A Tour of Al Bastakiya, Dubai’s Heritage

Dubai al bastikiya

You should travel to Al Bastakiya at least once in your lifetime. When you first hear the name Dubai, what comes to mind? If it’s all about city life, lights, grandeur, bustling streets, skyscrapers, glamour, and oil tycoons, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is a common misconception that Dubai’s modern infrastructure and modernism make it impossible for those who prefer a slower pace of life to visit there.

What does Dubai’s Al Bastakiya mean?

Al Bastakiya, commonly referred to as the Al Fahidi Historical District, is a historic area in Dubai that preserves recollections from the Emirates Federation. The area provides a novel viewpoint on the way of life and culture of those who lived there before the UAE was created.

Al Bastakia’s Old Dubai’s History

  • This neighbourhood is important historically because it was built in the 1890s.
  • Bedouins lived in the UAE as herders, date farmers, and fishermen prior to the union of the Emiratis in 1971.
  • Khor Dubai, also known as Old Dubai or the Creek, was the key location from which Dubai’s companies prospered and developed during the seafaring trade eras.
  • This area was built in the 19th century by Mr. Qasim Bin Abdullah Al Bastaki with funding from Dubai textile and pearl traders.
  • This area, which spans 300 square metres, is unquestionably the heart of Old Dubai.
  • It’s interesting to note that this area was originally thought to be demolished and renovated.
  • Prince Charles’ involvement, however, on the grounds that refurbishment would ruin the charm, helped this area keep its history.
  • One of the essential and vital components of Dubai’s development to its current flourishing level was the trade that passed through the Old Dubai area.

Activities in Bastakiya, Dubai

Gallery XVA

  • Arab artists’ creations are displayed in the XVA Gallery.
  • This building serves as a hotel, a cafe, and an art gallery all at once.
  • Although it is unusual, this restaurant offers vegetarian Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • The hotel’s rooms offer stunning views of the courtyard.
  • Therefore, XVA is the place to go if you want to stay in the same structures as the local Arabs did a century ago but in royal grandeur.

Gallery of Majlis

  • Mira Abdulla Amiri lived in the structure that now houses the Majlis Gallery.
  • It was Dubai’s first art gallery when it opened in the 1960s.
  • It was a guest house for important visitors from nearby regions like Oman and Bahrain before it became an art gallery.
  • The walls of the majlis gallery serve as the canvases rather than being used to hang the artworks.
  • Over many years, a number of artists have contributed to them.

Sahara Gate

  • It is a stunning structure with Arabic writing on the walls.
  • This is a prominent example of Bastakiya’s traditional Arabic architecture, built in 1954 by Sheikh Habib al Haji.
  • The original owner donated this in 2005 to the Dubai Department of Culture and Tourism.

Dar Al Nadwa

  • This two-story structure serves as Bastakiya’s main auditorium.
  • Throughout the winter, there will be something going on here.
  • Architectural Heritage Society
  • a focal point showcasing Bastakiya’s elegant older Arabic architecture.
  • It was founded in 2003 and has since conserved and documented the UAE’s urban history.
  • The structure itself was constructed in 1936 and features a number of classic architectural features.
  • It has served as the Urban Heritage Society’s main office since it was renovated and reopened in 2003.

Sheikh Muhammad Center for Cultural Understanding

  • The goal of this effort is to promote tolerance and understanding among various cultural groups.
  • The centre will provide tourists access to traditional UAE clothing and cuisine, allowing them to try them on and savour the local fare.
  • But this one costs money.
  • To take part in the cultural programmes offered by the SMCCU, you must either make a reservation through their official website or make a reservation with a tour operator.
  • Depending on what time of day you want to visit, they offer various packages.
  • A cultural breakfast, brunch, lunch, and evening tea are all options.
  • This is a fantastic opportunity to see Dubai’s historic features and culinary traditions.

Travel tips

There are several attractions in this location, and there are many historic buildings there. The history is without a doubt fascinating.You won’t even be aware that you’ve been there for a few hours. This list of tourist attractions is provided.

Creekside Park:

This lovely park offers a children’s play area, waterslides, and a lot of vegetation. There are also excellent eateries here that serve delectable food. It’s the ideal location for a family outing.


This room has air conditioning and is indoors. Amazing wildlife like seals and dolphins can be seen here.

Abra Dock:

Interested in floating down a river? Great! You can get the thrill you require in this location. Abras, a type of water taxi, are available for you to board for a relaxing trip. The ride is quite quick and not at all pricey.

Historic Village:

Want to learn more about Dubai’s cultural heritage? Then don’t pass this location by. Additionally, you can see a live example of pearl diving. You have the chance to learn about local traditions and art in this location.

Grand Mosque:

The Grand Mosque was constructed sometime around 1900. In 1960, it was created once more from nothing. Non-Muslims are also welcome to enter this mosque. There is a hall in the mosque that can hold 1200 people.

Dubai Museum:

One of the oldest structures in Al Bastakiya is the Dubai Museum. You may gain a sense of the Bedouin way of life by visiting this museum, which is highly educational.

How to Reach

Reaching this place is not at all difficult.

This is about 8.2 kilometres from Dubai’s international airport. To get here, a variety of public transportation options are available. Taking the subway is the quickest method to get here. The Al Fahidi station is where you can exit and stroll to this location. You could take a taxi if you are arriving directly from the airport. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding this place because it is a well-known area.


When Should A Visit Be Scheduled Here?

The months of November through March are the optimum for visiting this location. These months experience relatively colder temperatures.

What Else Should Visitors Bear In Mind

You must make advance plans for your visit. This is a well-liked tourist destination, so it can get very busy. To help you plan your vacation effectively, keep in mind the closing times of each attraction.

Regarding the dress code

Men should dress appropriately by wearing full pants and a t-shirt. The women should bring a shawl because it is required that they cover their bodies when entering a place of worship.

Don’t Use ID Proof?

In case they are required to present identification, travellers should have one with them. Al Bastakiya is a fantastic location to explore and take in the history and culture of early Dubai. This demonstrates the difficulties Dubai had on its path to become one of the top tourist destinations in the world. You will require a visa if you intend to visit both Dubai and this location.

Holiday Square help you in applying for the visa and securing an early approval for your Family or Friends.


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