Saturday, September 26, 2009

Historical Dubai

Dubai is working on creating a cultural heritage site where they can highlight traditional crafts and culture – for the tourists, of course. This heritage village includes a pearl diving village with many different craftsmen working and demonstrating their crafts as well as small shops to buy touristy things. Sadly, we were there during the day so…very few people were demonstrating much. (nothing seems to be open during the day in the ME but wait until 6:00- then all the non-tourists come out!) The early homes in Dubai were made from the palm leaves that woven together to make everything from homes to mats to baskets – basically much of what they needed. They also invented a form of early air conditioning – they put a “chimney” up on the roof with a screen (woven, of course) inside. Apparently they could rotate it to catch the breeze and direct it into the house. There was on set up in the museum but I have to admit I didn’t notice any particular cooling inside the hut…but then again it may be that it was really hot. That said, it must have been an efficient invention because variations of it are found on many traditional buildings. Apparently they closed off one side so that air would come in, be directed down and then out on the other side. Once again I can’t speak for its efficacy…all of the buildings have air con now so….

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