Discovering The Old Town Of Dubai

October 23, 2015

Dubai market travel visit old town market museumDubai market travel visit old town market museumDubai market travel visit old town market museum
Dubai market travel visit old town market museum

Dubai market travel visit old town market museumDubai is one of those places that has a very distinct reputation; you’re not going for the culture, the history or the scenery, you’re going for the shopping, the money and the ritzy hotels. I mean, what is there to actually do apart from ogle at the money splashed around? At least, that’s what I thought before I went. As we only had a few days, I assumed our time would be spent mostly taking in the excessive new builds.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find pockets of history; the museum and the covered markets in the old part of town. Of course, there are a huge number of flashy hotels and massive skyscrapers as well! It’s definitely an unusual place; the people are a rough mix of expats, young Arabs working in hospitality and recent graduates working in the city. Just 11% of the population are native to the country. Can you imagine the UK with just 11% of the population being British? It is crazy.


The Old Town

I really loved the old town, where we got around via water taxi (as shown in the pictures) and I especially enjoyed Dubai Museum which is housed in the old fort. It is astonishing to think the fort was at one point the capitals main building for defence: a huge fixture on an otherwise empty landscape. Today it is not even the most notable building on that street- we actually walked past it and had to double back as it is surrounded by skyscrapers.

Dubai has undergone MASSIVE growth in the last century, with the population increasing from 3000 at the turn of the century to 2 million in 2013. As anybody who has been will tell you, building seems to be constantly ongoing with a development site every which way you turn. It was really bizarre to think about what it must have been like to watch this huge modern city spring up around you in an otherwise very empty part of the desert. Have you been to Dubai, and if so, what did you think?

Dubai market travel visit old town market museumDubai market travel visit old town market museumDubai market travel visit old town market museumDubai market travel visit old town market museum
Dubai market travel visit old town market museumDubai market travel visit old town market museum
Dubai market travel visit old town market museum

21 responses to “Discovering The Old Town Of Dubai”

  1. gisosi03 says:

    Interesting take on Dubai. I have never personally visited and to be honest it isn’t at the top of my list. And after reading this article in the daily telegraph a few days ago, I was even more sure that I wouldn’t want to visit. I just saw yours and I like your beautiful story but I also felt strongly about sharing this with you. Please take a look at another side of Dubai:- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/11936981/Who-in-their-right-mind-would-want-to-visit-Dubai.html

    • tapeparade says:

      Thanks for sharing this. I have to say, I’d take anything Alex Proud says with a pinch of salt and he makes a few points about the poor human rights record in Dubai but it’s lazy to solely attribute that to Dubai when there are a lot of countries that are worse. That said I have no bias toward Dubai and if somebody doesn’t want to go there then it’s fine. I wouldn’t say I had a beautiful story from visiting – but I did enjoy myself and was interested to learn a bit more about the place in the few days I was there. But it’s not somewhere I would choose to visit again – there are a lot of other places I’d sooner experience.

  2. ramexa says:

    Stunning photos! And Dubai is certainly an amazing place! 🙂

  3. Rantasalot says:

    Kiitos, oli mukavaa vierailla Dubaissa kanssasi. Kuvat ovat upeita. Thank you, it was very nice to visit Dubai by your text, these photos are geat.

  4. Interesting view there – we also got to the old town but really werent as captivated as you – check it out http://awanderingmemory.com/category/dubai-2/

  5. Monika says:

    That’s crazy! Only 11% are from there? I knew plenty of people went there for work but I didn’t realize exactly how many were expats and the like. I haven’t been but I’d definitely like to go check it out.

    -M
    http://www.violetroots.com

  6. I visited the Souks for the first time last week. Much love! 🙂

  7. Reshma says:

    I have never been to Dubai, but have always wanted to do a stop over on the way to India. Maybe some day… But I totally have the same picture in my mind… lots of shopping and huge skyscrapers. I can’t believe only 11% of the country is made up of natives. Looks like you had a great trip.

  8. simon gray says:

    i was offered a job there after i graduated, teaching creative music at the english school – but i declined it on the grounds that at the age of 22 i didn’t feel feel mature enough to go and live in another country for two years! it’s not a decision i regret, but i do from time to time wonder how my career might have gone had i taken it up.

    • tapeparade says:

      Wow, Simon that’s amazing! I haven’t been offered anything like that before but I can understand why you didn’t take it up. 22 is a very young age especially for a country with such a different culture. x

  9. Jane says:

    Dubai isn’t the top of my list of places to go to but it seems fascinating. It’s so crazy how quickly this city grew! It would be interesting to experience for sure.

  10. Hated Dubai, thought it was soulless and depressing. Only part I really liked was the old town- beautiful and felt like a ‘real’ place if that makes sense. Ended up cutting our time in Dubai short and going on an impromptu road trip around other parts of the UAE- which was amazing. Beautiful country and the part up by Oman (and up into Musandam Peninsular in Oman) was esp incredible.

  11. Kally says:

    Lovely photography! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  12. Jaina says:

    Beautiful photos. Timing of finding your blog, and this post, couldn’t be better. I’m off to Dubai for the weekend tomorrow. So I’ve been looking up things to do. It’s never been a place I’ve always wanted to visit, but it’s close by (Brit expat living in Bahrain) and perfect for a weekend getaway. Definitely want to go on a little boat trip in the creek.

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