, and trendy lifestyles. It has a rich cultural history with many places of historical significance. These are lesser-known places, yes, but the essence of the city is deep-rooted in these places. We will cover seven such heritage spots that will give you an insight into what this amazing city looked like in ancient times.

7 Historical Places in Dubai

1. Dubai Museum at the Al Fahidi Fort

The Al Fahidi Fort is the oldestFort in Dubai. The Fort is known to be built in parts – the first part of the oldest tower was built in 1787 to protect the shores from foreign attacks.

The Fort is built in a square shape structure with coral rock and mortar. There are two cannons at the fort entrance and three towers at three corners. Historically, the Fort was home to the ruling family for a long time. It was also where the government operated in ancient times with a garrison and a prison located within the campus. The entry gate is filled with old maps showing how the place has developed after the oil boom. The Dubai Museum is part of its premises. It was opened in 1971 by the Ruler of Dubai after being restored extensively.

The Fort has a courtyard where a palm-leaf house affixed with an Emirati wind tower stands tall. It also has traditional dhows or boats. There is a hall on the right hand where a range of weaponry is showcased for visitors. The left-hand hall displays traditional Emirati musical instruments. There are display halls where one can find extensive displays of dioramas and exhibits reflecting the conventional life in Dubai. One can also get to see graves about three to four thousand years old at the Al Qusais site, an archeological site.

2. Al-Fahidi Quarter or the Bastakia Neighborhood

A visit to the Al-Fahidi Fort is incomplete without walking through the old neighborhood, the famous Al-Fahidi Quarter. It was constructed towards the ending of the 1800s where rich Persian traders and merchants had made a trading zone. Most of them had shifted to Dubai from Persia due to the tax-free trading practiced in olden times.

The bylane is resplendent with architectural beauties – a remembrance of an era gone by when life was much slower. The wind towers represent the earliest form of air-conditioning. As you walk along the bylane, you will come across the very famous Majlis Gallery and the Al Serkal Cultural Foundation. The Gallery houses vintage Arabian furniture and ceramic items, while the Cultural Foundation has numerous art exhibitions.

3. Hatta Heritage Village

The Heritage Village is a reconstructed or restored traditional mountain village in the Al Hajar mountains. The materials used in constructing the rural houses and mosques are primarily mud. Other than that, there has been extensive use of the trunks of palm trees, local stones, fronds, and reeds. The construction speaks volumes about the pre-oil era of the UAE. Managed by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the village, comprising 30 odd houses, was opened to the public in 2001.

Dubai’s Historical Places

4. The house of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum

Today, the monument stands tall as a museum, home to yesteryear artifacts, but once, it was the majestic residence of the ruler of Dubai. The former ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, officially resided in this palace from 1912 to 1958. The households’ tremendous significance was where the Sheikh envisioned the preliminary planning about turning Dubai into a global hotspot. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, present Dubai ruler, Vice President, and Prime Minister of UAE, spent his childhood years here, adding more relevance to this historic building.

Constructed along the Dubai Creek, it was made in 1896. It is now a museum where visitors get glimpses of the old Dubai. There are nine wings where one can view pictures of the old city, the social life, stamps and other historic documents, history of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, and get details of Al Maktoum family lineage.

5. Jumeirah Mosque

One of the most commonly photographed mosques, the Jumeirah Mosque, has been constructed in the Fatimid style of Islamic architecture. It has been constructed exactly like the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, though the latter is way bigger.

The Mosque was built in 1979 and is a gift from the then ruler, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, SMCCU manages the Mosque and holds guided tours under the ‘Open Doors. Open Minds’ program. Regular lectures, meals, and classes are also organized here for Muslims and non-Muslims to foster religious harmony and understanding of Islam.

6. Al Ahmadiya School, Al Ras, Dubai

This is the first semi-regular school of Dubai established in the early 20th century. The former ruler had founded the institute in 1912. Regular classes were held here till 1958, and in 1994, it was converted into a museum by the Government of Dubai.

From glimpses of yesteryear classroom layouts to previewing the curriculum, learning tools, subjects, written documents, facilities, and utilities inside, one gets to see the history of Dubai’s education system. As one moves through the courtyard and the corridors, you are immersed in the knowledge about how education has always been a top priority in the Emirate, even when it was not as advanced as today. You also get to see the names of the teachers and students, the relevance of science, philanthropic interest of the local and the neighboring communities.

7. The Jumeirah Archaeological Site

This is an archaeological site discovered in 1969. It dates back to the Abbasid period of the ninth century AD. Owned and managed by the Dubai Cultural & Arts Authority, the place is home to valuable assets from the pre-historic age. Different items from ancient times have been excavated and preserved here. You can see bronze coins, pottery items, tools, décor items, architectural marvels, a mosque, glass artifacts, stone items, houses, and more. Historians believe that the place was called Tawam and was about 80,000 sq meters, occupying a key position in the trade route linking the region to India and China.


Dubai holds the key to modern and historic developments. Both the contemporary and the ancient sites are breathtaking marvels. Planning a trip to the Emirate is incomplete without a stopover at these seven extraordinary sites.