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Itinerary to visit Historic City of Dubai

Updated on 03.06.2018

A blue mosque in old Dubai, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

It is on foot that it is best to visit Old Dubai. The sites are relatively concentrated, but with the heat, each step counts. We offer you an optimized itinerary that allows you to visit the old city of Dubai and all its main attractions in a few hours. The tour has some bonuses from our local expert.

Start with the Dubai Museum

Known to all taxi drivers, this is certainly the most convenient point of arrival. And before visiting historic Dubai and strolling through the souks, or even visiting other parts of the city, understanding its past will help to understand with more foresight its present.

Stroll around Bastakiya

When leaving the museum, join the main artery (Al Fahidi Road, 19th Street) and head east (left when you exit the museum behind you).

If you want to see a pretty blue faience mosque, make a hook taking the first road on the left, you will arrive on a small square acting as parking.

The entrance to Bastakiya district is about 300 meters from the Dubai Museum. The area is nice to visit day and night, with many cafes, restaurants and art galleries.

Walk on the quays and the souk to textiles

Exit the Bastakiya district from the North East and head for the docks. Then turn right and follow the bank towards West. You will see many traditional moored dhows offering buffet cruises.

Continuing on the pedestrian path you will enter the Al Khabeer textile souk. Cross it and find the docks a little further.

Cross the creek of Dubai by borrowing an abra

Arriving on the other bank, you can walk along the docks along Baniyas Road and observe the manual unloading of goods. Our article on Dubai Creek Dhows will give you more information.

The sites to visit in the northern part of Old Dubai

Cross the Baniyas road and rush into the spice souk on your left. Then take a street on the right and try to find your way in the narrow and deserted streets of the souk until you reach two major historical sites: the Heritage house and the school Al Ahmadiya.

Dubai Gold Souk

Then retrace your steps to Al Ras Road, which you will take turning left, then continue on this road direction East. When the street turns into a pedestrian walkway, it's because you've arrived at the entrance to the gold souk. By taking the first pedestrian way on the right you will reach another more general souk.

Other interesting sites

If you want to continue the tour, we suggest you come back to the boat station and cross the creek in the opposite direction, then walk along the docks on the other side until you reach the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoom House and the heritage village of Dubai which are interesting to visit at the end of the day.

Budget for the visit: 8 dirhams only

This tour will cost you 8AED per person in total, including the Dubai Museum Ticket, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, and the two abra crossings. All other sites mentioned are free.

Hotels in Old Dubai

The good hotels of Old Dubai are limited in number, with, rare in Dubai, a few Guest Houses. Our favorite guest house is XVA Art Hotel, located in the heart of Bastakiya district. For comfort and beautiful sunset views over Dubai Creek, we recommend the Sheraton Creek Dubai.

Map of the itinerary

It is possible to visit everything in a big half-day, but if you like to take your time and make poses, plan a whole day.

Map with the main tourist attractions in Old Dubai ©OpenStreetMap contributors