12 Historical Districts in Dubai

12 Historical Districts in Dubai

Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is renowned for its contemporary architecture, opulent shopping, and lively nightlife. Dubai’s origin can be traced back to the 18th century, when it was a humble fishing village situated along the coast of the Persian Gulf.
Over the years, Dubai has transformed into a global hub for business and tourism, attracting millions of visitors from around the world.
Its rich history and culture can still be seen in the city’s traditional markets, known as souks, and historic landmarks such as the Al Fahidi Fort.

Here are 12 historical districts in Dubai that should be on your list when exploring this fascinating Arab nation!

12 Historical Districts In Dubai


Al Fahidi is a renowned historical landmark situated in the old town of Dubai. This densely populated neighborhood, also known as Al Bastakiya, boasts narrow streets flanked by ancient structures made of gypsum, wood, and stone. Thanks to its strategic location near the creek, it served as a center for trade and urban planning in Dubai.

Nowadays, the historical towers and buildings are utilized for various purposes, such as temporary art galleries and museums. During the UAE National Day, cultural performances and traditional activities are showcased here.


Once the royal abode of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, this museum is now a popular tourist spot. The Sheikh inhabited this structure from 1912 until 1958, and it played a significant role in shaping Dubai’s vision as a global city. As the present ruler of Dubai was brought up in this building, it holds even more importance, making it a must-see attraction for all visitors to Dubai.


Al Ahmadiya School offers a glimpse into the education system of early 20th-century Dubai. As the first national semi-structured school in the kingdom of Dubai, it showcases the progress made in both the school and the country’s educational sector.

Visitors will be captivated by the traditional classrooms, internal courtyard, corridors, and facilities at Al Ahmadiya School. You’ll have the opportunity to observe the school’s learning tools, writing materials, curricula, and subjects taught. Additionally, you can view the certificates, awards, and historical government documents related to the country’s education system.

Location: Deira, Al Ras, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Timings: 8 am to 7.30 pm (Saturday to Thursday); 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm (Friday)


Nestled in the Hatta region on the outskirts of Dubai, this is one of the oldest villages in the area, featuring two watchtowers, a fort, and a mosque. Although the structures were refurbished in 2001, they used mostly original materials dating back to the late 1900s.

5. Dubai Old Town

Dubai’s Old Town is a journey through time in the heritage district located along the banks of Dubai Creek. Once the gateway to the Gulf’s most thriving pearl diving port, you can still sense the area’s past as merchants and fishermen cross the waters in traditional dinghies.

This location provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the Emirate’s customs and history. The Gold Souk in Dubai’s Old Town is an excellent destination for those interested in buying gold or learning about the city’s jewelry market. Meanwhile, the local art scene in Al Bastakiya, also in Dubai’s Old Town, is a must-see for art enthusiasts.

Location: 57RH+WG2,  Downtown Dubai, Yansoon, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Timings: 24 hours

6. Jumeirah Mosque

The Jumeirah Mosque is a prized architectural gem of Dubai, gifted by the Late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The mosque’s design draws inspiration from Egypt and Syria, adding to its allure. It can house up to 1500 worshippers, making it a significant place of worship in the city.

Exploring the Jumeirah Mosque is a crucial element of Dubai’s cultural itinerary. After exploring the mosque, visitors can enjoy delicious Emirati refreshments. It is a serene and peaceful location where people come to pay their respects to God.

Location: Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Timings: 10 am to 2 pm

7. Old Souk

Dubai’s Old Souk, also referred to as the Bur Dubai Souk and Textile Souk, is a modern marketplace with numerous small stores offering a wide range of products. The market is adorned with brightly lit candles, pillows, and fabrics, making it a visually striking location. Visitors can shop for various items such as clothes, fabrics, footwear, and souvenirs.

Numerous tailors are available to cater to the customers’ needs in the Old Souk market. The market also offers an extensive collection of hand-woven and machine-made fabrics at reasonable prices. Skilled negotiators can secure excellent bargains on products here.

Location: Bur Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Timings: 10 am to 10 pm (Saturday to Thursday); 4 pm to 10 pm (Friday)

8. Dubai Museum

The Dubai Museum is housed in the oldest building in Dubai, providing visitors with a glimpse of the city’s rich cultural history. Here, you can explore the daily lives of Emiratis before the discovery of oil in the United Arab Emirates. The museum’s galleries recreate the historic Arab mosques, houses, souks, and date farms, giving you a fascinating insight into the city’s past.

The museum also showcases the marine and desert life scenery, in addition to the history of pearl diving. You can take a tour of the pearl diving history that includes actual scales and weights used during that time. The museum also displays antique items that date back to 3000 BC, which are meticulously preserved to ensure their longevity.

Location: Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

Timings: 8.30 am to 8.30 pm

9. Souq Ad Hadid Archaeology Museum

The Souq Ad Hadid Archaeology Museum, located in the Shindagha Heritage District of Dubai, is an exciting destination that offers a glimpse into some of the most mysterious and fascinating archaeological monuments in the region. The museum incorporates cutting-edge technology to explore the ancient trade route known as the “Way of Iron” or Saruq Al Hadid.

Located in the historic Shindagha Heritage District of Dubai, the Souq Ad Hadid Archaeology Museum offers an intriguing glimpse into the mysterious and exciting archaeological finds discovered in the country. With the help of cutting-edge technology, visitors can explore the ancient site of Saruq Al Hadid, a remote desert location where metalworking took place over three thousand years ago.

The museum offers a range of experiences and activities suitable for all ages, and its galleries showcase the scientific theories and methods used in the discovery of artifacts and the site’s chronology.

Location: Al Fahidi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

Timings: 8 am to 8 pm (Sunday to Thursday); 8 am to 12 pm (Saturday)

10. Hatta Heritage Village

Hatta Heritage Village is a renowned and distinctive attraction in Dubai, offering a captivating insight into Arab culture and a glimpse of the remaining symbols of its past glory. This charming mountain village showcases the various aspects of daily life during the historic period, including households, economic activities, defense, and agriculture subsistence.

The village is nestled against the breathtaking backdrop of the majestic Hajar Mountain range, surrounded by date trees and expansive barren lands. It also includes the residence of the Governor, known as ‘Bait Al Wali.’ The village displays artifacts and elements of life from the past, including historic households, economic and agricultural subsistence, and defense strategies.

Location: Zufayri, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

Timings: 7.30 am to 8.30 pm (Saturday to Thursday); 2.30 pm to 8.30 pm (Friday)

11. Burj Nahar

Constructed in 1870, Burj Nahar is a stunning historical attraction in Dubai. This monument is one of three water towers built to keep an eye on the movements of enemy tribes around Deira city. Built using mud and coral stone, Burj Nahar holds great historical significance as it dates back to ancient times.

Burj Nahar, constructed in 1870, is a stunning historical destination in Dubai that holds significant importance. It is one of the three water towers built to monitor the enemy movements around Deira city. Today, Burj Nahar is surrounded by picturesque gardens on the outskirts of Deira, featuring stunning date trees and landscaped gardens that take your breath away with their beauty.

This location offers a perfect setting for taking memorable photographs, making it a top historical monument for tourists worldwide.

Location: 78G8+ 4CC, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Timings:10 AM to 10 PM

12. Al Seef

Al Seef offers a unique blend of Dubai’s traditional heritage and modern cityscape. One end of Al Seef features the traditional roots of the city, showcasing the Bedouin culture. The other end features modern architecture and bustling landscapes. The historic retail concept at Al Seef provides a glimpse of the past and is an ideal location to experience Old Dubai.

Compare listings