The Dubai Historical District conducted the first heritage tour of the historical area of Khor Dubai, also known as Dubai Creek, for visitors with trained Emirati guides.
Aptly called ‘Tales from the Past’, the heritage tour highlights the importance of Dubai’s historical and culturally rich areas.
The Dubai Historical District (DHD) Rejuvenation Executive Committee comprising of the Dubai Municipality, Dubai Tourism, and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (DCAA), along with Desert Gate, introduced the tours as part of UAE’s 44th National Day celebrations.
The initiative complements the plan adopted in 2015 to enhance and renovate Khor Dubai and other historical neighbourhoods of Al Shindagha, Bur Dubai, Al Fahidi, and Deira, showcasing the Emirate’s heritage, specifically in the fields of trade, handicrafts, and pearl diving among many others
Covering 1.5sqkms, the development will be based on five pillars of tradition, heritage, trade, community and place making – ensuring the original fabric of the area is preserved and made easy for visitors to navigate.
Khor Dubai will have pedestrian spaces where historical stories will be displayed on smart application platforms along with monuments that depict stories of the past, brought to life by the tour guides.
“Khor Dubai has played an intrinsic role in the fortunes of Dubai for centuries.
“The rejuvenation project has started bearing fruit with the first fully authentic heritage tour initiative having been completed,” said Obaid Salem Al-Shamsi, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality, Chairman of DHD Rejuvenation Executive Committee.
The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in cooperation with the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, trains and licenses Emirati tour guides through a specially created ‘Tour Guide Certification Program’.
The initiative not only provides local talents with the opportunity to showcase their skills but also helps them introduce visitors to the UAE’s heritage to enrich their knowledge and experience.
The tour further supports in bridging the communication gap with other cultures from all around the world and draw a clear and concise image of what it means to be Emirati.
Yousuf Ahmad Lootah, Executive Director of Tourism Development and Investments at Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and member of DHD Rejuvenation Executive Committee said, “Dubai Tourism plays a vital role in building the right foundations and means to promote the national identity and culture of the UAE, as well as to support cultural and artistic tourism. We are providing the tour guides with all the necessary heritage and historical information to help them showcase the evolution of the Emirate. We encourage all our travel partners to make the historical areas part of their itinerary by providing guided tours led by Nationals.”
Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Member of DHD Rejuvenation Executive Committee further stated, “The authority worked on launching this pioneering project after studying relevant aspects and potential future impacts on the empowerment of cultural tourism in the UAE, alongside responding to the requirements of its key partners.
They were keen to provide programmes that were designed to ensure the sustainable development of cultural tourism in Dubai, and in particular, to promote the empowerment of the UAE cultural guides as they represent the link between the ancient history of the city and its civilization, and to contribute significantly toward the enrichment of visitors’ trips through direct interaction during the visits to cultural destinations and archeological sites in Dubai.”
The tour “Tales from the Past” can be booked through Desert Gate’s online portal at dubaidesertgate.com
The tour starts from the heritage area of Al Shindagha next to Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al-Maktoum House where one can trace Dubai’s roots, when it was a pearling village.
It also includes a visit to numerous historically significant areas that showcase the art of traditional architecture, education, commerce and social life.
The tour covers numerous activities that will keep the visitors engaged with accurate information and facts about the past and will enable them to interact with authentic elements of UAE’s Heritage ensuring strong understanding of the past.