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Tamsila AliJul 9, 2024 6 min read

Explore Old Dubai: A Glimpse into Dubai’s Rich Past

Table of Content

Dubai, renowned for its modern skyline and luxury lifestyle, also holds a treasure trove of historical charm. Old Dubai, a stark contrast to the city's futuristic appeal, offers a captivating glimpse into its rich past. 

This area, encompassing districts like Al Fahidi and Deira, is essential for understanding Dubai's cultural and historical roots. 

Visiting Old Dubai allows one to explore traditional markets, historic architecture, and museums that narrate the city's journey from a humble fishing village to a global metropolis. 

Embracing both the old and new, Dubai truly showcases a unique blend of tradition and innovation.

List of Things to Do in Old Dubai


  • Wander through the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood: Step back in time as you stroll through this charming area filled with narrow lanes and traditional wind-tower architecture.
  • Discover the Dubai Museum: Dive into the rich history of Dubai at this fascinating museum housed in the Al Fahidi Fort.
  • Explore the Al Seef Area: Experience the perfect blend of old and new along Dubai Creek, with its quaint shops, cafes, and stunning waterfront views.
  • Shop at the Gold Souk and Spice Souk: Consider the glittering gold jewelry and breath in the aromatic spices in these bustling traditional markets.
  • Savor a Traditional Emirati Meal: Delight your taste buds with authentic Emirati cuisine at local restaurants.
  • Engage in Local Customs and Traditions: Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage by participating in traditional activities and customs.
  • Rent a Car from eZhire: Enjoy the freedom to explore Old Dubai at your own pace with a convenient rental from eZhire.
  • Take a Scenic Drive along Dubai Creek: Experience the serene beauty of Dubai Creek with a leisurely drive along its banks.
  • Attend Cultural Events and Festivals: Check out the local events and festivals to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Dubai.
  • Capture the Essence of Old Dubai Through Photography: Don’t forget your camera! There are endless photo opportunities to capture the timeless charm of Old Dubai.


Historical Significance of Old Dubai



  • Old Dubai is the heart of the city’s heritage and culture.
  • It played a crucial role in the early development and establishment of Dubai.
  • This area reflects the traditional architecture and lifestyle before the modern skyscrapers.


Key Historical Events and Developments

  • Early trade routes: Dubai’s strategic location made it a vital trading hub.
  • Discovery of oil: This transformed Dubai from a small trading port to a bustling city.
  • Preservation efforts: Many historic buildings and neighborhoods have been preserved to maintain the city's rich heritage.

Notable Sites and Experiences

  • Visit the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.
  • Explore art galleries, museums, and cultural exhibits.
  • Enjoy traditional Arabian tea at a local café.


Dubai Museum

  • Housed in Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest existing building in Dubai.
  • Offers insights into the history and culture of the UAE.


Al Seef



  • A charming area blending old-world charm with modern amenities.
  • It offers a nostalgic look at Dubai’s past, situated along Dubai Creek.


Key Attractions and Activities

  • Stroll along the promenade with traditional dhow boats.
  • Visit the heritage area for a glimpse of traditional Emirati architecture.
  • Enjoy shopping and dining at various shops and restaurants.


Gold Souk and Spice Souk



  • Gold Souk: Famous for its dazzling display of gold jewelry and precious stones.
  • Spice Souk: Offers a sensory experience with a variety of spices, herbs, and fragrances.

Cultural Experiences in Old Dubai



  • Visit historical neighborhoods like Al Bastakiya to see traditional wind-tower architecture.
  • Wander through the Dubai Museum to learn about the city's history and culture.
  • Stroll along Dubai Creek to see the old trading port and traditional wooden dhows.
  • Check out the Al Fahidi Historical District for a glimpse into Dubai's past.
  • Visit heritage houses and museums to understand Emirati culture and lifestyle.
  • Enjoy the rich aroma and vibrant colors at the Spice Souk and Gold Souk.
  • Experience a traditional Emirati meal at a cultural center like Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
  • Participate in a cultural workshop or heritage tour.
  • Enjoy traditional music and dance performances.



  • Attend the Dubai Shopping Festival for a blend of shopping and cultural performances.
  • Participate in National Day celebrations to witness patriotic displays and traditional activities.
  • Explore the Sikka Art Fair to see contemporary and traditional Emirati art.

Religious and Spiritual Sites

  • Visit the Grand Mosque to admire its architecture and learn about Islamic culture.
  • Respectfully observe prayer times and religious practices in the area.


Traditional Markets and Crafts

  • Explore the Textile Souk for traditional fabrics and clothing.
  • Visit local artisans and craftsmen to see traditional crafts like pottery and weaving.
  • Enjoying these experiences will provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of Dubai's rich cultural heritage.


Exploring Old Dubai with eZhire



  • Flexibility: Explore Old Dubai at your own pace, stopping where and when you want.
  • Convenience: Avoid waiting for taxis or public transport schedules.
  • Comfort: Enjoy air-conditioned comfort between sights, especially in Dubai's heat.
  • Accessibility: Reach hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations easily.

eZhire is a convenient car rental service in Dubai, offering a seamless booking experience through their mobile app. With eZhire, you can rent a car quickly without the hassle of paperwork, providing various car options to suit your needs.

Step-by-Step Guide to Renting a Car from eZhire

  • Download the App: Install the eZhire app from your app store.
  • Create an Account: Sign up and verify your details.
  • Select Your Car: Choose from a range of vehicles available.
  • Book and Confirm: Select your rental dates and confirm your booking.
  • Delivery: The car will be delivered to your location within hours.
  • Drive: Start exploring Old Dubai at your convenience.

Renting a car with eZhire simplifies exploring Old Dubai, offering flexibility and comfort to make the most of your visit.


Q1:  Why should I visit Old Dubai?

A. Visiting Old Dubai offers a unique opportunity to delve into the city's rich cultural heritage, from traditional markets to historical neighborhoods like Al Fahidi.

Q2: What are the must-visit attractions in Old Dubai?

A. Key attractions include the Dubai Museum, Al Seef along Dubai Creek, and the vibrant Gold and Spice Souks.

Q3: How can I explore Old Dubai conveniently? 

A. Renting a car from eZhire allows you to navigate Old Dubai at your own pace, ensuring flexibility and comfort.

Q4: What cultural experiences can I enjoy in Old Dubai? 

A. Engage in local customs, savor Emirati cuisine, and explore traditional markets for a complete cultural immersion.

Q5: Is Old Dubai suitable for family visits?

A. Yes, Old Dubai offers family-friendly activities such as museum visits, boat rides on the Creek, and cultural performances.


Intriguingly contrasting with Dubai's modernity, Old Dubai beckons with its timeless allure. From the labyrinthine lanes of Al Fahidi to the aromatic Spice Souk, each corner narrates a chapter of Dubai's vibrant history. 

Embrace the old-world charm amidst bustling souks and serene courtyards. Whether exploring the Dubai Museum's artifacts or savoring local delicacies, every moment in Old Dubai is a step back in time. Blend tradition with innovation by renting a car from eZhire, offering seamless mobility to uncover hidden gems. Plan your journey now and uncover the cultural mosaic that defines Dubai’s enduring spirit.