Al Fahidi Fort, which houses the Dubai Museum, is another imposing building. It once guarded the city’s landward approaches. Built around 1799, it has served variously as palace, garrison and prison.
It was renovated in 1970 for use as a museum, further restoration and the addition of galleries was completed in 1995. Colourful and evocative dioramas, complete with life-size figures and sound and lighting effects, vividly depict everyday life in pre-oil days. Galleries rescenes from the Creek, traditional Arab houses, mosques, the souk, date gardens, desert and marine life. One of the most spectacular exhibits portrays the underwater world of pearl-diving, and is accompanied by sets of pearl merchants’ weights, scales and sieves.
Also on display are artefacts such as fine copper, alabaster and pottery objects found in 3,000-4,000 year old graves at Al Ghusais. The main fort is a fascinating military museum.Heritage and Diving Villages. 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.