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Sites in Dubai

The Dubai Museum
353-1862
8:30am-8:30pm Sat-Thurs. 3-9 Friday
Admission charged.
Bus 19
English and Arabic descriptions on all displays.
Al-Fahidi Fort, built in 1800, is home to the Dubai Museum, and is thought to be Dubai's oldest building. In the past the fort was used to defend the town from warlike neighboring tribes. The walls of the fort are built from coral and shell pieces from the sea, and are cemented together with lime. Wooden poles called handel support the upper floor, and the ceiling is made of palm fronds, mud and plaster. Inside, a large section is devoted to musical instruments, with displays of drums, flutes, lyres, bagpipes made of goatskin and other locally-made instruments used in performances on festive occasions. There is also a re-creation of a typical home and school of the 1950's. Additionally, there is an interactive display of the flora and fauna of the UAE, and findings from the archeological sites (950-550 BC).

Narish Khyma
Situated close to the Museum is a typical Arab summer house, with an interesting collection of local boats. These include a replica of the famous abra -- the ferry boats used for transporting passengers across Dubai's river creek.

Dubai Creek:
Dubai's waterfront epitomizes the city's personality. The best way to see the trading port is from the water. You can book a cruise or hire an abra (small boat) and ask the captain to take you to Al-Maktoum bridge and back. Also take time to walk around the dhow wharf on the Deira side of Dubai Creek, to the west of the abra dock. Dhows bound for ports from Kuwait to Bombay dock there to unload .

Grand Mosque:
The Grand Mosque in Bur Dubai is home to the city's tallest minaret. It was built in the 1990s in the style of the Grand Mosque, which dated from 1900 but was demolished to make way for another mosque in 1960. The new Grand Mosque's sand-colored walls and wooden shutters blend perfectly with the surrounding old quarter of Bur Dubai. Jumeira Mosque, is known for its size and elaborate design. The best time to see it is at night, when it is spectacularly lit up.

The stunning Iranian Mosque has incredibly detailed blue mosaic work typical of Persian building design. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter mosques in the UAE. Next door, the Heritage and Diving Villages have displays on pearl diving and dhow building, two of old Dubai's economic mainstays. Another area re-creates traditional Bedouin and coastal village life, complete with barasti (Persian homes), a traditional coffeehouse and a small souq where you can buy freshly made dosa (a flat, grilled bread). A museum with items from nearby archaeological sites is also interesting.

Jumeira Archaeological Site:
The largest and perhaps most significant archaeological site in the UAE, Jumeira dates to the 6th century AD. The settlement is particularly interesting because it straddles the pre-Islamic and Islamic eras. Today, surrounded by shopping centers plying the goods of modern-day Dubai's trade, this settlement was once a caravan station along a trade route linking Iraq to northern Oman. Excavations have unearthed a series of stone walls that surrounded a seven-shop souq and a storage facility. Several homes, what is believed to be a governor's palace and a number of other structures can be viewed from behind a fence. If someone is working, you may be able to talk your way in. Relics, including glazed pottery, copper and iron items, glassware, and coins from the dig are on display at the museum for the Heritage and Diving Villages.

Jumeira Beach Park:
This lovely park fronts Jumeira Beach and a walk on the grass, irrigated at great public expense, is a real treat. There is a children's play area, barbecue pits, picnic tables, walkways and kiosks. The long stretch of beach is clean and lined with shady palm trees. Lifeguards are on duty. The park is usually open to all, but Saturday and Monday are reserved for women and children only. This is a good option for women who are hoping for a vacation tan, but don't want to pay for a hotel beach club or go to a public beach.

Dhow Ship Building Yard:
On Dubai Creek waterfront about 1km south of Al-Gharhoud Bridge in the Jaddaf district, there's a marina where huge dhows are built in the traditional style. This means that the planks are curved and placed one on top of the other, and then the frame is fitted on the inside (in the West, this is generally done the other way around. They are built by hand using basic tools and resilient teak and shesham woods, and are incredibly sturdy. One concession to modern shipbuilding is adding an engine in addition to (or instead of) traditional sails.

Hatta Rock Pools:
Hatta, an enclave of Dubai nestled in the Hajar Mountains, is a great weekend getaway. The main attractions are its relatively cool, dry climate, the mountain scenery, and the magnificent Hatta rock pools. It is an amazing experience to swim through the narrow rock corridors of this miniature canyon with its roaring year-round waterfalls.

