Historic Dubai away from the high rise
Dubai is more than high rise towers and trendy shopping malls when you know where to look

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For many, Dubai is a modern city that's come of age in the last 20 years. However, there is much more than high rise towers and trendy shopping malls in Dubai if you get out and look around
The Bedouin people are a desert-dwelling ethnic group found throughout the Arabian peninsula. While rapid modernization throughout the region has led a majority of these former herders and nomadic traders to seek new livelihoods in the cities, it's still possible for visitors to experience a night in a traditional Bedouin camp. Located in the dunes of the Dubai Desert far from any signs of permanent human habitation, these camps offer visitors a glimpse into what it might have been like for a Bedouin family trying to survive in the harsh desert landscape. A typical evening will include a barbecue dinner, shared while seated on Arabian rugs, a belly dancer and time to chat over a hookah -- a type of water pipe used to smoke shisha. The experience could end there, or you can opt to spend the night at this desert camp beneath the stars. To make the most of your time in the desert, combine your Bedouin camp experience with a camel safari or sand boarding excursion.
Launched in late 2017, Al Seef celebrates Dubai Creek’s beginnings as the famous coastal pearl-diving base. Hugging 1.8km of the Dubai Creek’s stately shoreline, the 2.5 million square foot development has two sections – a heritage area featuring old architecture, which then blends into a second space featuring more contemporary structures. Once a vibrant entryway to the Gulf’s most successful pearl-diving port, the Creek’s legendary presence can still be felt today here, with fisherman and merchants criss-crossing the calm waters in their sleek dhows as part of their daily routine. The best way to take it all in is to embark on a cultural walking tour of the pedestrian-friendly Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, before wandering over to Al Seef and exploring its charming walkways, fully-operational marina, dining boulevard and events plaza on foot.
Founded by Sheikh Mohammed and opened in 1998, the Centre for Cultural Understanding in Dubai serves to promote awareness of Emirati culture, including food, customs, and religion, with the aim to educate visitors and expats and remove cultural barriers. Situated within the Emirati wind tower house in Dubai's Al Fahidi district, the SMCCU run guided tours of this historic area, including local mosques such as the Jumeirah Mosque. The center operates under the motto, Open Doors, Open Minds and organizes various activities in addition to tours, including lectures and educational programs, cultural awareness events, Arabic classes, and Iftars during Ramadan. It also offers visitors the opportunity to learn about and experience Emirati food by hosting Cultural Breakfasts and Cultural Lunches, where guests are free to ask questions and exchange ideas with locals while sampling authentic Emirati cuisine.
Cutting through the heart of Dubai, the seawater Dubai Creek winds its way from the trading port on the Gulf to the Ras al Khor bird sanctuary on the desert edge of Dubai. Old-fashioned boats called dhows criss-cross the water from Bur Dubai on the left bank to Deira on the right. Catch a water taxi dhow, called an abra, to get from A to B, or sign up for a romantic sunset dhow cruise traveling further upstream. A cruise reveals the glittering high-rise buildings lining the Creek, passing under several bridges to reach the Creekside gardens. Or take a stroll along the paved promenade lining the Creek on the Bur Dubai side of the waterway.
Dubai may have the world's largest shopping mall, but for many visitors, the best shopping is found in the city's traditional souks, or markets. Each of these historic markets specializes in one product or category of products, and one of Dubai's most famous and most pungent souks is the Spice Souk. Located in the eastern part of Dubai next to the Gold Souk, the Spice Souk includes a small area of narrow lanes lined by small shops selling almost any spice you can imagine. Huge bags and bins of colorful and fragrant spices -- everything from frankincense and saffron to dried chillies -- overflow into the streets. You'll also find shops selling incense and sheesha, a type of tobacco smoked in a water pipe.If you come to buy spices, be prepared to haggle knowing your basic numbers in Arabic will help.
The Etihad Museum collects, preserves, and displays the heritage of the United Arab Emirates in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific, and military history. The museum takes its visitors to the foundation of phase the UAE. It holds everything from old passports to personal artefacts such as rings, eyeglasses and pocket watches, stamps and letters and other rare items are on display for the public to add dimensions to the story of the rulers of UAE.
Visit the former home and government seat of the ruling Al Maktoum family, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum's House, built in 1894 for the present ruler's grandfather and now preserved as a museum. Inside you'll see historic photographs, documents and furnishings, but the real thrill comes from stepping inside such a famous home, one of the oldest buildings in the city. The building is a classic example of domestic Arabian architecture, complete with picturesque windtowers to catch the cooling breezes blowing in off the Gulf. From the top floor you can catch panoramic views of Dubai's Creek and skyscrapers.
Unlike anything you have seen in the world, Dubai's Gold Souk is a market that showcases seemingly endless amounts of gold jewelry. With over 300 jewelers on site to accommodate all your gold related needs, the streets during the day are swarming with visitors from all around the world enjoying the spectacle of wall-to-wall gold, and course, the souk's phenomenal prices. Whether you are looking to buy or just peruse, the Dubai Souk is certainly worth your visit. With an average of 10 tons of gold available on the premises at any given time, you are sure to be impressed with the glimmering displays, with gold makes in virtually any style you could imagine?and even available in an array of colors including white, yellow and pink. If you are feeling so inclined to make a purchase at the Souk, make sure you bring your haggling pants with you. It is entirely expected that you negotiate the price for any wanted goods.

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