When my wife and I entered the Old Fort, part of the Dubai Museum in the Shindagha District of Deira adjacent to the Heritage Village, we were not very impressed. The now-restored fort is very small as forts go, indeed, tiny compared with its Omani counterparts. And in the courtyard there were some fairly interesting items such as a small dhow, a canoe carved from a single tree trunk, and a very unusual wooden water tank. There was also a mock-up of a barrastee (mangrove branch) house with a wind tower made from woven palm fronds. We were pleased to see it all, but, as I said earlier, we were not very impressed.
Just before we were about to leave the fort, my wife decided she needed to use the facilities, which were down a rather dark ramp leading to a basement level, which we had not been made aware of. Not wanting to enter dark areas alone, she asked me to accompany her, which I did. We were thoroughly unprepared for what we found: the real body of the museum!
It turns out that the antiquities division of the Dubai government very practically decided to house most of their museum underground, which, of course, makes perfect sense considering the climate. Downstairs we found a whole series of display rooms, most filled with remarkably detailed tableaux, which illustrate better than almost any other possible means both Dubai’s traditions and its current and future development. In the greatest detail they have reproduced shops, pearl merchants’ stalls, tea houses, and even night-time Bedu encampments.
We ended up spending nearly 3 hours wandering around the underground museum, much longer than we often spend in similar institutions. It goes without saying that we left much impressed and have been recommending it to everyone we meet who intends visiting the city.
The Dubai Museum. I was there in 1995 in the summer. It was my first introduction to the history of the area. Highly recommended as learning atleast a little about where i find myself is very important to me. Check the link below as it does much more justice to the site than I can here.
Gives a nice history of the area with dioramas, artifacts, etc. It is located in the old Al Fahidi Fort. It is a good way to get cool on a hot Dubai afternoon.
Visit the Dubai Museum to learn about Dubai's past, present and future. There's an inside and outside exhibit area complete with traditional wind tower, house and dhow. Very cheap to enter.
Located in Al Faheidi Fort, this museum explains how life was lived by the people of Dubai, before the oil boom. A very interesting place.
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