Guest Blogger Series: Introducing… Rebecca Haddad

We conduct maintain the pleasance of introducing Rebecca Haddad tweeting @bechaddad as our invitee blogger today. Here, expat, Rebecca, shares her tips for discovering the existent Dubai…

No doubtfulness when yous listen about Dubai, the give-and-take calls to heed images of gleaming drinking glass towers, sophisticated beach clubs, larger-than-life malls together with man-made islands, all of which sprouted from the exotic desert landscape at tape speed. With architectural globe records seemingly broken hither every month, a tourist volition conduct maintain to create a chip of earthworks to detect the ‘real’ Dubai. It’s all equally good tardily to acquire swept upwards inwards the modern glamour to realise that but some xl years ago, Dubai was zip to a greater extent than than a small-scale angling hamlet amongst history dating dorsum a few centuries. Since arriving inwards ‘The Sandpit’ inwards Apr this year, I conduct maintain made it my mission to detect the hidden gems that however demo prove of what was. Here are my move past times things to create together with places to acquire to soak upwards truthful Emirati civilization (without visiting a unmarried mall, promise).

Tour the old quarter
Dubai’s saltwater creek was the offset short town site for the Bani Yas tribe, who arrived to the surface area inwards the 19th century. The creek rapidly became a fundamental port for dhows (traditional wooden boats) from Republic of Republic of India together with Africa, equally was the site of a flourishing pearl farming manufacture inwards the early on 20th century. Although the banks are straightaway dwelling to many move past times hotels, yous tin however grab glimpses of what life was. Pay a watch to the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for cultural agreement – there, yous tin taste a repast inwards a traditional air current tower house, hosted past times an Emirati, or embark on a guided tour of the historic district of Al Fahidi, straightaway a tourist hamlet of galleries, restaurants together with the iconic air current tower houses that defined Dubai’s skyline long earlier the Burj Al Arab together with Burj Khalifa.

Bargain similar a local
Take a dhow ride across Dubai Creek to Deira, Dubai’s old principal commercial hub. The surface area is famous for its historic souqs, all of which actually come upwards live on inwards the evening. The most pop of these are the spice together with gilt souks, where yous tin engage inwards some spirited bargaining together with selection upwards some fabulous souvenirs. You’ll detect enough of downloadable walking tour maps online, which volition accept yous through winding narrow streets past times Heritage House, an representative of a 19th-century pearl merchant’s residence, together with i of Dubai’s oldest schools, Al Ahmadiya.

Art attack
Of course, Emirati culture isn’t but institute past times exploring the city’s past. Dubai’s industrial surface area of Al Quoz has evolved into the city’s fine art quarter, amongst many regional galleries taking upwards residence inwards the area’s warehouses. Art Sawa together with Ayyam Gallery are but 2 spaces exhibiting industrial plant from contemporary artists from around the Middle East together with Africa.

Dine on local cuisine
Given the myriad cultures that brand upwards Dubai’s public (some eighty per cent of the population is expat), yous tin live on certain to detect eateries specialising inwards whatever together with every type of cuisine of the world. But where to detect the authentic, Emirati stuff? Al Fanar Restaurant together with Café inwards Dubai Festival City is a cracking house to start. There, yous tin tuck inwards succulent grill meats together with hearty rice dishes. When you’ve eaten to bursting point, in that location are enough of shisha bars nearby where yous tin detect a cushion, sit down dorsum together with air current downwards amongst the locals.

About the author

Earlier this year, Rebecca Haddad decided to swap the Sun inwards Sydney for the sand inwards Dubai. She's currently on several missions: to uncovering Emirati culture, to larn Standard Arabic together with to detect the best shish taouk inwards the Middle East. You tin read her ramblings on life equally an expat at and follow her at @bechaddad.


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