Dubai Bastakiya The Most Traditional Place in Dubai
Dubai is renowned for its glitz and glamour. However, before the tourism boom, and prior to the discovery of oil and the grand union of the seven Emirates in 1971, the city was a vastly different place. The UAE was renowned for its sheikdoms and the popular Dubai Bastakiya. At the time, bedouins mostly lived as herders, date farmers, and fishermen.
Clearly, the city has not always been like modern-day Dubai. Like every great city on the planet, it grew from humble beginnings on the Creek (Khor Dubai)-Today is known as Old Town/Old Dubai. The transformation took place a few decades ago and today Dubai Creek/Dubai Bastakiya is a booming tourist destination taking visitors on a journey through the past.
An Insight of Dubai Creek
Board an abra and cruise along the Creek exploring the Bastakiya quarter. It’s the oldest standing residential area in Dubai. It was established towards the end of the 19th century by rich textile and pearl merchants from:
Today the Dubai Bastakiya Quarter or Fahidi neighborhood is full of old-world wonders.
What to Expect
Take a walk through the nostalgic, winding alleyways, and witness ochre-colored buildings made of coral, mud, gypsum, and palm wood. On looking up, you will notice that the houses have impressive towers. Well, these are wind towers-A traditional air conditioner of the Middle East; and an old Persian invention funneling cool air through a building.
Unless otherwise, most wooden doors here lead you to hotels, cafes, and galleries. And this is only the start! It gets better.
Stop by the charming Arabian Tea House for an Arabian breakfast or refreshments. Down in the courtyard, enjoy a fresh lemon and mint juice (Dubai’s favorite) complemented by a date cake. Still, you could opt for a light Western or Arabian meal and choose a favorite from up to 150 different types of tea.
On the artistic side of Bastakiya, you will find XVA-One of the many prominent galleries in the Middle East. It’s renowned for contemporary artworks by Arabic artists. The XVA is not only a showroom, but it serves as a hotel too.
Another yet interesting Dubai’s oldest art space is the Majlis Gallery. The premier fine art gallery holds a reputation for showcasing high-quality artworks from across the globe. The gallery has served as an amazing platform bringing regional artists onto the international art scene.
If you happen to be in Dubai Bastakiya around March, you may be in for a treat at Dubai’s annual Art Week which also coincides with SIKKA Art Fair. SIKKA features workshops and talks and a whole host of art exhibitions and performances by talented UAE-based artists.
Must Not Miss in Dubai Bastakiya
The famous Dubai Museum is found in the Al Fahidi Fort. A visit to Dubai Bastakiya is not complete without visiting the oldest building in Dubai built in the year 1787. Take a stroll across the museum and get introduced to some of the exhibits of Bedouin life, archaeological excavations, findings, and more.
The Grand Mosque was built in 1900, later demolished and rebuilt in 1960. The mosque is renowned worldwide as it allows both Muslims and non-Muslims inside. It has a capacity of up to 1200 worshipers in the main hall.
The Dubai Heritage Village
The cultural destination showcases traditional craftsmanship and other demonstrations of pearl diving. Visitors here can easily understand the regional arts, customs, and other age-old practices. Guests can also experience loads of exotic restaurants nearby, where you can have a taste of the fresh foods.
The Hajar Mountains
The Al-Hajar Mountains are found in North-Eastern Oman and it’s the highest mountain range in the Arabian Peninsula. It stands at an altitude of 3,005 meters above sea level giving rise to the most incredible panoramic views.
Bur Dubai Abra Dock
Get ready to traverse the expansive river. Board one of the cheapest yet fast motorized water taxis-Abras. Tourists enjoy indulging in the water ride and enjoy a wonderful respite. The immaculate waters and the cool breeze will truly leave nothing short of a beautiful experience.
Read More: Abra Souk In Dubai Old Souk
Dubai Dolphinarium is Dubai’s and Middle East’s first fully air-conditioned indoor dolphinarium. It’s home to the most intelligent sea animals such as dolphins and seals. Visitors here can engage in interactive programs to learn more about the beautiful creatures.
This Creek Park is studded with lush greenery, waterslides, a beautiful kid’s play area, and amazing chic restaurants. The park is found between Garhoud and Maktoum bridges and serves as a comprehensive family entertainment center. Tourists of all age groups are welcome to walk-in and indulge in their favorite sports and other surreal experiences.
Getting to Dubai Bastakiya
Dubai Bastakiya has located about 8.2 km from the Dubai International Airport. It is very well connected to public transport. To reach the destination, take the nearest metro at Al Fahidi. From here it is just a walking distance.
Alternatively, hire a taxi/cab from the airport cab service and ask the driver about the location. He will take you directly there without delays. The transfer time slightly varies depending on prevailing traffic conditions.
The best time to visit Dubai Bastakiya is from November to March. This is a time when the cool breeze is swooping in and rejuvenating everything it touches. Not to mention, during this time it’s perfect to visit the beach and explore all the wonders of Old Dubai without a hassle.