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Al Fahidi Historical District

 

Dubai is known for its beautiful modern architecture.  Yet permanent structures are relatively new to the region. Historically most of the Arabs who lived here were nomadic and did not leave behind physical monuments or buildings.  As such, older regions of Dubai are quite limited.

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There's a neighborhood in Bur Dubai which was built in the mid -19th century, at a time when the city was beginning to take root.  This is the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, adjacent to Dubai Creek.  The neighborhood is characterized by buildings with tall wind towers (Barajeel) that capture evening breezes to cool the interior of a home (not unlike a fan in a window).  Built with traditional materials like stone and gypsum, the Al-Fahidi neighborhood was home to businessmen and their families, many of them having migrated from Persia because of favorable tax treatment here.

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The neighborhood had fallen into disrepair in the 20th century and was all but abandoned by the 1970s, being scheduled for destruction and replacement.  There was a national and global call to save it, which fortunately happened.  Since then it has been beautifully refurbished and converted from a residential neighborhood into a social gathering spot.  Former houses are now small museums, shops, cultural societies and related exhibits, and nice cafes and restaurants.  

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I enjoyed walking the narrow labyrinth of shaded alleyways, entering courtyards, exploring the many small museums and exhibits.  It's a great way to spend a half day and one of the few opportunities for a glimpse into the country's historic past.  

There is no admission fee.   More scenes from a stroll through Al Fahidi district follow:

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  • Al Fahidi Historical District
  • Al Fahidi Historical District
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  • Al Fahidi Historical District
  • Al Fahidi Historical District
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Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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Comments (2)

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this is a beautiful description of Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Basically, you can discover what old life was like during the mid-19th century Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Located along the Dubai Creek, this district is a key heritage site with much of the original infrastructure preserved and intact.
The traditional wind towers constructed from stone, teak, gypsum, palm wood and sandalwood – represent only a small part of Al Fahidi’s history. Each alley, twisting pathway and breezy tower tells a story of a life before seven emirates.
If you are planning to travel to Dubai don’t miss visiting this beautiful place during your travel.

Last edited by PHeymont
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