For a country as young as the United Arab Emirates (unification took place in 1971), one might be surprised to find even the mere presence of a cultural institution. Culture has nevertheless proved to be one of the selling points of this small country. With plans to soon house collections from the Louvre and the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, the UAE surely hopes to become a destination for arts and culture. What is noteworthy is the country’s insistence on remembering its heritage even before unification took place. The following cultural institutions in Dubai recall the United Arab Emirates’ recent and ancient history and are excellent places to go to if you are yearning to escape from all the construction, hotels, and overall newness of the city.
The Jumeirah Mosque is the only mosque open to non-Muslims in the entire city. Known for its serene interior, the mosque gives special tours to expatriates providing them within insights into the world of Islam. The mosque is equally known for its modern Islamic architecture. Be sure to get a view of it at night when its reliefs will come into full focus.
The Dubai Museum is housed in the restored Al Fahibdi Fort which was erected in 1787 to ward off the city from invasion. The museum was renovated in 1971 for usage as a museum. Today it stands as a perfect place to visit in order to understand the city’s history and cultural heritage. It is open from Saturday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday from 2 until 7:30 p.m.
The Al Bastakiya District is one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai. It is named after the Bastak region in Iran from where many dwellers emigrated. The area was constructed in the 1890s and is now known for its unique architecture. Many art galleries are currently held at the Bastakiya quartier and particularly at the Third Lane.
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
The Saeed Al Maktoum House is the former residential quarters of Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, the former ruler of Dubai. Located along the Dubai Creek, it was constructed in 1894 as the principal seat for the Al Maktoum family. Today when you visit you will encounter a museum full of artifacts and images of the old town Dubai professing its historical relevance and culture.
Jumeirah Archeological Site
This archeological site is thought to date to the sixth century AD. It was supposedly the site of a caravan station which would have provided travelers with great knowledge of the region. By far one of the most signature archeological sites in all of the United Arab Emirates, at the Jumeirah Archeological site you will personally uncover the country’s past.