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When the most efficient way to transport goods was by sea, the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, formerly called Bastakiya, just near the shores of the Dubai Creek, became a traders’ settlement.
Moving with the times, this bustling area is now awash with commercial and residential complexes overlooking the famous creek. Retaining its old world charm among modern structures, the district comprises traditional houses with wind towers which were the early form of ventilation in this part of the world.
The Dubai Museum, located at Al Fahidi Fort, is one of the landmarks of the area. It carrries a vast collection of artefacts that tells stories of the bygone eras. It also houses underground galleries showing ancient seafaring tools and equipment, musical instruments and the traditional desert lifestyle which has transcended through time. Other prominent structures include the Grand Mosque, Hindu Temple, Coins Museum, The Ruler’s Court and the Al Musalla Post Office.
Also considered an art zone, Al Fahidi is home to a handful of art galleries and the venue of the yearly SIKKA Art Fair. Visual art aficionados may wander around the curated and contemporary exhibitions of foreign and local artists at The Majlis Gallery and XVA Gallery, among others.
Moreover, the locality’s corners abound with fairly affordable cafés, restaurants and small eateries. There are stores selling gold jewellery and retail shops. The Textile Souk is famous for its wide variety of textiles, draperies, carpets and even cosmetic products, shoes and bags.
The Arabian Courtyard, Astoria Hotel, Sun City International Hotel, New Penninsula Hotel and XVA Art Hotel are some of the district’s stay options.
Frequented by locals and tourists alike, the creekside is perfect for whiling away the hours in leisure walks and relaxing especially during the cold months. The area is accessible through abras, water taxis, taxis, buses and the Metro.
• Al Fahidi has a sprinkling of art galleries, eateries, hotels, shops
• Its popular landmarks include the Dubai Museum, Grand Mosque
• It is accessible via the Metro, abras, water taxis, taxis and buses
Source: Alfred Ocianas, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer