Dubai welcomes tourists for a ‘Walking Tour’
Dubai Tourism welcomes tourist to have a walking tour along the historical district of Al Fahidi. This culturally-themed walking tour will take you around Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood and Dubai Creek. Starting from Al Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai the tour will end in Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek. The major attractions on the way are Arabian Tea House, SMCCU, XVA Gallery, Textile Souk, Gold Souk, Spice Souk, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek.
Arabian Tea House
The walking tour can start with a cup of local ‘karak chai’ – a strong tea blend with a dash of milk and spices from Arabian Tea House at Al Fahidi Stree. Turn left and you’ll enter the convoluted lanes of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, which portrays the traditional way of life in Dubai from the mid-19th century until the 1970s. Tourists can see creative art spaces, museums and cafés housed in traditional L-shaped homes made from gypsum, coral and limestone, topped with distinctive wind towers.
Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)
Continue in the direction of Dubai Creek towards Al Musallah Road, which will lead to Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). The centre offers a wide range of information on the culture and heritage of UAE. Tourists can have traditional Emirati breakfast, lunch or dinner, or simply wander and enjoy the things around. Turn left to follow the sandy lane to the Diwan Mosque, part of the Ruler’s Court complex and stop by XVA Art Hotel. This space has a splendid courtyard and contemporary art gallery as well as a popular vegetarian cafe.
Turn left towards Ali Bin Abi Taleb Street and the snaking path to the Textile Souk, which is reminiscent of Dubai’s historic past in trading. Walk along the row of small shops and stalls and can have a shopping for colourful fabrics and kitsch knick-knacks.
Saruq Al Hadid Museum
Once the shopping is done, turn right on to 34th Street and follow 3A Street to reach Saruq Al Hadid Museum. It displays a range of artifacts disinterred from a centuries old archaeological site in the depths of the desert. Tourists can have a close look at the reclaimed remnants of over 900 objects discovered from the site.
Walk back towards 3A Street to the Bur Dubai Abra Station by Dubai Creek. This waterway reflects Dubai’s historic past when the people relied mostly on its waters for their livelihood. Visitors can sail across the creek on the traditional wooden boat, known as Abras, paying just AED 1.
The Dubai Creek’s waterway is part of an ambitious 3.2km canal project. The Dubai Water Canal, winds its way from the Creek to the Arabian Gulf through Business Bay, is one of the landmark developments in the urban transport system of Dubai.
Deira Gold Souk
Crossing the creek on an Abra, tourists will reach the Baniyas Road. Cross Baniyas Road and follow Old Al Baladiya Street for one kilometre and turn right into the Gold Souk district, where all that glitters is definitely gold. Bargain with the shopkeepers over delicate handcrafted pieces and ornate wedding jewellery sets, or craft your own tailored jewels. Gold Souk is one of the most visited tourist areas in Deira. If you are fond of the Arabian fragrance of ‘oud’ or ‘bakhoor’, there is a Perfume Souk adjacent to the Gold Souk.
Deira Spice Souk
Turn right onto Baniyas Road and follow the aroma of cardamom, turmeric, dried lemons and rose petals, to reach the Spice Souk. The spice market’s alleys have a warren of local vendors and storefronts piled high with bulging sacks of spices. Interacting with the vendors is part of the fun and if succeed, can take away some fragrance of Dubai.
Radisson Blu Deira
Turn left to Old Baladiya Street to reach Baniyas Road and admire views of the Creek and traditional dhows as you pass the iconic Deira Twin Towers. Walk towards Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek; it was first opened in 1975 and is the first five-star hotel in Dubai.
After a long day of exploring, tourists may have a traditional Emirati meal at the hotel’s signature Aseelah restaurant. Try the hearty lamb harees where coarsely-ground wheat is mixed with tender meat and spices, and the fish machboos that sees locally-caught fish served with Arabic rice.