My first trip to Middle East made me excited to witness a new culture. The main purpose of the trip was sightseeing and as architect I of course was curious to modern architecture. But besides that we also wanted to see Dubai old town and see something from their history.
The Arabian Courtyard hotel where we stayed was located in Bur Dubai. A perfect place for exploring Dubai old town. You won’t expect it, but the Dubai trip started with two rainy days. Despite the rain we could explore Bur Dubai on the first day. While walking along Dubai Creek you see the first ‘old’ skyscrapers and some hotels at Deira. Those of course are by far not as large as the modern skyscrapers like Burj Khalifa and Emirates towers. Other obvious buildings along the creek are some white buildings from court and Dubai Bastakiya.
While walking northwards along Dubai Creek you see Heritage Village and the Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House. Both are nice to visit and give information about the history of the buildings and architecture. There are models of buildings and collections of coins and stamps. Around Heritage Village there are several restaurants with terrace overlooking the Creek. A good place to go for a meal or drink at night.
Another interesting part of Bur Dubai is the area around Grand Mosque. Here you find the Old Souk in the narrow streets where salesmen offer their carpets and suits. Interesting to see is that the place is desolated around lunch time. It’s too hot and salesmen take a break. Dubai Museum also is a sight I can recommend. The museum tells the history of Dubai. See how a small fishing village expanded to a world city. You also see how people traditionally lived.
An area you also shouldn’t miss is Deira. This is located at the other side of Dubai Creek. Behind Grand Mosque you can take an abra which is a small boat that brings you for few Dirhams to Deira. Deira looks more Arabic than Bur Dubai. Many local people, frequently in traditional clothes. Walk around through the streets with small shops, market and visit the main attraction of Deira: The Gold Souk.