Before Oil: Al-Fahidi Fort
The oldest building in the city, the Al-Fahidi Fort with its three towers was constructed from coral rock in 1787. Today it houses the Dubai Museum. Old cannons and a full-scale fishing dhow are displayed in the courtyard. Inside, you'll learn about Dubai’s pre-petroleum days, when Dubai was a site for fishermen and pearl divers. Pearls were the basis for the economy in the early 20th century, and when that industry crumbled, the area was desperately poor...until Oil. The museum explains these transitions, as well as informative exhibits about astronomy, date farming and the vital role of water in the desert. You'll also learn more about Bedouin culture and tribal life.