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enjoy and explore the hidden secrets of al bastakiya

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Ever wondered the land of Arabs where every culture wanders caravans camels roam, winding streets, fabled bazaars, the cardamom, saffron, sandalwood cluttered stalls, and every spice can be smelled, Rich wares .crimson, silver purple brocade tunics silks and shawls are displayed, the pleasant Arabian tune from Oud, Nay, Qanun enters the ear, Al Bastakiya gives the archaic, lavish glimpse of opulent and extravagant Dubai.

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Al Bastakiya, originally Al Fahidi, the living antiquated Dubai different from the modern-day famous Dubai. Apart from the skyscrapers, hustling cities, gleaming glass towers, amongst those showrooms of brands like Gucci, Dior, Patou, Al Bastakiya today is a maze of ancient awe holding authentic ethos and heart of Dubai. During ancient days the pearl, gold harbor Dubai was the stop for foreign traders like Persians, Britishers, Portuguese.

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The oldest standing residential area of Dubai established around 1890, in the 19th Century inspired by relaxed trade tariffs. Walking around the historical alleys takes you to the world of original Dubai established by merchants from all around the world. The ochre color winding alleys made up of coral reefs, mud, gypsum, sandalwood, stones, and palm wood are architecturally rich. As soon as you enter Al Bastakiya, the Arabian music, the nostalgic insights from Aladdin, Arabian Nights and Sinbad, The old Arabian tale books come into your mind The rich design of the building and the way they are distributed

History of Al Bastakiya

Dubai is the oldest living residential neighborhood named after the town of Bastak. Al Bastakiya was constructed back in the 1690s on the outskirts creek or Bur Dubai by Mr. Qasim Bin Abdullah Bastakiya. It consisted of 60 housing units in its prime time and most of it was owned by Persian(Iranian) merchants. The truth behind the development of the Al Bastakiya colony was the increasing trade, developing Dubai port under the influence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Hashar, the then ruler of Dubai. After the discovery of oil, Al Bastakiya was half deteriorated and in 1989 Dubai Municipality schedules to demolish Al Bastakiya The visit of Prince Charles to Dubai and his love for culture and heritage was a boon and Al Bastakiya was restored later in 2005.

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The Architecture of Al Bastakiya

Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly but most surely on the soul Buildings and Houses

Buildings and Houses

To travel the narrow alleys of Al Bastakiya is to travel back the Early days of Dubai when low stucco buildings dominate the city space. The rugged, rough surface walls, one and two-storeyed, ochre and amber buildings are made from coral reefs, shells, mud, gypsum, sandalwood, stones, and palm wood cemented together by lime. The houses use to have a similar layout with a central North African style courtyard surrounded by rooms, the gates to the houses have antique decorations, elaborated carved decorations. Islamic calligraphy adorning the walls of buildings, Levantine Decorations, the Aran Hijazi Mashrabiyy.The ceilings and roofs of these traditional homes are constructed with hardwood from Zanzibar.

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The alleys of Al Bastakiya (Sikkas )were built narrow by building houses together to keep the alleys in shade and cool in a hot day. The area is full of beautiful ancient artifacts, paintings.

The Barjeels (Arjeels)

The Persian Windway of the Alley (winding tower) known as the Bajreels is a traditional Persian architectural element to create natural ventilation, air conditioning, and passive cooling in buildings. The towers in Dubai vary in design and sizes rising above the building's roof and open to all four directions, The shafts capture winds and redirect into the interior spaces of the buildings through narrow shafts. The more the number of Bajreeels in the house, wealthier was the family. In addition to North African style courtyards, barrels, two-story houses and narrow alleys houses in Al Bastakiya also display beautiful ethos such as carved wooden doors, decorative grilles, hanging oil lamps, and wooden lattice.

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Barsati Home

The local tribe of the Arabs used to live in the thatched huts called Barsati, lacking wind tower.

Al Kamiah House

The built of Palm branches was the residence of early residents.

Al Arish House

A wind tower house made up of burlac loth made of jute and hemp. Al Bastakiya is a wonderful tourist spot and a place to fulfill your brooded dreams and desires. The go-to go places in Al Bastakiya where you can eat the middle of the ancient Arabian culture, wander the land of ancient Arab learn about their ethos are listed below

The Arabian Tree House

The Basta Art Caf knowns as the Arabian Tea House in the heart of Old Quarter offers the obsolete flavor of 150 different styles of teas from all over the world that could be found here. The lavish, rich in spices Arabian meal and light western breakfasts.

