Whether you are on an onward journey via Dubai or simply staying near the airport to avoid the traffic and crowd of the city, you are never too far away from the best of Dubai attractions. While the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall might not be at a stone’s throw away, there are many other attractions that you can easily visit if you are staying anywhere near the airport.
Some of the great places to visit near Dubai international airport are listed below.
Take a step back in time when there was no electricity, fans and air conditioners. The locals of this desert country used wind towers to escape from scorching heat. Bastakiya district takes you back to the era through the traditional courtyard abodes decked with the wind towers.
Renovated and redesigned as a tourist attraction, Bastakiya is a must visit place for all those who wants a peep into the old era when Dubai was nothing more than a Bedouin village. There is also a museum, a cultural centre, a restaurant and a beautiful art gallery that perfectly displays the local talent.
Distance from the airport: 12km
- Grand Mosque
Staying near the airport also gives you a fair chance to see the city’s largest mosque- the Grand Mosque. Originally built in the year 1900, it has seen many renovations during its tenure. It was demolished and rebuilt in 1960, then again got a new face in the year 1998 which amazes the tourists even today. The place can accommodate over 12000 worshippers at a time.
However non Muslims are not allowed inside the main mosque. Originally built as a school to learn the holy book of Muslims ‘Quran’, the place was turned into a mosque when it was rebuilt in 1960. The 70 meter tall minaret is the tallest in Dubai and resembles the structure of a lighthouse.
Distance from the airport: 12.5km
- Dubai Museum
The best way to know about the amazing history of Dubai is by visiting the Dubai museum. The museum is located inside the Al Fahidi fort which in itself is a great attraction. This historical fort was built in the late 17th century and depicts the grandeur and intellectual architecture prevailing in that time.
Converted as a museum in the year 1970, it is very well maintained and transports you back to the Bedouin era with such ease that you don’t want to come back from it. From age old weaponry to the intricate pearl diving outfits and various military artifacts of that era will blow your mind. It is a perfect place for history lovers and for those who wants to know about the roots of this modern city of Dubai.
Distance from the airport: 12.3km
- Heritage Village
If shopping the local talent is what drives you then the recently inaugurated heritage village is the right place for you. You will find it hard to believe how beautifully the locals weave to make amazing traditional handicrafts, carpets, and other Arabic culture inspired items.
Offering a perfect contrast to the ultra modern Dubai that is home to every best and the latest product of the world, the Heritage Village is a must visit place to see and appreciate the brilliant blend of colors transformed effortlessly in to traditional masterpieces.
Distance from the airport: 12km
- Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House
One of the oldest houses of the city, the Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House is a magnificent example of the traditional Arabic architecture. The former home of the Al Maktoum family, the Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House was originally built in the year 1894 and now serves as a beautiful museum for the tourists and offers a peep in to the grander of the political house of the bygone era.
See rare documents, furnishings, and various photographs of historical and political importance. The thrill of being inside the oldest house of Dubai and once home to the most powerful family is unmatched. The building also has wind towers for cool breezes and the top floor serves as a perfect place to see the grandeur of the Dubai skyscrapers.
Distance from the airport: 13.7km
- Majlis Ghorfat Um-Al-Sheef
Known once as the place to delve for the opulent men of the majestic city of Dubai, the Majlis Ghorfat Um-Al-Sheef building belongs to the late ruler Ghorfat Um-Al-Sheef, the mastermind behind the skyrocketing growth of Dubai. The place now open to public was once used by the ruler to relax during summers.
The structure is so beautifully made that it captures your imagination and makes you wonder about the money spent behind it. It has wind tower, window shutters, and a palm garden that features the falaj irrigation system.
Distance from the airport: 17.3km
So next time you book a connecting flight from Dubai or plan to lodge near the airport, don’t forget to add the above mentioned places in your bucket list and do visit them.
While the world knows about the wonders of the modern Dubai like the record breaking architectures, world famous malls and the Desert safari Dubai(www.bestdesertsafariindubai.com), these places gives you the best and rare insight in to the history and local culture and are by all means the gems of Dubai, often missed by many.