People cherish a thought that everything you have in Dubai is new. But that is entirely wrong, it has tradition and heritage in store for those interested to know about the past. Everything in Dubai is not new, of course there is upsurge in construction and modern buildings, malls, skyscrapers fill the arena of Dubai, but the old is still there. Bastakiya District is one such place for you to discover the past.
Bastakiya in Dubai, at Bur Dubai side of the Dubai creek, and belong to the 1890s where people at that time earned their daily bread out of pearl diving. Bastakiya got its name from the Iranian town of Bastak, as it was inhabited in earlier days by traders from Bastak.
The town goes back to the era before electricity and air-conditioning was absent and traditional courtyard houses temperature were kept low by wind towers. It throws light into the way how people lived then.
During the olden days this place was famous for its wind towers that bordered the creek on either side. Now the narrow lanes are decorated with distinctly Arabian architecture and are a famous tourist destination of historical importance.
The place is home to largest concentration of traditional courtyard houses with wind towers. It lies to the immediate east of Al Fahidi Fort and offers enticing change of scenery.
Every week during Saturdays at Bastakiya District there is Saturday Market where you can see the works of local artists. And in this Saturday Market you will get camels for riding pleasure. You could see here handmade jewelry, furniture, pillows and lots of artistic works.
The government bought the homes of the residents in Bastakiya during 1990s and started redeveloping the area that has old historic buildings. Art galleries and cafes also were started along with boutique hotels. It is a great place to walk around and view culture and art which is the specialty of the area.
Some of the attractions of the place are –
Al Fahidi Fort – the oldest building in Dubai belonging to the 1780s
Bait Al Wakeel – the first office building in Dubai
Dubai Museum – near the Al Fahidi Fort, and a highly recommended destination for tourists and residents to visit
Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
XVA Art Gallery