Dubai Zoo:
Summer: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Winter:10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tuesdays: Closed.
Located in Jumeirah opposite Jumeirah beach, it is surrounded by lush green trees and is the greenest spot in the suburbs. The entrance is from the Jumeirah road. Ample car parking is available both in the front and rear side of the Zoo. It covers a total area of 1.75 hectares providing spacious habitats for its occupants. Mammals: There are nearly 248 different mammals. Gorilla, Foxes, Hyenas, Pumas, Lions, Jaguars, Chimpanzees, Baboons, Monkeys, Deer, Bears, Porcupines, Giraffes and Sheep are some of the mammals in the Zoo. Birds: These feathered friends range from tiny budgerigars to tall ostriches, golden eagles to parrots. Reptiles: almost 403 reptilian specimens are exhibited for the visitors. Endangered Species: the Zoo also protects and conserves endangered animals including Barbary-Sheep, Waterbucks, Siberian and Bengal Tigers, Arabian Wolves and wildcats

Creek Park:
Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Thursdays, Fridays and Holidays: 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: Ladies and Children only.
This modern and beautiful green park is situated on the west shore of Dubai's historical focal point, Dubai Creek. This park extends for 2.6 km between Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud bridges covering a total area of 96 hectares. A variety of facilities for children and adults are available. The highlights are a complete golf course and a children's games area. The park also has 14 picnic areas and a large amphitheater that can accommodate 5000 people.

Safa Park:
Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Thursdays, Fridays and Holidays: 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Tuesdays: Ladies and Children only
On the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway near the second interchange, this park is one of the premier recreational spots of Dubai. Rectangular in shape and easily accessible, this park covers a total area of 64 hectares. The park has an air-conditioned hall containing electronic games. There are restaurants and a playground for children. The park also has many other outdoor sports activities such as football, volleyball, basketball, tennis and a modern track for running or jogging. Ladies and children can enjoy privacy in a special garden reserved for them. Children love the maze and the games provided. The 21 covered barbecue sites and benches makes the setting complete with fun, games and food.

Jumeirah Beach Park:
Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Thursdays and Public Holidays: 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays: Ladies and Children only.
Located in Jumeirah, along the sea shore bordering the Indian Ocean. The park extends over a total area of 13 hectares. The park attracts all ages because of its ideal location and variety of recreational activities, particularly during the summer. There are special areas designated for picnics, and the beautiful surroundings provide for relaxing and enjoyable meals. The park also has an Amphitheater which offers dramatic and musical entertainment. The Children's Playground is ideal for children of all ages. There are also volleyball courts.

Al Mamzar Beach Park:
Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Thursdays and Holidays: 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: Ladies and Children only.
Situated on the north-west coast of Dubai, to the north of Al Hamriya port, the park extends over an area of 99 hectares making it one of the largest parks in Dubai. The beach has modern lifeguard stations, changing rooms and beach chalets. There are swimming pools and a children's playground. There are also numerous picnic areas with grills, chairs and umbrellas. The large Amphitheater hosts evening programs. An observation tower offers a scenic view of the whole park.

Shaikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House:
On Al-Shindagha road in Bur Dubai.
7:30am-9:30pm Sat-Thurs. 3-9:30pm Friday.
Admission charged.
This imposing building distinguished by its four-elegant wind-towers, stands along the famous Creek of Bur Dubai. It was built in 1896 and was the residence of the grandfather of the present ruler. Shaikh Saeed house is built around a large courtyard in the style of residences of the olden days, in phases, over a number of years. It is partly single, and partly two-storied, comprising a large number of rooms, verandas and bathrooms, divided into independent family units.. The building is now illuminated in the night with floodlights, and stands as a reminder of Dubai's rich architectural heritage and culture. The house has been converted into a museum of Historical Photographs and documents of the Emirate of Dubai.

Al Bastakia Area:
Bus 19
Al Bastakia Area in Bur Dubai dates back to the early 1900s, and occupies the eastern section of the old town along the Creek, extending in a southerly direction. These houses were once the homes of wealthy Persian merchants. Most came from te Bastak District in southern Iran. The area has always fascinated visitors to Dubai and artists, who are impressed by the elegant wind-towers, gypsum decorations and woodwork, and the lanes that meander through the district. The wind towers provided relief from the desert sun and high humidity.

Al Ahmadiya School:
Take the bus to the Public Library and walk the short distance to the museum.
Al Ahmadiya School was established by the late Shaikh Ahmed bin Dalmouk, for whom the school was named, in 1912. It was the earliest regular school in the Emirate of Dubai where instruction was given by some of the leading teachers of the day, and many distinguished scholars and dignitaries received their education. The school is located in the center of the residential Al Rass area of Deira, which was a convenient location for the children of the elite, and traders, who resided there. The school has been restored to its original structure and has been converted to a Museum of Education. It opened on March 7, 2000.

Shopping:

Souqs of Deira
Souqs, Arabic open-air markets, have long been part of Dubai society. They open for business in the early morning and between 5 and 8pm. The Deira Covered Souq offers textiles, spices, kitchen wares, clothes and henna (used by Arab women to mark the hands and feet with painted patterns). The Spice Souq, also known as the Deira Old Souq sells trinkets, clothing, rugs and glassware. The overflowing bags of seasonings are concentrated at the eastern end, closest to Dubai Creek. Gold Souq, with its intricate wooden lattice archway and windows filled with glittering gold, attracts buyers from throughout the world. Any type of gold jewelry, in any color can be yours for a price. The Perfume Souq, entices the shopper with European designer fragrances and strong, spicy Arabic scents. The Electronics Souq sells discounted electronic items. The Dubai Souq, in Bur Dubai, has been beautifully rebuilt to appeal to tourists, but sells mostly items appreciated by the Indo-Pakistani expatriate community.