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The XVA hotel

The artistic world of Al Bastakiya XVA hotel and art gallery specialized in contemporary prominent artwork by Arab Artists The XVA hotel rooms provide the insight of culture, heritage, and the ancient Dubai 13 different room, some of them are Disdash room, Jalabiya room, Gallery room, Turboosh room To get the experience of art, tradition, culture Locals and international artists come here. The antique, colorful art pieces, artifacts made from coral, jade, amber is a beautiful blend with the art, culture, history, and heritage.

Majlis Gallery

Dubai's oldest art space, named after cushioned meeting rooms namely majlis in traditional Arab houses, with the beautiful middle east theme, perfect for the art lovers, unique, antique highest quality artworks from all around the world.

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The market alleys of Al Bastakiya spotted and sprigged with tourists from all around the world, wandering around are the souvenirs. From camel milk soaps to Emirati clothing, the finest silks and satins, and Pashmina stalls, The heap of spices like saffron, the aroma of spices and herbs and fragrance of exotic perfumes in the air. The carpets, Blue Turkish and Persian pottery, Intense saturated arts and paintings, Idols, Showpieces, Mirrors with panels of amber. Jewelry of Gold and studded gems and crystals, Musical Instruments everything is available in the shopping souk of Al Bastakiya giving one the full experience.


Inside the premises of Al Fahidi, is the most popular Dubai Museum, dating back to 1787, originally a monarchical residence, holding role of Arsenal and prison, provides an insight of the ancient Dubai its heritage, culture and the time voyage to the new Dubai. It is built of sea rocks, corals, palm tree trunks, palm fronds, mud bricks, and Saroj (mortar made from imported clay, manure, and water ).

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The Krishna Mandir located opposite Ali bin Abi Taleb Street. The Hindu alley is full of little shops selling items for pujas like fruits, garlands, flower mils, and the shops sell idols of Hindu Gods and worship items.


Constructed by Mr. Abdul Qadir Abdul Rahman Al Rashidi in 1936, with the main objective to maintain and protect the architectural heritage in the region.


Constructed by Abdul Razzaq Uztadi in 1925. It has two entrances, a wind tower, decorative pillars, traditional ceilings.

Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Civilized Intercommunication Building

Constructed by Mr. Qasim Bin Abdullah Al Bastki in 1944, showcases the traditional architecture of Dubai, a place to learn about heritage and tradition. SMCCU has an open door and an open mind policy where all vests are encouraged and empowered to speak, ask religious and cultural questions. They also serve traditional Emirati f0od and eats throughout the day.


Oldest Building in Al Bastakiya constructed by Mr. Abdul Razaq Abdul Raheem Al Bastaki in 1895.A two-story building, with ancient-looking doors, windows, oriels, and ornaments.


Created by Dubai Culture and Art Authority in 2011. It coincides with Dubai's annual art week .which happens every year in March. A range of exquisite paintings, arts, theatre, and visual art shows are organized.

Dar Al Navda

Constructed by Mr. Abdul Rahman Mohammad Fain the year 1925, is a beautiful, extravagant place and hosts important and significant events like symposiums, art shows, and exhibitions, national and international conferences.

The Coin Museum

Covers the history of the coin in Arabic Era a great dream sight for coin collectors and ancient currency lovers.


The Stamp Museum collects all the stamps in the history of UAE postal service.


Built-in the 1700s, today the oldest functional building in Al Bastakiya made up of corals, shells, palm woods, mud, and cemented with lime from limestone. It has served as a defense spot with storage prison, offices and residents for the ruler 0f Dubai.


The muse destination for coffee lovers around the globe, The Coffee Museum brings relational and international flavors of Persian, Turkish, Japenese, American, British, Ethiopian, Arabian, South Asian cuisine amid cozy, lavish, traditional Arabian architecture, admired artefacts and displayed techniques of coffee roasting and brewing pleasant art, exhibitions, and performances from artists all around the world.

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Constructed by Mr. Mohammed Shaerif Sultan, then commercial judge of Dubai. The house has two floors with spacious internal courtyards, wind towers, traditional columns, arches, decorative gypsum, and capitals.

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