July 10, 2017

Exploring Dubai's Al Fahidi Historic Neighorhood

Last week, I shared with you all of the details for our latest trip to Dubai, well, almost all of the details! When I stumbled on the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, I absolutely fell in love!

Al Fahidi is located in Bur Dubai, Dubai's Old City and is a complex that, from the outside, really doesn't look like much, but once you start wandering down the laneways in and out of the shops and galleries, the entire place comes to life!

Every time I thought I had seen everything, another door literally opened. At one point, I tried working in a partially opened door and the shopkeeper rushed over to me and welcomed me in. He explained that everyone had their doors closed to keep the air conditioning in but to please, open any door I wished!

One of my favorite places in Al Fahidi was the Majlis Gallery which, among many other things, featured works by a Syrian calligraphy painter, Khaled Al Saai whose work was mesmerizing. I would have loved to have become a true collector in that moment and purchased one of his pieces but at 120,000 AED (roughly $32,000 USD) that just wasn't going to happen!

I had set out for my day, not in search of Al Fahidi, but in search of the Dubai Coffee Museum, which I eventually did find but didn't spend much time there. It's more of an experiential coffee house where you can sit and have a conversation and learn about the history of coffee. I was getting hungry so I just browsed all of the old percolators and inhaled the fresh aroma of coffee beans and made my way to lunch!

We happened to be in Dubai during the Sikka Art Festival, which runs every March and had started the week we arrived. The Art Fair features live music, works of art, performances, and films by local Emirati artists. 

I loved exploring all of the galleries in the festival! The works of art were incredible!

We actually bought one of these pieces! Aren't they incredible?!

If you're in Al Fahidi,  you absolutely shouldn't miss the Arabian Tea House where I cooled off with Morrocan Mint Tea, a grilled halloumi sandwich, and out-of-this-world date cake.

Another spot not to be missed is the AlSerkal Cultural Foundation, an art gallery, cafe, workshop (where you can learn crafts from local artisans), bookstore, and shop, where you can cool off with some tea or camel's milk ice cream.

Exploring Al Fahidi was the absolute highlight of our Dubai trip and I couldn't say enough things about how much I loved this area! I think I could go back to Dubai a dozen more times and never tire of all of the sights and sounds in this wonderful area!

If you go to Dubai, definitely prioritize this spot and come back and tell me all about it!

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