Al Fahidi

Al Fahidi is one of Dubai’s most picturesque heritage sites. The area was built in the late 19th century by Persian merchants attracted to the city by its relaxed trade tariffs. It is also known as the Bastakia Quarter (named after Bastak, a town in southern Iran).

Gift shop in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai
Gift shop in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

In the 1980s the area was due to be demolished. Intervention by Prince Charles during a visit saved it from this fate. It is now a conservation area.

The buildings here are now home to a variety of museums, cultural centres, galleries, and restaurants. They are linked by a network of narrow alleyways (sikkas). Windtowers (barjeels) are a prominent feature; an early but effective form of air-conditioning.

Sikka (alleyway) in Al Fadidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai
Sikka (alleyway) in Al Fadidi Historical Neighbourhood

Tourist Attractions and Things To Do

Al Fahidi Fort dates back to the late 18th century and is thought to be the oldest building in Dubai. It now houses the Dubai Museum. Exhibits and artefacts here tell the history of Dubai.

Tourists at the Dubai Museum
Tourists at the Dubai Museum

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is an educational centre based in Al Fahidi. It hosts a range of activities including talks, cultural breakfasts, tours of Al Fahidi, and visits to the Jumeirah Mosque.

Other attractions include the Coins Museum (displays of historic coins from all over the Middle East) and the Coffee Museum (hundreds of antique coffee machines from around the globe).


The Textile Souk (aka Old Souk/Bur Dubai Souk) is a traditional Arab market selling fabrics, clothes, souvenirs, and gifts.

Art Galleries include the Majlis Gallery, XVA Gallery, and the Alserkal Cultural Foundation.

Meena Bazaar is the colloquial name for the area south of the Textile Souk. It is popular with Dubai’s huge Indian and Pakistani expatriate community. Its streets are lined with cheap cafes, currency exchanges, and shops selling jewellery, food, clothing, textiles, groceries, and electronics.

Junction of Al Fahidi Street and Al Esbij Street, Meena Bazaar, Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai
Junction of Al Fahidi Street and Al Esbij Street, Meena Bazaar

City Centre Al Shindagha is a modern mall on the western side of Al Fahidi.


Hotels and places to stay in and around Al Fahidi include:

  • Ascot Hotel
  • New Penninsula Hotel
  • Gateway Hotel
  • York International Hotel
  • Hyde Park Hotel
  • Grand Nova Hotel
  • Howard Johnson Bur Dubai
  • Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa


The list was last updated on Sunday 4th of October 2020.

Al Ustad Special KababAl Mussallah Road
Bur Dubai
Iranian$Legendary Iranian restaurant. One of the best budget restaurants in Dubai. Founded in 1978. Aka Special Ostadi Restaurant.
[Trip Advisor]
Arabian Tea HouseAl Fahidi Street
Bur Dubai
Arabic$$Outdoor cafe in Bur Dubai. Relaxed courtyard setting with tables shaded by canopies. Offers more than 100 varieties of tea from all corners of the globe. Food menu includes Arabic breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, and BBQ dishes.
[Trip Advisor]
Karachi DarbarAl Nahdha Street
Bur Dubai
Indian, Pakistani, Chinese$Cheap restaurant offering a variety of Pakistani, Indian, and Chinese dishes.
[Trip Advisor]
Sind PunjabA Street
Bur Dubai
Indian$Hole-in-the-wall restaurant established in 1977. Offers authentic Punjabi cuisine. Great butter chicken. Located in Meena Bazaar.
[Trip Advisor]
XVA CafeXVA Art Hotel
Bur Dubai
Arabic, Vegetarian$$Courtyard restaurant at the XVA Art Hotel. Peaceful atmosphere. Offers vegetarian Arabic dishes.
[Trip Advisor]

Transport and Location

Al Fahidi is a neighbourhood in Bur Dubai, just south of the Dubai Creek. It is easily reached by Metro. Sharaf DG Metro Station lies at the south-eastern corner while Al Ghubaiba Metro Station is on the western side of the area. Both stations are on the Green Line.

Al Ghubaiba Bus Station is one of the main bus stations in Dubai. Buses leave from here for most areas of the city.

Al Fahidi can also be reached by abra. Boats leave Bur Dubai Abra Station and Dubai Old Souk Abra Station for Deira.

Al Seef lies immediately east of Al Fahidi. This waterfront destination offers even more restaurants, shops, and things to do.


Tourist attractions, hotels, transport links and more can be seen on the map below.