DUBAI // Heritage tourism is being given a major push as Dubai works towards Expo 2020 and winning Unesco World Heritage status for the old city.
Emirati-themed guesthouses in areas such as Heritage Village and Bastakiya, the oldest inhabited part of Dubai, are being given support by the Heritage Department and the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), to ensure visitors experience the authentic, Emirati side of the city.
Mona Hauser, owner of the XVA gallery and guesthouse in Bastakiya which has been open since 2003, has just expanded the guesthouse from nine to 13 rooms. She is hoping her business will grow into the nearby houses that have been there since the early 20th century.
“There’s a lot of space not being used,” she said. “This is a place people want to see. The kind of clientele we have want to be in the cultural area and stay in a boutique hotel, not a five-star hotel where you wake up and could really be in any country.”