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The Best Things To See and Do in Dubai's Old Quarter

There’s so much to see and do in Dubai – from going up the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, to skiing indoors at Ski Dubai. Yet Dubai used to be a village of fishermen who lived around a creek. For those who wish to see what life was like before the city began its rapid growth, Dubai’s Old Quarter is the ideal place to visit and learn more about the history and tradition of this Emirate.

Visit the gold souk
For those who are looking to purchase gold for great prices or to simply better understand the jewelry market in Dubai, the gold souk is where visitors can see the largest gold chain in the world as per the Guinness World Records and shop for well-priced pieces, all the while getting a glimpse of a traditional Arabic market. The Dubai government assures the quality of all pieces, so visitors can feel reassured as they shop in hundreds of retail stores at the souk – haggling is encouraged to get the best prices!

Walk around Al Bastakiya Quarter
The historic quarter of Al Bastakiya dates back to the 19th century and is the oldest residential quarter in Dubai. Visitors can walk around the maze-like streets and admire the original architecture of this neighborhood established by merchants. The buildings were completed with wind towers, evidence of a time before air conditioning. These days, the quarter is no longer the residence of merchants using the Dubai Creek for trade.

Admire local art at the XVA Gallery
Perhaps one of the most unique and interesting attractions in Al Bastakiya is the XVA Gallery. Here you can check out the local art scene and learn more about international artists. The gallery brings exhibitions from important artists of the region and a touch of art to the traditional and historical neighborhood. The contrast of the colorful and eye-catching pieces on the old construction, originally built with materials such as coral, is an interesting blend between art and history.

Visit the Coffee Museum
For coffee lovers from all over the world, the Coffee Museum in Al Bastakiya is a dream destination. This museum brings together regional and international flavors to offer visitors a cozy and elegant coffee-drinking experience amid traditional architecture. Some of the more popular styles offered by the Coffee Museum are local Arabic coffee, Ethiopian coffee, and Japanese coffee. In addition to the coffee to be tasted, visitors can admire antique artifacts and learn more about coffee roasting and brewing.

Have a traditional lunch in an Arabic tea house
The Basta Art Café is a charming café in the heart of the Old Quarter – offering a comfortable and chic atmosphere in the traditional buildings of Al Bastakiya. This is a perfect spot to try typical Arabic food and further indulge in the region’s culture. Also known as the Arabian Tea House, it has an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy regional dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – giving visitors the opportunity to get a taste of Dubai in one of its most historic sights.

Has Dubai Been Under Occupation All These Years?

Why have the expatriates been allowed in Dubai to outnumber the ethnic Arab community living there? Estimates suggest up to eighty percent of Dubai's current population might be composed of the foreigners living and working for its development. Their presence is overwhelming, from the dockyard to the sea coast, from the international airport to the lavish Jumeirah Palm Beach, from the street side cafes to the towering lord of catering, Burj Al Arab. There is no single spot available in today's Dubai that you might finally call free of foreign incursion. The outnumber of the local populace is mammoth by any standards. Eighty percent is a shocking mark indeed!

So why is it taking place? Have Dubai's rulers suddenly gone crazy and allowing invaders to take away their homeland? Records will suggest contrary to any such hypothesis though. Neither are Dubai's rulers mindless Shaikhs nor are the expatriates living there planning to take over. The trend of foreigners arriving in Dubai has been on for over a century now and they have become an intrinsic part of its multicultural identity. Both sides are willing partners in all the spheres, including trade and commerce and the cohesive living they are known for. There is no reason why they will ever decide to move away from this mutual understanding. Both have been making the best out of this arrangement and would prefer the way the things are.

Happy visiting Dubai, whenever you may decide undertaking it!

very informative and decent work