Our tour begins with a gentle stroll to the historic Alfahidi district, one of the oldest heritage sites in Dubai. As we journey through its narrow lanes we will start to discover more about what life was like here before the skyscrapers came.
Our first stop is a traditional Bedouin tent where we will share a coffee and chat with our Emeriti friend Abo and find out more about the life of the Bedouin people. We will meet Abo’s pet falcon who is treated with love and respect by his owner (falcons are no longer used for hunting in the UAE). The falcon is usually a willing accomplice in any souvenir photos you may wish to take.
At a neighbouring tent, we will learn more about the national dress of the country and take a look at some traditional abaya dresses and kandoura (the all-white robes worn by Arab men).
In the Islamic world, calligraphy is a highly revered art form. So, we will admire some beautiful artwork at the Calligraphy Museum before learning how to write your name in Arabic, fancy pen-in-hand.
Time for another drink and this time our coffee will come with a side of history as we visit the Coffee Museum to learn about local coffee customs. We will sample some delightful Arab blends in the cute café before moving on to soak up a little more culture before the shopping extravaganza commences.
The local art gallery we are visiting is nestled in a beautiful old Persian house, displaying many unique local ceramics, glassware, and sculptures as well as paintings and photography. The gallery resembles a typical home of the area, featuring a pretty courtyard with rooms all around it. Every room and wall are carefully curated with pieces of art and furniture, with works by both established and upcoming artists hanging side-by-side.
Time to indulge in Dubai’s favourite pastime now with a spot of shopping. Our first souk stop will be the vibrant textile souk, not far from the creek, where we will enter a world of multicoloured cashmere, fine silks, and the art of bartering for your treasures. The textile souk is very camera-friendly and well worth a visit, even if you have no desire to purchase a textile-themed souvenir to take home.
At the nearby Abra stop, we will take a water taxi to the other side of the creek where a delicious surprise awaits us. Luscious dates covered in creamy white chocolate made from camel milk, a local delicacy and a must-try while you are visiting the old town.
You will probably be able to smell our next stop before you see it. At the spice souk, we will learn about the different spices used in Arabic, Iranian, and Indian cuisine and we will, of course, stop to take some photos and shop if you wish.
Our final stop on our cultural and commercial journey will be the largest gold souk in the Middle East, a fascinating place that should be number one on every tourist’s itinerary. A feast for the eyes, the gold souk features incredibly lavish Arabic jewellery and dazzling displays of gold and other stones. Your guide will be on-hand to aid you in the bartering process should you wish to buy anything.
There are plenty of restaurants and street food vendors around this area, so if you are all shopped out, talk to your local guide, who can recommend the best places to stop for a quick bite.
We will end our whirlwind journey through the culture and exotic souks of Dubai at the Al Ras metro station. If you want any hints or tips on what else to do during your trip, be sure to quiz your guide before you go.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, cold water, Arabic coffee (or a cold drink for those who do not fancy coffee), Abra water taxi fare.
Exclusions: Food and additional drinks (there will be plenty of restaurants where you can stop to buy a shawarma if you wish), transportation to and from the meeting/end points, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Dress standard: Please wear comfortable shoes for walking and bring a hat or umbrella and sunscreen.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventures, you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child Policy: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.