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Exploring.....The Bastakiya Quarter

Exploring Dubai's Finest - The Bastakiya Quarter

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For more stunning images of The Bastakiya Quarter you'll be hard pressed to beat Google's image search.
This article published by National Geographic gives some further insight into the type of experience you'll enjoy on a Bastakiya visit.
The brief video to the left takes you on a tour through The Quarter, showing great images of what to expect on a visit..
The Bastakiya Quarter gets its name from Bastak, Iran, the origin of many of the original textile and pearl traders who first plied their trades. As you walk through the Bastakiya Quarter’s narrow winding lanes, you will also notice another contribution from Bastak in the form of its architecture. The wind towers that top most of the buildings are a testament to this, as well as the beautifully carved wooden doors and wooden lattices.

Today, the Quarter is home to many fine art galleries, cafes, and boutique hotels. It is also home to what is believed to be the oldest existing building in Dubai, the Al Fahidi Fort. Built around 1787, the Al Fahidi Fort stood to guard the town against raids from surrounding tribes. At times the Fort was also used as the Ruler’s palace.

The Al Fahidi Fort also houses the Dubai Museum. Opened in 1971 and restored in 1993, the Dubai Museum gives a glimpse into the rich history of the area, from astronomy to life as it was before the discovery of oil.

After visiting the Al Fahidi Fort, here are some other sites you must visit in the Bastakiya Quarter:

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

Not only does the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding raise awareness for local customs, traditions, and culture, it also looks to bring people together from all nationalities. Tours are offered as well as a traditional homemade UAE breakfast and lunch. Check with the Centre for meal times and for booking information

XVA Hotel and Café

Not only is XVA a boutique hotel, it also hosts an Internationally acclaimed art gallery. With several shops, a traditional dhow, and in house tailor, this award winning Art Hotel combines beauty and elegance to offer its guests a taste of local culture.

Majlis Gallery

According to the Majlis Gallery’s website, their mission is to “promote the works of artists of international standing and to become a meeting place for creative minds.” The mission seems to be successful as they have been responsible to introducing some of the finest artists of the region to the world.

Basta Art Café

Not only can you relax and enjoy some amazing Arabic coffee at this traditional feeling café, you can also browse through the many books available for sale; you can pick up a few gifts from the cafes gift shop; or you can gaze upon the beautiful original artwork that adorns the wall.

While many flock to Dubai to take in the amazing feats of engineering and architecture, and rightfully so, it would be worthwhile to immerse yourself in the truly authentic, culturally rich Bastakiya Quarter.

On any visit to another country many of us want to experience the true culture of that location, and get a real feeling for how ways of life have evolved, grown, and changed. Many of the attractions of Dubai are based on its modern day growth, but there are areas - as in any city, if you know where to look - where you can get the feeling of the old ways of life. The Bastakiya Quarter is one such area.

With all of the modern beauty that Dubai has to offer, with its skyscrapers and luxury hotels, The Bastakia Quarter sits among all of these engineering marvels as one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai.

Located between Dubai Creek and the Bur Dubai District, the construction of the Bastakiya Quarter dates back to around the 18th century. The Bastakia Quarter was originally settled by wealthy Persian merchants due to the excellent trading conditions of the area.

It became home to  local Arab tribes and the earliest foreign settlers, and can be named as an area which started the city's economic and trade related growth....

More further below....

Situated on the Bur Dubai side of the near 14 km length of Dubai Creek, the Bastakiya Quarter has a history stretching back to the early 19th century. Demonstrating the unique history and heritage of Dubai, the quarter is well worth a visit to gain a good understanding of the Emirate's cultural and historic roots.
This last video below was shot in 2010 to give insight into the Bastakiya art festival held in that year.
The Bastakiya Quarter
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Other districts of Dubai to note include:

•  Deira

•  Bur Dubai

•  Dubai Creek

•  Al Shindagha

•  Sheikh Zayed Road & Downtown

•  Jumeirah

•  Outside The City