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The complete old Dubai attractions and activities guide for 2024

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Dubai, the city famous for its luxury and skyline, also has a rich historic culture. This Emirati lifestyle and heritage originate in Old Dubai. In Dubai, old indeed is gold. Old Dubai has been an intersection for all the civilizations that Dubai has experienced. The coastal region dates back to the times of trade and exchange.

Where is Old Dubai?

Old Dubai cannot be pinned as a certain location in Google Maps. It comprises a lot of different places. From Garhound on the north to Deira on the south, Old Dubai spreads over a wide space of land.

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How to get to Old Dubai?

There are many ways to get to Old Dubai once you know the exact place to go to. Keep in mind that you need to be specific to the location.

If you just say Deira to the driver, you are most likely to get dropped off at Deira City mall, so try to be exact about your location.

  • Taxi
  • Metro
  • Boat

Places to visit in Old Dubai in 2024

Visiting Dubai’s old neighborhood is a whole exciting adventure on its own. With the technology going in hand with historic culture, there have been recent introductions to applications like walking guides for Old Dubai.

From Al Fahidi district to Bur Dubai’s Bazaar, there is a lot to explore. To save you from getting lost in this journey of exploration, we bring you a guide for the places to visit in Old Dubai.

1. Al Bastakiya Quarters

Al Bastakiya Quarters is one of the most culturally significant sights in Dubai. This place easily makes for the most popular tourist attraction in Dubai as there is no entry fee. This ancient quarter is a reminder of Dubai’s historic origins. 

Location: Deira Creek, Ras Metro Station 1

Timing: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM

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2. Al Fahidi Fort

  • Al Fahidi Fort is the oldest building to exist in the history of Dubai. This historic building has stood 230 years serving as a palace, a prison, and a fortress.
  • To get to Al Fahidi Fort, you can get a bus or the metro to Al Fahidi Stations. Taxis are also available.

Location: Al Fahidi area, Dubai United Arab Emirates

Timings: 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM

3. Dubai Museum

  • Al Fahidi Fort has been transformed into a museum by Sheikh Rasin bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1971 and also has an underground museum added later in 1995. 
  • There’s no better way to get to know about Dubai’s enriching history than getting a tour of the Dubai museum. The narrations about the cultures highlight the true history of Dubai.

Location: Al Fahidi area, Dubai United Arab Emirates

Timings: 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM

4. Dubai Coffee Museum

  • With Dubai’s rich historic culture, experience the coffee culture. Coffee is how we start out the day so let us dive into the history of coffee in the Dubai coffee museum.
  • This coffee museum is a must-visit if you are in the Bastakiya quarter as it is one of the things you can do for free when you’re in Dubai.

Location: Al Fahidi area, Dubai United Arab Emirates

Timings: 9 AM – 9 PM

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5. XNA Art Gallery

  • Founded in 2003, the XVA art gallery is one of the most popular art galleries in the United Arab Emirates. Explore through the paintings and collections in this gallery to know about the Emirati art.
  • It also comes with a café and an art hotel where the prices range from 700 AED to 1000 AED.

Location: Al Fahidi St Bur Dubai, Dubai

Timing: 11 AM – 6 PM

6. Dubai Heritage Village

  • The Dubai heritage village is located in Shindagha near the creek’s mouth. It provides a glimpse into the traditions of Emirate’s maritime History.
  •  The display of wooden cooking utensils and pearl-diving traditions gives us a beautiful insight of Old Dubai.

Location: Entrance of the Dubai Creek, Dubai

Timing: 9 AM – 9 PM

7. Sheikh Saeed al-Maktoum's House

  • Dubai has advanced itself into sky-scraping architecture and skyline. But Sheikh Saeed al-Maktoum house in Bur, Dubai shows the architecture that dates back to several years ago.
  • It is named after a former ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Saeed al-Maktoum as this used to be his official residence. This residence has later been converted into a museum showcasing Dubai’s old architecture and artifacts.
  •  The entry fee is free for this place.

 Location: Al Khaleej Rd Bur Dubai, Dubai

Timing: 8 AM – 8 PM

After going over the places you can visit in the old neighborhoods of Dubai, let us come to the things to do in Old Dubai.

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Things to do in Old Dubai:

1. Dubai Gold Souk

  • Gold Souk is an enriching part of visiting Dubai. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions and there is no entry fee to visit this place. 
  • Immerge in the extravagant display of gold items all across the street. Experience the rush, the crowd, the jewelry for the ultimate Dubai street experience.
  • Here in Dubai, old is gold, indeed.

Location: Old Baladiya St., Dubai

Timing: 10 AM – 10 PM

2. Historic Abra Ride

  • Experience the unique lifestyle of Dubai between the luxury and high-rise buildings. ‘Abra’ stands for ‘Abara’ in Arabic which means ‘to cross’.
  • The prices for these rides start from as low as 1 AED. The most affordable experience in exploring the history of Dubai.

Location: Bur Dubai Abra Station, 32 3 A St - Dubai

Timing: 9 AM – 9 PM

3. Dhow Cruise Dinner

  • The dhow is the historic traditional sailing ship in Arabia. The cruise beautifully depicts Old Dubai’s culture. It is a 2-hour long ride on the traditional Dhow boat also served with dinner.
  • The boat cruises through Dubai Marina, Marina Towers and Yacht Club. 

Location: Dhow cruise Dubai Marina, Dubai

Timing: 12 AM – 11:30 PM

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More details about Old Dubai

What to eat in Old Dubai?

  • Old Dubai, where the rich historic culture is experienced, having a taste of Arabian recipes is a must. Dubai’s famous falafel can be obtained at Qwaider Al Nabusi.
  • Taking back to ancient spices with minimal taste, Mansaf is ready to serve you with the most amazing lamb and cheese.
  • Ending your perfect meal with a dessert called Kunafa, a dessert topped with cheese. The juiciest of food is experienced here in Old Dubai.

Where to stay in Old Dubai

  • Dubai is an expensive city but your stay doesn’t have to be. If you’ve already spent enough on your entire trip planning, let yourself have a budget-friendly and comfortable stay in places like Dubai Marina or Sheikh Zayed Road.
  • Accommodating yourself to other places in Dubai is easy with the availability of taxis, buses, and metros.

Old Dubai vs New Dubai

  • New Dubai is the place for luxurious malls and skyline architecture like Burj Khalifa. It gets very expensive there. But here in Old Dubai, you experience the cultural history, everything at a lower price.
  • While you get high-quality designer brands in Dubai, Old Dubai stands for the authentic souks.
  • New Dubai features several food chains with cuisines from all across the world. While Old Dubai, makes you immerse in Arabic traditional food and its essence.

Old Dubai is a must-visit if you have planned a trip to Dubai. Enjoy the city of Dubai to the fullest while getting deeper into the roots of its history in Old Dubai.

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