Traveling to Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula, is one of the most rewarding and intellectually stimulating trips that one can take. Not only is it a beautiful location, but it is rich in history and culture. The possibilities are almost limitless as far as what you can see and do while you are there, but here are some suggestions for those who need some direction.
1) Visit the Dubai National Museum. The Dubai museum is located on the Al Fahidi Fort, which was built in 1799 to protect Dubai against invasions. It was converted to a museum in 1993 and now houses a vast collection of artifacts. Not only that, but it gives you a glimpse into the lives of those in the region with beautiful depictions of everyday life.
2) Shop and marvel at the Heritage and Diving Village, located at the mouth of a creek. Potters and weavers display their crafts and present tourists with Dubai’s heritage in a traditional village. The Heritage and Diving Village recreates the way Bedouin life used to be in Dubai.
3) Learn about the history of Dubai at Sheikh’s Saeed House, a listed national monument. Once the official residence of the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh’s Saeed House now has a collection of photographs, documents, coins, and stamps that are quite rare.
4) Witness the beauty of the Jumeirah mosque. This is the largest mosque in Dubai and it is a wonderful example of Islamic architecture. The Jumeirah mosque was built in stone in the medieval Fatimid tradition. It is the only mosque in Dubai that allows non-Muslims to venture inside and this is only through the use of organized tours.
5) Travel back in time in Bastakia, and view some of the oldest buildings in Dubai. Here you can see traditional wind-powered, mud-walled houses. In the summer, the wind towers would funnel the sea breeze, protecting the people from the overwhelming heat.
6) View the camel race area where traditional sports take place and go to Sheikh Zayed Road, where you can view the towers of the Dubai skyline and the Emirates towers. The Emirates Towers are the 10th highest building in the world.
7) Find out why Dubai is called the “City of Gold” at the gold market. Purchase goods, or just view the splendor and beauty of jewelry and other gold goods. The Middle East is a huge market for gold with the world’s highest per capita sales. Dubai is the center of the region where more than 150 tons of gold are sold each year.
8) Wander over to a Souk or a traditional market to view gorgeous fabrics or just travel through the streets of Old Dubai. The Souk is located on both sides of the creek, but the best side to venture to is the Deira side. The spice market is a must-see and smell.
9) Ride a camel in the desert so you can experience the beauty and vastness of the region. While you are at it, climb the sand dunes too.
10) Learn about the culture and customs of the people at Hatta Village, which is considered one of the most ancient locations in Dubai. Hatta Village is completely fortified and contains thirty houses that have been restored to their ancient style. It contains a splendid, old mosque which is over 200 years old. Once you have grown tired from exploration, rest at the oasis and seating areas.
No matter what you decide to do in Dubai, the experience will surely be rewarding. Get ready to relax, and open your eyes to a culture that may be different from your own. Make sure you take in the surroundings and enjoy it to the fullest. This is a trip you surely won’t forget.