Lonely Planet Experiences Private Dubai Tour: Culture, Coffee & Colourful Souks

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • duration 4 hours
  • tour type Group
  • tour_type Group tour
  • minimum participants 2
  • age requirement 6+ yrs
  • age_requirement 6+ yrs
  • Starts Dubai, UAE
  • Ends Dubai, UAE
  • Explore Dubai’s oldest district, Bastakia and sip traditional Emarati coffee at the coffee museum
  • Visit Dubai museum and learn about life in UAE before the great oil rush
  • Explore a triple bill of Dubai’s most atmospheric souks for gold, textiles, and spices with a local guide to help you shop
  • Unearth the heritage and culture of the old town and discover its art galleries, traditional handicrafts, and traditional Arabian coffee ceremonies
The Lonely Planet Experiences Private Dubai Tour: Culture, Coffee & Colourful Souks tour starts and ends in Dubai. The Lonely Planet Experiences Private Dubai Tour: Culture, Coffee & Colourful Souks is a walking tour that takes 4 hours.

Get away from the OTT skyscrapers and fantasy hotels for the morning and discover the old-world charms of Dubai before the oil rush. Discover the cultural treasures of the Alfahidi district with a visit to the Coffee Museum, the Arabic Calligraphy Museum and Dubai Museum, stop for a taste of local food (think Doner kebabs or falafel sandwiches) then shop ‘till you  drop in the best souks in the city. Plenty of time will be dedicated to browsing  with your local guide on-hand to assist in finding the best price for what you want. 
This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers.

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Ms. Ashley's review for another Urban Adventures tour
4 - Very Good
  • Ms. Ashley
  • On Jul 05 2016
“Really enjoyed touring through Kowloon, but I had already sampled many of the dishes we tried. I wished I had booked this tour nearer to the beginning of my trip-- my fault!”
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5 - Excellent
  • Ms. Judith
  • On Jan 02 2016
“Very interesting tour with fabulous views to Hong Kong Island”
Mr. William's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Mr. William
  • On Apr 21 2016
“Tereza is an excellant guide and she provided a wonderful experience for us in Prague.”

Our private tour begins with a gentle stroll to the historic Alfahidi district, one of the oldest heritage sites in Dubai. As we journey through its narrow lanes we will start to discover more about what life was like here before the skyscrapers came. 

Our first stop is a traditional Bedouin tent where we will share a coffee and chat with our Emeriti friend Abo and find out more about the life of the Bedouin people. We will meet Abo’s pet falcon who is treated with love and respect by his owner (falcons are no longer used for hunting in the UAE). The falcon is usually a willing accomplice in any souvenir photos you may wish to take.

At a neighbouring tent, we will learn more about the national dress of the country and take a look at some traditional abayadresses and kandoura (the all-white robes worn by Arab men).

In the Islamic world, calligraphy is a highly revered art form. So, we will admire some beautiful artwork at the Calligraphy Museum before learning how to write your name in Arabic, fancy pen-in-hand.

Time for another drink and this time our coffee will come with a side of history as we visit the Coffee Museum to learn about local coffee customs. We will sample some delightful Arab blends in the cute café before moving on to soak up a little more culture before the shopping extravaganza commences.

The local art gallery we are visiting is nestled in a beautiful old Persian house, displaying many unique local ceramics, glassware, and sculptures as well as paintings and photography. The gallery resembles a typical home of the area, featuring a pretty courtyard with rooms all around it. Every room and wall are carefully curated with pieces of art and furniture, with works by both established and upcoming artists hanging side-by-side.

Visit the oldest existing building in Dubai, Al Fahidi Fort, which dates back to 1787 and has recently been converted into a museum where visitors can learn more about life of Dubai before the skyscrapers arrived.   

Recharge your batteries and stop for a quick street food bite (doner kabab or falafel sandwich). 

Time to indulge in Dubai’s favourite pastime now with a spot of shopping. Our first souk stop will be the vibrant textile souk, not far from the creek, where we will enter a world of multicoloured cashmere, fine silks, and the art of bartering for your treasures. The textile souk is very camera-friendly and well worth a visit, even if you have no desire to purchase a textile-themed souvenir to take home.

At the nearby Abra stop, we will take a water taxi to the other side of the creek where a delicious surprise awaits us. Luscious dates covered in creamy white chocolate made from camel milk, a local delicacy and a must-try while you are visiting the old town.

You will probably be able to smell our next stop before you see it. At the spice souk, we will learn about the different spices used in Arabic, Iranian, and Indian cuisine and we will, of course, stop to take some photos and shop if you wish.

Our final stop on our cultural and commercial journey will be the largest gold souk in the Middle East, a fascinating place that should be number one on every tourist’s itinerary. A feast for the eyes, the gold souk features incredibly lavish Arabic jewellery and dazzling displays of gold and other stones. Your guide will be on-hand to aid you in the bartering process should you wish to buy anything.

You will end your private whirlwind journey through the culture and exotic souks of Dubai at the Al Ras metro station. If you want any hints or tips on what else to do during your trip, be sure to quiz your guide before you go

This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers.

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Cold water
  • Arabic coffee
  • Dubai museum entry ticket
  • Doner kabab or falafel sandwich
  • Abra water taxi fare 
  • transportation to and from the meeting/end points
  • tips/gratuities for your guide. 
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Cancellation for this Lonely Planet Experiences Private Dubai Tour: Culture, Coffee & Colourful Souks tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.


For any tour departures within 16 January 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 16 January 2021, a deposit of 100% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 0 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Lonely Planet Experiences Private Dubai Tour: Culture, Coffee & Colourful Souks tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Lonely Planet Experiences Private Dubai Tour: Culture, Coffee & Colourful Souks tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

Inside Al Fahidi metro station, by the ticket office. From downtown Dubai on the red line, change lines at Burjuman or Union and take the green line to Alfahidi. If you are taking a taxi, ensure you have extra time as traffic can be heavy in the morning.

Meeting end point :

Al Ras metro station.

Lonely Planet extras
  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop
COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
  • This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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