The majority of the museum's exhibits were located in a series of modern underground galleries buried below the fort. One of the exhibits contained a display of traditional weapons favored by Bedouin men who "wears his dagger at all times and keeps his rifle beside him while he sleeps." Sounds so safe!
Dubai is situated on a natural creek Khor Dubai which runs inland for about six miles and was the center around which the city developed. The ancient Greeks used to call Dubai Creek the River Zara. People settled on both sides of the Creek at Dubai and at Deira on the opposite side. The city's prosperity as a port began in the early 1900s when Dubai became the main anchorage for dhows coming from neighboring ports and as far away as India and East Africa.
North winds caused silting in the middle of the Creek which made the passage of large vessels difficult. A large dredging scheme in the late 1950s deepened the channel and reinforced its banks which resulted in a much-needed boost to Dubai's economic development. The two sides of the city were connected by a bridge built in 1962 and a tunnel constructed in 1975. Dubai Creek is now the main trade artery in the Emirate.
The camel was, and in many ways still is, the most important animal in the area. It is known to the Bedouin as a friend providing him with the essentials of life such as meat, milk, and hair (used to make household necessities) and their dung was often used as fuel. It was interesting reading that the camel was also a unit of measurement in financial transactions, for dowry payments, ransom and legal compensation.
The camel carried the Bedouin and his possessions across the desert in the summer heat and the winter cold. Camels can go without water for over two weeks in the summer and up to three months in the cooler winter. They can smell water over a mile away and can walk continuously for 18 hours and follow the direction of lightning and clouds. The Arabian camel is still famous for its speed and endurance. Annual camel races are organized with valuable prizes for winners. A god racing camel can sell for more than one million dirhams, about a quarter of a million dollars!
I think both Steven and I were more intrigued with this art gallery's courtyard than the gallery itself!
I loved the shadows though!
These women and Steven and I were among the very few people wandering through the neighborhood.
I wondered who could possibly wear this very heavy fur-lined coat in the warm climes of the Emirates.
Most of the shops sold cheap clothes and textiles but a few offered souvenirs and a few antiques. We weren't interested in looking at any of them, only in the experience of walking through the souk.
Once we landed on the Deira side, we entered the Old Souk. The commercial heart of the old city still largely resolved around the souk. Even though the shops were largely modern and jazzy, neon signs have mostly replaced the traditional hand-painted boards, business in the souk was still conducted more or less as it had been for more than a century. Thousands of minuscule shops, wedged into the district's rambling bazaars, sold everything from cheap toys and textiles to gold and spices.
Seeing this photo again three months later, how I wish I had tasted some date gelato then as it sounds so appealing to me now on this 70 degree March day.
We reveled in the scents of the Spice Souk but didn't buy a thing.
UAE flags were displayed everywhere because it was a national holiday the following day.
Approaching the Bur Dubai Abra Station: