The famous emirate of UAE, Dubai, is famous for its modern architectural splendor and the luxurious decors. One look at the city and it speaks of riches and ultra modern lifestyle. But nestled amongst the towering sky scrapers and modern architecture are the heritage sites which are well preserved and boasts of the rich history of the country. One of the heritage monuments is the Al Fahidi Fort.
The Al Fahidi Fort was built in 1787 and is considered as the oldest heritage site of Dubai. This fort was built for the safe keeping of the country from the attacks from the neighboring enemies and tribes. It also acted as a temporary abode for the ruling king, as a prison for the country’s offenders as well as a garrison. The entire monument was built in phases and covers an expansive area, now home to a set of galleries and a museum.
How to reach:
Dubai is well connected to the rest of the world through its international airport. The location can be reached from any part of the city via private or public transport. Bur Dubai houses the fort and the nearest metro station is Al Fahidi Station.
Al Fahidi Fort
Area: Al Fahidi Street,
Locality: Ali Bin Abi Thalib Street, Bur Dubai
Country: United Arab Emirates
Phone Number: +971-4353-1862
Best time for visit:
September to March are the best months for a visit as the temperatures are low and comfortable. The fort can be visited any point of the year, but summers get very hot. Since there is a lot of walking and exploring involved, it is best advisable to wear light cotton clothes and hats and carry sunglasses, water and sunscreen. Light woollen can be worn during winters. The fort remains open all days from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm, except Friday. For Friday the fort is open from 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Fort: The area of the fort is a square shaped piece of land and has three towers stationed at three corners. The entire structure was built in several phases and out of a mixture of mortar and coral rocks. Beyond the southern wall lies the ancient city remains. There is a lot to explore in the fort with its center hosting a traditional dhow or Arabian boat and the entrance guarded by two canons. The entrance to the fort is on the eastern side and one can see the nation’s flags fluttering high in the wind.
There are three halls in total, one of which is used for ticketing. The rest houses old arms and weapons from an ancient era. The center of the hall houses a miniature model of the city set in the 1820s and is a treat to watch the intricate designs. A video is on the reel constantly and ancient traditional musical instruments are set by its side. The centre courtyard houses numerous boats and cannons and a traditional house called Arish. The Arish is completely made of palm strands and is the exact replica of the ancient day houses which is complete with a kitchen, utensils. It also shows the science of cross ventilation used for air conditioning in the pre-electricity era.
The Dubai museum comprises of a set of galleries located in the south-western side of the fort. The galleries comprise of maps, video presentations, history of oil discovery, growing urban life and many other artifacts related to the country’s history. Life sized shops and occupations are depicted along with huge and numerous cabinets of archeological heritage. A model of a mosque is also present in one of the galleries along with dioramas of the desert, the sea and the city life.
More than an hour is required to explore the entire area. It is indeed a rewarding experience to seep in the culture and learn about the emirate’s ancient past. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as exploring involves a lot of strolling around.