The Heritage Village displays several traditional handicrafts for the visitor to Abu Dhabi. You can see a traditional well, for example, where an ox draws out the water, there is a resident camel and donkey which can give rides to kids at certain times of the day. There are stalls selling souvenirs too and traditional craft workshops. The village does close around 1pm for lunch until late afternoon.
On a large site near to the breakwater is the city’s brand new Bedouin Heritage Village. It is designed to represent the city as it was before the advent of oil. If you can’t make it out on to safari this is the only way to get any sort of feel for traditional Arabian life in the city. The reproduction of a Bedouin encampment is accompanied with an artificial, “genuine” souk.
There are also some reproductions of the more permanent homes that formed the town before it was concreted over in the 1970s - it’s hard to believe that just 40 short years ago these mud-brick fishermen’s houses were the standard housing for many of Abu Dhabi’s citizens.
The Heritage Village is located at the Breakwater (near Marina Mall). Run by the Emirates Heritage Club, the village attempts to showcase the culture and life of Bedouins before the discovery of oil. It has a small museum exhibiting various Bedouin costumes, weapons, agricultural tools, pearl diving tools and some nice pictures of the old days. But I think the biggest emphasis here was the handicraft section. This showcases the various crafts like pottery, carpentry, bronzeware etc. with life handicraft making in process. Next to them is a handicraft shop selling their products. For those who do not have the time to visit Al Ain Oasis, you can also see a mock ‘Falaj’ irrigation system as well as witness how water is raised from the well to irrigate the farmland. The place would also be an excellent place to do some souvenir shopping as there’s a re-created souq selling souvenirs. You can also get a nice view of the Abu Dhabi corniche from here.
But in comparison to the heritage village in Dubai, I felt that the one in Abu Dhabi was rather small and lacking in things like Arabian food. But it was still a nice and quick way to get a glimpse of Bedouin life.
Entrance is free. It is open at 9am (I think it’s opened quite late in the evening on Friday).
A trip to the Heritage Village is good for introducing yourself with the traditional UAE culture before undertaking a real life 4 wheel drive to the interior of the country.
The hosts are very friendly, especially towards the children. The young ones will end up getting many gifts.
Children will enjoy camel rides and playing with Saluki dogs.
The two Heritage Villages of Abu Dhabi deserve an evening of exploration.
We visited the Heritage Village of the Abu Dhabi Breakwater with my sister and her daughter who visited us from Pakistan in 2004 on the eve of our departure from UAE for Canada.
The entrance is free and the hosts are extremely courteous.
You will be able to see traditional Arabian village life in the Heritage Village.
new (old) town. Free entrance.
Handicrafts are being made (and sold)
If you wanne see a camel and you don't want to leave the city ... this is the place.
Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
9 Reviews and 621 Opinions this is a wonderful hotel, living like royalty! 1.3 km pvt beach, beautiful gardens, massages, tea...
Beach Rotana Hotel And Towers Abu Dhabi
6 Reviews and 709 Opinions Staying in Beach Rotana in March 2007 with wife and 3-year old kid. Looking for relaxing holiday,...
Abu Dhabi Hilton Abu Dhabi
5 Reviews and 501 Opinions both my partner and I suffered from food poisiong after the Hilton New Years Eve dinner. Was it the...