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Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider

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دبي, United Arab Emirates
Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider

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Number of travelers
1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Overview

Many visitors miss Dubai’s older side, concentrating on its futuristic architecture and glitz. This half-day walking tour bucks the trend, showcasing the old residential and souk quarters. Browse Deira’s souks, ride a wooden ‘abra’ boat across Dubai Creek, and explore Al Bastakiya’s lanes and wind towered houses while learning about Emirati history and culture. A traditional Arabian lunch and entrance fees included.
  • Shop and stroll through Deira’s bustling spice, souvenir and gold souks
  • Lunch at a local restaurant and entrance fees included
  • Choice of morning or afternoon departure
  • Small group of 12 people or fewer
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Meal as per itinerary and bottled water in restaurant
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Soda/Pop
AlShindagha Museum , 288 - Al Fahidi - دبي - United Arab Emirates

The meeting point is at the Al Shindagha Museum - Creek House, located just a few minutes walking distance from the Al Ghubaiba Metro Station, outside Entrance No. 4.

Sharaf DG Metro Bus Stop 1-1 , Al Raffa - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Near the Sharaf DG Metro Station in Bur Dubai.

Choose a morning or afternoon departure, and meet your guide and small group of no more than 12 participants in Dubai’s Deira district.

One of Dubai’s oldest quarters, Deira bustles with activity and is home to the city’s old souks. Saunter through the shop- and stall-lined streets toward the souks, and pause at some of the area’s interesting sights as your guide charts Dubai’s history and roots as a pearl trading town.

Delve into the souks and hear how, until recently, the stalls were known by vendors’ names, so shoppers could simply call them out to find what they were looking for. Enjoy the hustle and bustle, and peruse the outlets selling spices, souvenirs and gold and silver. Hone your haggling with tips from your guide, starting with the opening gambit of ktir ghalee (too expensive) to help clinch some deals.

With your shopping done, ride an abra across Dubai Creek, admiring Deira’s high-rises from the water. Then, disembark and wander through the narrow lanes of the old Al Bastakiya residential area, founded in the early 1900s by Persian merchants.

See the sand-colored houses and wind towers, and learn about the area’s part in keeping traditional Emirati culture and customs alive.

After your walk, head to one of Dubai’s best-loved restaurants for lunch. Refuel with tasty Arabian dishes, and chat over your discoveries before your tour ends in Bur Dubai.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Al Shindagha Museum
Our first stop will be an incredibly enlightening visit to the Al Shindagha Museum to learn about the history of the Gulf and its transformation from a pearl diving village to a global destination.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Dubai Creek
The wooden abra boats plying the busy Dubai Creek are one of Dubai's most iconic scenes to witness. Guests will enjoy an unforgettable experience on a private abra ride and capture the city from the water as we time-travel from its past to its present.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Dubai Spice Souk
Dubai's Spice Souk is an incredibly aromatic network of shops and eateries that sell everything from saffron to chocolate dipped dates. To navigate the bustling souk, the best way is to learn about the origins of the spices at first from your guide and shop-owners before you cruise your way around the market.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Dubai Gold Souk
We'll walk through Dubai's oldest market, the Gold Souk, a place buzzing with eager shoppers there to explore its 300+ shops and covered walkways. We'll stop to learn about the world's obsession with this shiny yellow metal, especially during festive occasions.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Textile Souk
The Textile Souk is a labyrinth of traditional Arabian souvenir stores with plenty of fabrics, scarves, and I heart Dubai t-shirts. Here, your guide will introduce you to the national dress worn by both men and women, and demonstrate how each garment is worn.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
We'll wander through one of Dubai's historic neighborhoods where its merchants once lived in now-restored homes. Your guide will explain the brilliance behind the architecture of these structures, particularly its windtowers, designed to keep inhabitants cool.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Al Fahidi
Our last stop will be a fantastic meal at a traditional restaurant where we'll break bread together. The guide will pre-order several dishes so that guests can experience the various flavors and spices used to marinate, and answer all your curious questions.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 12 hours of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking, as lunch is pre-ordered and is served on a sharing platter basis. Dishes include both chicken and mutton kebabs, and a vegetarian option on request.
  • It is recommended that you bring water and sunglasses
  • It is recommended that you wear light clothing and comfortable shoes
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Wander With Tourism Guidance Services LLC
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
See all safety measures taken by Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider.

Traveler Photos

Reviews

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star-5
132 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-9 of 132 reviews
star-5
Old City Dubai walking tour
CharlesS1633
, Dec 2018
Good over view of Dubai history and well planned use of time. Great guide and lunch was good local food.
star-5
This tour was the highlight of stay...
DME S
, May 2018
This tour was the highlight of stay in Dubai! Our guide, Nada, was fantastic - friendly, informative and fun! We visited the Gold and Spice Souks, old neighbourhoods of Dubai, rode across the creek in a dhow boat, visited a traditional Arabic coffee house and finished with a fantastic traditional Emirate lunch which was delicious. Loved this tour - not to be missed when you are in Dubai. Highly recommend and would give this tour more than 5 stars if I could.
star-5
This is an educational tour where...
Noman S
, Apr 2018
This is an educational tour where you would learn about the history, cultures and customs. We took a morning tour which was on time as promised from 10 -2 PM. We wandered in the gold and spice souks and again learned about various spices and usage in middle eastern cooking. In the gold souk we saw worlds biggest gold ring!. Along the way we went to two museums and took a boat ride Abra crossing from Diera to Bur Dubai. The tour concluded with middle eastern food which was good as well. Above all, the tour guide was great. She took time to explain. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wishes to learn about Dubai beyond its glitz and glamour including to families with children.
star-5
Nada is not only remarkable in terms...
Majerus F
, Mar 2018
Nada is not only remarkable in terms of her knowledge of the city and its culture but also with repect to her ability to draw you in to it. One of the best tour guides we have met, including the best we have experienced through Viking, who serve as our basis for comparison. On top of the various sites we visited, we had a very enjoyable lunch at a Turkish cafe--the sort of eatery that Anthony Bourdain or Guy Fieri would recommend. We have recommended Nada to our friends in Dubai and plan to contact her in preparation for our next visit to the Emirates during the Spring of next year.
star-5
Nada Badran is one of the finest guides...
Kenneth D
, Mar 2018
Nada Badran is one of the finest guides we have ever had, the old dubai tour is a must
star-5
LOVED THIS TRIP! Our tour guide...
Nicholas O
, Mar 2018
LOVED THIS TRIP! Our tour guide Nada was amazing and very knowledgeable. One of the better trips I've experienced in Dubai. Highly recommend
star-5
Nada was superb. Very knowledgeable...
Jeffrey K
, Nov 2017
Nada was superb. Very knowledgeable and attentive to every detail. Probably the best tour we have ever taken
star-5
Nada was an excellent passionate...
wendy D
, Apr 2017
Nada was an excellent passionate tour guide. She was very knowledgeable about Dubai and provided a thorough guided experience through Old Dubai. Because of our small group size, we were able to interact on a personal level and share many stories of my country and hers. I highly recommend this experience. This was my third trip through Dubai and I gained a deeper vision into the culture and people of the city of Dubai.
star-5
Old Dubai!
Denise J
, Jan 2020
Extrem kunnig trevlig och kompetent guide .Tack Nada för en fantastisk tur! Rekommenderas varmt! Hälsningar från ladies from Sweden

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