If you're visiting Dubai, no doubt you'll want sun sea sand and shopping, but don't miss out on the wonderful museum housed in Al Fahidi fort. It is a showcase of all that is historically important and has beautifully displayed artefacts and information about the remarkably speedy growth of this fabulous Emirate. Adults and children will enjoy this museum, and its ridiculously cheap to enter. You won't even be ripped off in the gift shop! Bring your camera for some really great photo opportunities too.
When you've finished in the museum, stroll through Bastakiya district with its narrow lanes and tall windtowers - this is Dubai as it really was before the steel and glass overshadowed it. Another "must" is an hour on the creek by Abra (Water taxi). Try to do this about half an hour before sunset to experience the full splendour of the blend of old and new architecture, and see the fleets of dhows that represent Dubai's trading heritage.
Dubai is a modern city built just before our eyes. It’s difficult to find old buildings there. Al Fahidi Fort is believed to be the oldest building in Dubai that still exists today. We have been told that it was built around 1787. The fort was used to guard the landward approaches to the town from the raids of neighboring tribes. It has also served, at various times throughout history as the ruler's palace, a garrison, and a prison.
The fort was renovated in 1970 and opened as the Dubai Museum by Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, then ruler of Dubai. Additional galleries were added in 1995.
You can watch my 3 min 41 sec HD Video Dubai Al Fahidi Fort out of my Youtube channel with Khatere – Ye Karoon Ghezelbash.
You can see the typical Arabian dhow in front of Al Fahidi Fort. In the early 20th century, the creek, though incapable then of supporting large scale transportation, served as a minor port for dhows coming as far away as India or East Africa.
Dhows are long, flat, wooden sailing vessels used in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, and they've docked at the Creek since the 1830s when the Maktoums established a free-trade port, luring merchants away from Persia.
Al Fahidi fort was built in year 1800 to defend the town from enemies. It is considered as Dubai's oldest building.
The walls of this fort are built from corals and shells which are cemented with lime. The upper floor is supported by wooden poles There is a big and strong solid iron door at the
entrance of fort .
In 1993 it was decided by the government to use this fort as museum. Since that time Dubai Museum is housed inside this fort. So visitors have to buy ticket of AED 3 (appox $ 1) for entrance to the fort and museum.
Visiting hours from Saturday to Thursday are from 0830-1930. In Ramadan these timings are 0900-1700 from Saturday to Thursday.
Al-Fahidi Fort, built in 1799, is home to the Dubai Museum and is thought to be Dubai's oldest building. In the past the fort was used to defend the town from warlike neighboring tribes. For many years it was both the residence of Dubai's rulers and the seat of government, before it became a museum in 1971. The walls of the fort are built from coral and shell rubble from the sea, and are cemented together with lime. Wooden poles called handel support the upper floor, and the ceiling is made of palm fronds, mud and plaster.
Inside, a large section is devoted to musical instruments, with displays of drums, flutes, lyres, bagpipes made of goatskin and other locally-made instruments used in performances on festive occasions. There is also a re-creation of a typical home and school of the 1950's. Additionally, there is an interactive display of the flora and fauna of the UAE, and findings from the archeological sites (950-550 BC).
The walls of the fort are built from coral and shell rubble from the sea, and are cemented together with lime.
Wooden poles, called handel, support the upper floor, and the ceiling is made of palm fronds, mud and plaster.
A massive, iron-studded door stands at the entrance, and its battle-scarred walls and towers bear witness to the conflicts in the past.
The oldest building in Dubai dates from 1787, with the tower the oldest part, built to protect the new settlement from invasion.
It opened as the Dubai Museum in 1971 and, in the early days, was little more than a celebration of the early traditional way of Emirati life housed in the restored rooms of the fort and the inner courtyard.
But in the 1990s, underground rooms were built extending the scope of the museum and today there is a wonderful walk through of the Emirate of the natural surrounds and people of the desert, including three dimensional recreations of traditional craftsmen and women at work, dioramas explaining the importance of the desert, the night skies, the sea to the Bedouins. And we are always accompanied by the sounds of the surrounds.
In addition, there are a number of recreated excavation sites which show original settlement as far back as 3000 BC including archaeological finds, tombs and skeletons.
It's well worth an hour or so - the beauty being that it also has powerful air conditioning.
Entrance is a mere Dhs 6
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