The Shopping Malls In Dubai

Bur Juman Centre
Close to the Trade Centre Road and Bank Street.
Weekdays- 10 am - 10pm; Friday - 1pm to 10 pm
Three shopping levels of boutiques and shops offering a handsome choice of designer products. Even better is the elegant Food Court on the top level, where you can rest your tired feet after hours of shopping. Go for the fast food or an elaborate meal or if you'd like to stop at coffee or an ice cream cone, they are available too.

Lamcy Plaza
Opposite American Hospital
Saturday to Wednesday- 10 am to 10 pm;
Thursday & Friday- 10 am to 10.30 pm;
Food Court and Food Hall open until midnight.
Big stuffed birds move around to amuse children. There is an electronic clown who goes up and down a pole and Spider man climbing up a wall. Designer clothes, women's wear, jewelry, gifts, books, music, etc. The Food Court on the ground level serves delicacies from 17 countries around the world. Movie theater also.

Wafi Shopping Mall
Off Oud Metha Road, near Dubai Electricity and Water Authority building.
10 am to 10 pm
Wafi in Arabic literally means "to satisfy everything you want." For a more upmarket clientele, this extended mall has a comprehensive range of Europeans brand names at its boutiques and shops. The immense entertainment arcades keep everyone enthralled.

Al Ghurair Retail City
Location : Al Riqqa Street
10 am to midnight; Friday mornings closed.
One of the oldest malls in Dubai, this large complex has been totally renovated and revamped and renamed as the Al Ghurair Retail City. You will find more than 100 upmarket stores including supermarkets, audio and video entertainment, perfumes, electronics, appliances, books, stationery, clothing and luggage stores. Fast Food outlets and ice cream parlours are spread throughout the mall. A multi-level car park building is next to the Retail City.

Deira City Centre:
Opposite the Creek Golf and Yacht Club on Beniyas Road.
Weekdays- 10 am to midnight; Friday - 2 pm to midnight.
At the Deira City Centre, the crowds are there every day of the week. It's main attraction is Carrefour (formerly Continent), the mall's hypermarket and IKEA, the comprehensive furniture store. At Carrefour, there is always a sale.

The mall also houses leading names in fashion. Spread over two shopping floors, it offers covered parking for 2,000 cars. Cavernous anchor stores stock a vast range of furniture, furnishings, clothing, cosmetics, perfumes and shoes. A number of specialty stores deal in DIY, mobile phones, watches, sports gear and gifts. A vast entertainment complex offers the latest video games, mini golf, and even a train ride.

Hamarain Centre
Abu Baker Al Siddique Road
Weekdays- 10 am to 10 pm
Friday - 4.30 pm to 10 pm
Home to leading brand names in fashion, perfumes, cosmetics, jewelry, eye wear, sports goods and casual wear, the mall has an exclusive ambience. It also has a food court that offers a wide range of delectable Arabic, Chinese, Indian, Lebanese and Thai cuisine.

Al Mulla Plaza
Al Ghusais
Weekdays- 10 am to 10 pm
Friday - 4.30 pm to 10 pm
At the Al Mulla Plaza, there's always a fair that offers clothes and other goodies at amazing discounts. This is where you are likely to discover those interesting odds and ends that you simply cannot find at malls that offer only exclusive leading brand names. At the Al Mulla Plaza, you will also find book shops that sell only Arabic literature. A mall frequented by the local crowd.

Al Bustan Centre
Location- Al Ghusais
Weekdays- 10 am to 10 pm
Friday - 4.30 pm to 10 pm
A favorite among both locals and foreigners, Al Bustan Centre again has several boutiques and shops that sell leading brands. There is, however, one place at the Al Bustan that is never empty and where you'll probably have to queue up. Fantasy Kingdom pampers your child and no parent would pass up an opportunity to take their child to this treat on a Friday evening.

The Oasis Centre
Location- Sheikh Zayed Road
Weekdays- 10 am to 10 pm
Friday - 2 pm to 10 pm
The Oasis Center on Sheikh Zayed Road was launched in April 1999 with a built area of 320,000 sq ft. The Centre is home for popular outlets such as Baby Shop, Home Center, Splash, Shoe Mart, Lifestyle, MFI and a newly opened 25,000 sq ft supermarket. Shopping at the Oasis Center is all about value for money with a wide range of quality products available at reasonable prices. The Oasis Center also caters to the need of The Mall has Fun City; a family entertainment center spread over 10,000 sq ft that offers the latest rides and games. There is a constant effort to ensure that the mall always maintains a very high standard of cleanliness.

Lulu Hyper Market
Location- Al Ghusais
Weekdays- 10 am to 10 pm
Friday - 2 pm to 10 pm
Opened in recent years, Lulu Hypermarket has become a big hit with shoppers.


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