Visit Dubai’s oldest building

There was a time when Dubai wasn’t driven by its oil fields. Back when the city’s economy was built on pearl fishing and trade the locals needed protecting from neighbouring tribes. So in 1787 the Al-Fahidi Fort was built.

The walls were built from coral and shells cemented together with lime, and they’re still standing today. Other things have changed a bit though. You won’t find any marauding tribes these days, and over the years the fort has served as a ruler’s residence and a government centre. Now it’s home to the Dubai Museum.

Life-size history

Want to see what life was like before oil was discovered? You’ll want to visit the museum. There are lots of life-size dioramas showing you how the locals once lived in this emirate. You’ll be able to set foot on a dhow, walk through a souk and look inside a traditional Bedouin tent.

A house with a difference

In the central courtyard at the Al Fahidi Fort & Dubai Museum stands an Arish. This is a traditional summer house, made from woven palm fronds. You can go inside and see the household objects people would have used long ago. And make sure to check out the wind tower design. It generated natural air conditioning, centuries before electricity.

Other interesting facts about Al Fahidi Fort & Dubai Museum

  • The Fort has served as a prison in the past
  • The Dubai Museum features a diorama on an archaeological site from 3000 BC
  • Towers stand at 3 corners of the Al Fahidi Fort
  • Around 1 million people visit the museum every year