Al Shindagha Days: new 10-day culture festival is coming to Dubai

The event is aimed to revive Dubai’s historic areas and promote the traditional heritage of the emirate


Dubai Historical District on banks of Dubai Creek.

The area will consist of 23 museums that will open as part of the Dubai Historical District project, which was first announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, in 2015. The project is being developed by Dubai Municipality, Dubai Culture and Dubai Tourism.

The Shindagha neighbourhood is known today for its coral-clad houses, traditional wind towers, and attractions such as the Heritage and Diving Museum, and the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House. This was the residence of the Al Maktoum family until as recently as 1958, and was the home of the Dubai monarch at the time, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, the grandfather of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

 (Photo by Reem Mohammed/The National)

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Dubai Culture and Arts Authority has announced the launch of the first season of Al Shindagha Days, a cultural festival aimed to revive Dubai’s historic areas and promote the traditional heritage of the emirate. The 10-day long event will kick off on Thursday, January 9, at the recently-renovated Al Shindagha neighbourhood.

Here’s what visitors can expect:

Take a walk down memory lane through the Al Shindagha neighbourhood which includes Al Shindagha Museum, the Perfume House, the Historical Documents Centre, Saruq Al Hadid Archaeological Museum and the waterfront area in old Dubai.

The Al Shindagha Museum is an ideal place to learn about the history of Dubai, and visitors are encouraged to explore it to learn more about the emirate’s heritage. There will be museum tours, with the meeting point at Dubai Creek Museum reception. The timings for the tours are from 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm on Saturday to Thursday and 3pm, 5pm and 7pm on Friday.

Guests will also have a chance to go on a perfume trail to discover the story behind Emirati fragrances. A tour through the spice market and Perfume House, home to a multi-sensory experience showcasing traditional handmade perfume making, is also available.

The first phase of Al Shindagha Museum includes the Perfume House. Courtesy Dubai Culture

Visitors can learn more about Emirati craftsmanship and talent through Al Shindagha Door Exhibition, which takes place at the festival’s main entrance and showcases traditional doors, previously used in old buildings of Al Shindagha.

Meanwhile, Emirati tourism company Meet the Locals will be offering a host of activities during the festival including a local market, a live Emirati cooking station, a dates tasting station, an etiquette of Arabic coffee session, henna design and more.

A number of entrepreneurs and artists from the UAE will be showcasing installations, experiences and workshops steeped in tradition. Participating brands include Tamashee, a high-end footwear brand, The Zay Initiative, which preserves and documents traditional clothing and Gumash Studio, a multidisciplinary platform that takes inspiration from traditional crafts in the Middle East.

Finally, there will be light and sound shows held on a daily basis as well as a host of live performances in the neighbourhood.

How to get there:

By metro: Catch the green line train to Al Ghubaiba Metro Station and take the right exit to head to the event.

By bus: Catch the bus to Al Ghubaiba bus station. Al Shindagha Days will be on your right.

By car: Drive your car towards Al Shindagha Historical Neighbourhood and park in the RTA designated parking in front

By Careem: Careem users can get 20 per cent off with the code Alshindaghadays. The code is valid from January 9-18, with a maximum discount of Dh25 per ride.

There are routes available via abra as well for just Dh1.

Timings for Al Shindagha Days: 

Thursday, January 9, 5pm-11pm 
Friday, January 10, 2pm-11pm
Saturday, January 11, 10am-10pm 
Sunday to Wednesday, January 12-15, 5pm-10pm 
Thursday and Friday, January 16-17, 2pm-11pm 
Saturday, January 18, 10am-10pm