Heritage and Diving Village
Dubai’s Heritage and Diving Village may look fake and touristy, but it provides about as close a glimpse as you will get of the days when pearl-trading and smuggling were the tiny emirate’s main revenues. The centre’s flat, sand-coloured houses with traditional bastikiya (wind-towers) provide startling contrast to the ultra-modern buildings along Dubai Creek.
The Heritage Village focuses on the UAE’s maritime past, trading activities and local history. There are several traditional shops, handicraft stores and exhibitions—you can also ride a camel. The Diving Village is a motley collection of pearl-diving artefacts and pictures of Dubai’s pearl divers and marine life. Some of the black and white photos are interesting, reflecting the tough life that many divers endured before scuba diving was invented.
The Heritage Village is located near the mouth of Dubai Creek, the 14km stretch of water that separates the two parts of Dubai into Deira and Bur Dubai. Here visitors can look back in time and experience some of Dubai’s heritage, where traditional potters and weavers work and display their handicrafts. Abras (traditional wooden boats) cross the Creek, providing a delightful and scenic trip across the water. The Diving Village forms part of an ambitious plan to turn the entire Shindagha area into a cultural microcosm, recreating life in Dubai as it was in days gone by when pearl diving and fishing were central to Dubai’s economy and Dubai Creek became a central hub for trade in the region.
A traditional heritage village, located near the mouth of the Creek, has been created where potters and weavers display their crafts. Here the visitor can look back in time and experience some of Dubai’s heritage. The Diving Village forms part of an ambitious plan to turn the entire Shindagha area into a cultural microcosm, recreating life in Dubai as it was in days gone by.
The village provides a glimpse of Dubai’s traditional culture and lifestyle. The village features reconstructions of Dubai’s maritime past. Displays include a tented bedouin village with traditional weapons, chests and household utensils. Shops sell handicrafts and camel and donkey rides are sometimes available. Folk dance and music performances are staged from time to time. The village boasts a number of cafeterias and a seafood restaurant.
Pearl diving, one of the oldest professions in the region, existed almost six to seven thousand years back. A pearl diving ship carried 10-60 people on board for an expedition. The team comprised a captain (Nokhaza), some divers, seeb, and other staff. The diver often risked his life to gather pearl studded oysters from the sea bed. He used to dive deep for more than two minutes to collect a handful of oysters. The season lasted only for six months starting from April because the Gulf waters during this season were warm and safe.
An enjoyable, interactive look at Dubai ’s past. Both are found on the Creek. The diving village features displays on pearl diving, as well as scale models of dhows and pearling boats. The heritage village recreates a Bedouin settlement, complete with homes made from barasti (dried palm leaves tied together) and mud. You can also enjoy pottery and weaving workshops as well as visiting a traditional coffee house. A small souk sells a mixture of traditional Bedouin handcrafts and imported items.
A sort of time warp meets craft fair, the Dubai Heritage & Diving Village is a great place to see the more traditional aspects of Dubai life that are missing from the modern city. The Village is ideal for uncovering artifacts unlike anyplace else in the world, and to pick up a unique Dubai bowl or basket.
Saturday to Thursday: 8am - 10pm daily
Friday: 8am - 11am and 4pm - 10pm
Activities Timings: 9pm - 12pm.
No entrance fees.
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