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24 August, 2006

Ancient Dubai

"It was the Gulf's destiny to choose Dubai as its bride, with the Creek as her necklace."

One of the sandlands' best kept secrets is Dubai museum, tucked away near the traditional Bastikiya windtowers areas of Bur Dubai, in the restored Al Fahidi fort. It is a superb trip for tourists, new residents and longer-term expats alike.

The night-time desert exhibition, with shadowy Bedouin sitting around the glowing embers of a fire, is a must-see. As well as the archaeological exhibits, that date from several thousands of years BC. Some light is also shed on that mysterious ancient site in the middle of Jumeirah, fenced off from public access.

Interesting also to learn that the ancient Greeks called Dubai Creek the River Zara, and to see the many pre-Islamic, snake-shaped talismans found at Serpent Mountain in Al Qusais. Even more fascinating to learn there is (or was) a mountain at Al Qusais, which is mainly an industrial area today.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

offtopic but,

booohooooohooooo!!! :(:(

Your etisalad logo's gone

24 August, 2006 03:26  
Blogger Shaper85 said...

You're right, Dubai Museum is one of those hidden wonders in Dubai. I last went there about 10 years ago - I wonder if they've changed the exhibitions...

24 August, 2006 08:11  
Blogger trailingspouse said...

My favourite day out in Dubai . . . spend the morning in Bastakia (just wandering, or take the walking tour with the Sheikh Mo Centre), lunch in one of the courtyard cafes there (eg XVA or Basta Art Cafe), tour the museum, then at about 4pm walk through old souk to the abra station, abra across the Creek to souks on Deira side. You end up feeling you have actually spent a day in Arabia, rather than the Al Vegas this place is fast becoming.

24 August, 2006 08:53  
Blogger samuraisam said...

"It is a superb trip for tourists, new residents and longer-term expats alike."

It's also a prime example of "not enough fking parking"
Jesus. Last time I went there I almost ran out of the car to punch some woman who randomly walked into the middle of the road.

Otherwise I've always loved Dubai museum; the atmosphere of the place is quite amazing.

The best thing is that its from the dubai of yesterday, its nice and cheap to get in (i wonder if it still is /:)

24 August, 2006 08:54  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

I've never been. I might make the effort before I leave.

Then again, I'm a heathen farm boy from Wales who's been twice to St. Petersburg and has yet to go into the Hermitage, possibly the most magnificent museum on the world. Last time, I chose instead to drink beer on a floating bar.

Natural history, military, or science and engineering museums are an altogether different subject. I love them, and can spend hours in them. Sadly, there is none here.

24 August, 2006 09:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DUBAI IS STILL ANCIENT ! Look at their stupid blocking of skype, exploitation of Asian and Eastern Europeans, and other disturbing practices. Also the ridiculous hypocrisy that half it's citizens subscribe to...

Can't wait for the place to sink back into the sands from where it came and do the rest of the world a favour!

24 August, 2006 15:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people Etisacrap employs to monitor the internet.

The humorous Etisacrap logos did not last long. Do you think they had to sue photobucket or just threaten them with an oil embargo.

24 August, 2006 16:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the place to sink back into the sands from where it came and do the rest of the world a favour!

You know, if you're not actually living there, Dubai doesn't really make much of a dent on the goings on of the rest of the world. If you used to live there, it's actually comforting to know that the fairy tale still exists.

The Eatsalad logos are still around for us outside-UAE types. Has Photobucket been blocked?

24 August, 2006 19:34  
Blogger Joe said...

Am I the only one having trouble viewing this blog?

The right-hand sidebar covers part of the text of the posts...

24 August, 2006 19:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I just refreshed and logo has gone!

24 August, 2006 19:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears as though photobucket are the ones who are blocking this.

24 August, 2006 21:15  
Blogger Unknown said...

While I found the museum very informative and wonderfully air-conditioned, I actually found the life-like bedouins to be a little freaky. As I entered the exhibit, I almost tripped over one of them that was crouched over a fire (I think) and actually said "excuse me." The guy with the camel...eery. It did, in my opinion, give a nice overview of Dubai's history - something not easily seen in Dubai's modern buildings and backdrop.

24 August, 2006 23:19  
Blogger shansenta said...

I think Dubai Museum is one of the very few posts left with the Dubai Govt. to really retain the flavour that the city used to be! Last January I had my old-men came to visit me for the first time from India, and within a few days, they started coaxing me to let them return. They changed their minds once I took them to the Museum. Here at last they could really feel the Arabian "culture". I was particularly taken aback by one of the night exhibits - an iron-smith I guess - which is displayed so beautifully, that at a first glance I thought they must have put on a live model... so common in some select museums or exhibitions. The peral-divers section is also fabulous, and so is the archaeology section (even it didn't have very much to offer!).
An indeed, it is visually out of sight. Though 5 years in Dubai, I never really had time to check it out! I must have passed around it so many times before, and used to wonder "what are these tourists looking for in such a small museum!". However I was completely ashamed when the same museum was features in one of the local TV shows in India, and some friends wrote to me about it!! Partly I guess the reason lies in the way Dubai is advertised and "sold" to the media, to attract investments, property development, etc. etc.
I strongly feel that some of these last posts of Dubai should be "restored" to retain Dubai's warmth. Sharjah, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi I feel, are much ahead in restoring their cultural heritage, while Dubai 's heritage seems more of a "shoppers' paradise" than the "bride of Gulf".
I have some a couple of ameteur shots taken on my phone, which I wish to release for your readers... let me know how can I do it.

25 August, 2006 00:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see the photo article about the Dubai Museum in todays Khaleej Times?

Hmm, wonder where they got the idea from!

25 August, 2006 09:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Dubai Museum yesterday... it was ok but has anyone else noticed that during their lovely tv montage of all the highlights of dubai they show a brief shot of camel racing - complete with some of the youngest camel jockeys ever seen. Embarrassing.

27 August, 2006 05:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Tim Newman,
Just wanted to add, there are some great museums in Sharjah. I can vouch for the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum (complete with tiny little planetarium showing night skies over Sharjah and workshops on cryogenics), but haven't been to the Police Museum, the Archaeology Museum and the others. The Aviation Museum isn't too bad, I suppose, if you're into aircrafts and things. Either way, a great job by Sharjah, especially considering entrance is either free or a few dirhams.

27 August, 2006 07:45  
Blogger Nesa Simon David said...

@tim newman:
natural history? science? in dubai? are you kidding? these are anti-islamic concepts!

agree with you on all counts.. however you can bypass the etisalat's bollocks on skype by using Tor ... go to for more info.. however it can be a little technical

11 September, 2006 12:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was the Gulf's destiny to choose Dubai as its bride, with the Creek as her necklace." That is a great quote, where is that from? Does anyone know who the original the author is?

17 June, 2009 06:23  

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