Begin with Dubai hotel pickup, and travel by air-conditioned vehicle toward your first stop, Dubai Heritage Village.
On route, hear about Dubai’s past from your guide, a local with close family ties to the city. Learn how this vibrant metropolis grew from a trading port after the oil boom of the mid-20th century. Hear how the oldest districts around Dubai Creek (Al Khor) provide a window into its past and Bedouin heritage, and include areas such as Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai, Shindagha and Deira — all focal points on your tour.
Head inside the Heritage Village, and explore the recreations of traditional local life. Learn about Dubai’s pearl diving trade, and stroll around the houses, souks and workshops to view Emirati architecture and crafts like pottery and weaving. You may also see locals making traditional breads such as raqaq, khameer and chebab, and brewing coffee for a majlis (social gathering).
Next, visit Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, a residence of the Al Maktoum ruling family until 1958. Walk around here and then stroll through one of Dubai’s oldest marketplaces - the Textile Souk. See the fabric stalls and view the area's mudbrick houses, courtyards and wind towers. Learn how the latter circulated cool breezes around the interiors, providing simple but effective air conditioning.
Then, ride an abra across Dubai Creek to the Spice Souk. Delve into the bustling lanes and absorb the scents and colors of the stacks of spices, herbs and dried fruits.
After learning all about Dubai’s old culture, finish at a beautiful heritage guesthouse set around a cool, open courtyard. Admire the authentic architecture, and savor a traditional Emirati lunch as you chat about your discoveries with your fellow travelers and guide.
Your tour finishes with a hotel drop-off.