Our tour begins with a gentle stroll to the historic Alfahidi district, one of the oldest heritage sites in Dubai. As we journey through its narrow lanes we will start to discover more about what life was like here before the skyscrapers came.
Our first stop is a traditional Bedouin tent where we will share a coffee and chat with our Emeriti friend Abo and find out more about the life of the Bedouin people. We will meet Abo’s pet falcon who is treated with love and respect by his owner (falcons are no longer used for hunting in the UAE). At a neighbouring tent, we will learn more about the national dress of the country and take a look at some traditional abaya dresses and kandoura.
In the Islamic world, calligraphy is a highly revered art form. So, we will admire some beautiful artwork at the Calligraphy Museum before learning how to write your name in Arabic, fancy pen-in-hand.
Time for another drink and this time our coffee will come with a side of history as we visit the Coffee Museum to learn about local coffee customs. We will sample some delightful Arab blends in the cute café before moving on to soak up a little more culture before the shopping extravaganza commences.
The local art gallery we are visiting is nestled in a beautiful old Persian house, displaying many unique local ceramics, glassware, and sculptures as well as paintings and photography.
Visit the oldest existing building in Dubai, Al Fahidi Fort, which dates back to 1787 and has recently been converted into a museum where visitors can learn more about life of Dubai before the skyscrapers arrived.
Recharge your batteries and stop for a quick street food bite (doner kabab or falafel sandwich).
Time to indulge in Dubai’s favourite pastime now with a spot of shopping. Our first souk stop will be the vibrant textile souk, not far from the creek, where we will enter a world of multicoloured cashmere, fine silks, and the art of bartering for your treasures.
At the nearby Abra stop, we will take a water taxi to the other side of the creek where a delicious surprise awaits us. Luscious dates covered in creamy white chocolate made from camel milk, a local delicacy and a must-try while you are visiting the old town.
You will probably be able to smell our next stop before you see it. At the spice souk, we will learn about the different spices used in Arabic, Iranian, and Indian cuisine. Our final stop on our cultural and commercial journey will be the largest gold souk in the Middle East. A feast for the eyes, the gold souk features incredibly lavish Arabic jewellery and dazzling displays of gold and other stones.
We will end our whirlwind journey through the culture and exotic souks of Dubai at the Al Ras metro station. If you want any hints or tips on what else to do during your trip, be sure to quiz your guide before you go.