The traditional style of life that was prevalent in Dubai from the mid 19th century till the 1970s is reflected at Al-Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, where buildings with high air towers (Barajeel), built with traditional building materials such as stone, gypsum, teak, sandalwood, fronds, and palm wood are aligned side by side, separated by alleys, pathways and public squares, which give the district a natural and beautiful diversity. This district, owing to its strategic location at Dubai Creek (Khor Dubai), played an important role in managing Dubai and organizing its commercial relations overseas. Moreover, it is still the district adjacent to His Highness Monarch of Dubai’s divan.
The buildings of the district are currently used in incubating a number of varied cultural and artistic activities (both public and private) ranging from art exhibits, specialized museums, cultural and artistic societies, ateliers to cultural centers (such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Cultural Understanding). The district also hosts a number of seasonal cultural and artistic events such as Sikka Art Fair, Artists-in-Residence Programme, Heritage Week, National Day Events and religious celebrations. Beautiful and cosy cafés, restaurants and motels overflowing with heritage are scattered all over the district.
A visit to Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the old way of life, which was prevalent in Dubai, with its rich values that can be seen in the design of the buildings and the way they are distributed. For instance, one cannot overlook the community’s care for privacy that can be felt in the scarcity of front windows, their narrowness, and highness. Also, the winding and twisting alleys and pathways, as well as erecting all of the district buildings facing southwest towards the qibla, in addition to a number of values and principles that will unravel once the visitor experiences Al Fahidi Neighbourhood for themselves.