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This historic landmark marks the city's first school. Originally built in 1912, the Al Ahmadiya School underwent major renovations in 1920 and 1922. With a religious curriculum, this institution upheld the educational standards initiated by the earliest sacred figures, the Al-Muttawa and the Muttawa. Throughout its history, teachings have included the Koran and Islamic law. The carefully crafted architecture makes it an excellent place to get a sense of the history that has helped define Dubai. Admission is free.
You will find perfumes of local and international repute here. The fragrance of Arabic perfumes wafts about in the souk. The oily scents and incense sticks, especially Frankincense, are a hit here. You can also buy Carolina Herrera, Ted Lapidus and other designer perfumes tax-free. Although credit cards are accepted, cash payers usually get bigger discounts. This is one smelly affair you won't forget and should be on everyone's list of things to see in Dubai.
Wear your shades as you enter this territory, as the glare of all the gold and stones will amaze you. The district of Old Deira is always abuzz with locals and tourists squabbling over the prices. Everything from emeralds, rubies, bracelets to rings dazzle here and is sold way cheaper than anywhere in the world. So pay a visit to this souk for your blings. It is a top-security place and naturally so, though one must beware the occasional pick-pockets in a crowd. The gold is sold here according to its weight and one can strike a good bargain over its craftsmanship. The Deira Gold Souk is one of the biggest reasons why Dubai is synonymous to gold; an absolute must visit!
A fine example of early 20th-century architecture, the Bait Al Wakeel was the first building in Dubai dedicated exclusively to administration. This early office building is worth a visit to check out the primitive facilities that Dubai's bureaucracy had to contend with. Dubai is a port city and this comes across clearly at Bait Al Wakeel, which is now home to a museum that offers an educational window into Dubai's fishing and maritime traditions. It also houses a fine heritage restaurant which is worth a visit.
A trip to Dubai is not complete without visiting the Dubai Museum, located in Al Fahidi Fort. Originally built as a defense against foreign invasion, it was later transformed into a museum and allows visitors to delve into the rich and unique heritage of the city. Exhibitions offer visitors an insight into desert life, depicting traditional Arab homes, mosques, fishing, pearl diving and trade. One of the highlights at the museum is an exhibit featuring artifacts from excavated graves in the Emirates from the 3rd millennium BCE.
If you are shopping in the Bur Dubai Souk, you will come across a lot of tourists stocking up on clothes and other items. The market offers some great deals on products from different countries. Many eateries are around the market where you can enjoy a variety of food. The Bur Dubai Souk is also referred to as Textile Souk or Old Souk, which forms the oldest part of the Bur Dubai and Deira districts. On offer here is a plethora products such as fabrics - cashmere, cotton, silk, wool, handicrafts, souvenirs and much, much more. A true local gem, the Old Souk is a must visit when in Dubai!
The district of Al Fahidi in Dubai is known to be a prestigious historical site. It previously housed the rich families of the city protecting their privacy. Sophisticated architecture and the rough-walled houses are a stereo type in this district. Al Fahidi also has a number of restaurants and cafes. Spending time here would transport you to a different era altogether.
Al Bastakiya is a bustling market and cultural center of Dubai. Named for the Bastak region of Iran, this Dubaite district is filled with traditional courtyard houses and classic wind towers, which offer a charming glimpse of how Dubai once looked. The surrounding historic buildings are home to museums, galleries featuring local artists, restaurants and markets. Al Bastakiya is a district you will not want to miss, especially if you are interested in learning what Dubai is all about.