In Dubai, we believe our future is derived from our past. While my hometown has become renowned for its fast-paced development and soaring skyscrapers, many people still don’t know about the rich culture and heritage this city holds.
Today, I’m proud to unveil ‘Dubai’s Culture and Heritage’, launched in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, which will help you discover my hometown's story and its vibrant art scene through more than 80 expertly curated stories, 5 audio stories, 25 videos, and over 800 high-resolution images of arts, crafts, heritage sites and much more.
Did you know Dubai was a trading port?
Some people wonder what it was like to live in Dubai before the city became a bustling metropolis. What better way to learn than to hear firsthand from some of Dubai’s residents, from pearl merchants, boat builders and craftspersons to hearing about childhood memories of swimming in the Dubai Creek.
For many of us, the traditional Emirati Majlis, a cultural and social space where members of the community come together for discussions, was and remains a staple feature of our social lives.
To get a sense of traditional life in Dubai, take a virtual walk through alleyways and witness traditional architecture such as buildings with high air towers called Barajeel, in the Al-Fahidi district. You can also learn more about traditional embroidery, palm weaving and, for the coffee lovers, the history and culture of coffee in the UAE.
Modern Dubai, Zaha Hadid and the art scene
Fast-forward with the click of a button to see some of modern-day Dubai’s iconic architectural landmarks, from towers with 90 degree rotation from top to bottom to torus-shaped structures with Arabic calligraphy and the first hotel to have its interiors and exteriors designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid.
Dubai’s art scene has also evolved over the years, reflecting the diversity of its social fabric. Learn about one of the city’s first cinemas, learn more about the Sikka Arts Festival and Art Dubai — two important artistic events held in the heart of the city — and hear from emerging artists from around the world who are using Dubai as a hub to share their work with the world.
Ready to take the tour?
We’re excited to be able to help people, wherever they may be, discover our culture and heritage through our work with Google Arts & Culture. To learn more, visit g.co/dubaiculture or download the Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS.