Bastakia Quarter, Dubai

4 out of 5 stars 19 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Bastakia Quarter
    by machomikemd
  • Bastakia Quarter
    by machomikemd
  • Al Bastakiya, Dubai
    Al Bastakiya, Dubai
    by antistar
  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Old Dubai

    by antistar Written Mar 6, 2015

    In the rush to develop the ultra modern city of Dubai, the developers almost forgot that there was once a thriving trading city down by the creek. There wasn't much left of this old quarter when the local municipality decided to destroy the rest of it to make way for new developments. The bulldozers were averted, though, and over the years the value of the old buildings has been realised through restoration and rebuilding. Today it is the quarter in Dubai most evocative of its past. It's small, but like the centers of cities across the Arab world, very easy to get lost in. The narrow alleys are designed to maximise shade and confuse invaders. The buildings are also unusual in Dubai in having wind towers on their roofs - the old way of keeping cool in the desert by trapping wind and circulating it through the house.

    Al Bastakiya, Dubai Al Bastakiya, Dubai Al Bastakiya, Dubai Al Bastakiya, Dubai Al Bastakiya, Dubai

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Dubai's Old Quarter

    by machomikemd Written Aug 1, 2013

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bastakiya Quarter in Dubai Old Town in Dubai is where you can find traditional emirati houses, shops, wind towers, the Grand Mosque, Souks, the Center for Cultural Understanding Tour House and just beside it is the Al Fahidi Fort. You should also see the area from the Dubai Creek along the Dhow Cruises at Night as it casts a beautiful glow too. Established at the end of the 19th century by well-to-do textile and pearl traders from Bastak, Iran, its labyrinthine lanes are lined with restored merchant’s houses, art galleries, cafés, and boutique hotels. It is not included in the traditional city tours of dubai but you can take the Big Bus Tour and it drops you at the Al Fahidi Fort and just a 3 minute walk and you will enter this ancient quarter and can buy souvenirs at the Old Souk. You can also reach the area by waterbus from the Dubai Old Souk dock or by metro from the Al Fahidi station

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Bastakiya Mosque

    by leffe3 Written Jul 15, 2012

    On the edge of the Bastakiya neighbourhood and sitting on the banks of the Creek, the Bastakiya Mosque is a beautiful, ornate new place of worship with one of the the tallest minarets in the city.

    Sadly, it is off-limits to non-Muslims except for organised tours and can therefore be only admired from the outside.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Bastakiya - renovated history

    by leffe3 Written Jul 11, 2012

    Along with Al Shindagha a little further NW on the same side of the Dubai Creek, Al Bastakiya is one of the oldest residential areas of Dubai and is moments from Al Fahidi Fort/Dubai Museum and the Creek itself.

    It dates from the 1890s and was originally for wealthy families but the discovery of oil changed all that with Al Bastakiya becoming the home of migrant workers. Much of it was demolished in the 1970s and it is reported that an intervention from Prince Charles in 1989 resulted in the reversal of the planned demolition of the remaining part of the neighbourhood.

    A complete makeover of the remaining buildings, wind towers and alleyways took place as recently as 2005 and Al Bastakiya is now a delightfully preserved enclave, with tiny museums (eg coins), galleries (eg the famed Majlis Gallery), small boutique hotels (eg XVA and The Orient) and craft shops. But not many of them, which is the saving grace. It's not become a tourist trap - simply a place to wander the streets and alleyways. It's also small, so it's not a major undertaking in the heat of the day!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    The Bastakiya Area

    by IreneMcKay Written Dec 27, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Bastakiya area is another place to see traditional Arab architecture. There are some museums and heritage houses to visit. There are also restaurants and guest houses. It is worth having a wander around. It is very close to the Dubai Museum. Nearest metro Al Fahdi or walk from the Old Souq abra station.

    Beautiful craft shop in Bastakiya area. Courtyard in Bastakiya.
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Take a stroll in the Bastakiya Quarter

    by xuessium Updated Feb 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With its labyrinthine lanes lined with traditional wind-tower architecture, the old Bastakiya Quarter on the waterfront east of Bur Dubai Souk is a wonderful place to spend some time in....especially for historical and architectural buffs. And for folks who loves photography, this is one great place to catch shadows and contrasts and play with lines and curves.

    The entire area is immaculately clean and orderly. It is so immaculate that it was one of those place you wouldn't want to shatter the uppity image. Since being restored, the Quarter is now home to swanky restaurants, lawyer firms, societies, art galleries and fanciful boutique hotels. Yes, I have heard criticisms that the old soul of the place had been lost but coming in with no historical baggage, I found myself enjoying the place immensely. '

    The winding lanes were drawing wind in so the place was lovingly cool and breezy. At 5pm in the day, it was strangely devoid of other tourists and mercifully quiet and serene. I had spots all to myself and that wasn't always easily available in Dubai!

    I found myself visiting various places in the Quarter. I checked out art exhibitions in the swanky XVA Hotel and took a most wonderful exploration of another restored windtower building, courtesy of the home of the Architectural Heritage Society.

    ArchitecturalHeritageSociety XVAHotel&Gallery XVAHotel&Gallery
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Bastakia Quarter

    by sue_stone Written Jan 7, 2008

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For a glimpse of old Dubai, take a wander through the atmospheric lanes of the Bastakia Quarter. This area was built in the late 19th century by Persian merchants, and these days the buildings have been beautifully restored and are now part of a conservation area.

    The Bastakia Quarter is home to the largest concentration of traditional wind-tower houses. The wind-towers were not only decorative, but were an ingenious means of cooling houses in the days before electricity, as they funnel cool air down into the house. The typical homes are two stories, with a central courtyard that most of the rooms open onto. They are fairly plain on the outside, but look out for the carved wooden doors and decorative panels on the wealthier merchants homes.

    The are a few interesting galleries in the area, and if you need a break and want to have a look inside the courtyard of one of the traditional homes, head to the Basta Art Café, where you can relax with a drink or a meal in the shady courtyard.

    Wind-Tower Bastakia Quarter Wind-Towers Bastakia Quarter architecture Wind-Tower
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • xiquinho's Profile Photo

    Bastakiya

    by xiquinho Written Dec 29, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Head back through the ages by taking a tour of the Bastakiya district. The oldest part of the city, the area contains the best preserved examples of the old wind towers that were once used all over Dubai to keep the local houses cool. They would funnel any breeze down into the building in the earliest form of air-conditioning. It is an atmospheric place of great historical interest. A museum, art gallery and cultural centre offer further attractions but most people enjoy merely wandering the streets of the district soaking up the ambience of old Dubai.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Bastakiah

    by Airpunk Written Dec 15, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of the oldest parts of Dubai and has maintained some of its original character. It is a peaceful place with many old villas. Now, they are used mainly by organisations and associations as office buildings. This makes Bastakiah very quiet, even during daytime. Take it as a contrast program to the souk strolls and enjoy the different atmosphere. But sometimes, tradition comes back to life when there’s some event going on or a big “Bastakiah Nights” party is taking place.
    In Bastakiah, you’ll also find the only remaining piece of the old Dubai city wall.

    House with wind tower in Bastakiah Alley in Bastakiah Balcony of a house in Bastakiah More Bastakiah architecture... Remains of the old Dubai city wall
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • zuyao's Profile Photo

    Bastakiya

    by zuyao Written Apr 10, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This old heritage district is home to a large concentration of traditional Arabic courtyard homes with wind tunnels. Wander around the narrow alleys and marvel at the beauty of the old architecture – wind tunnels, wooden doors, quiet courtyards etc. The place is pretty quiet in the daytime and is nicer to wander around then and soak up to the Arabic feel.

    Bastakiya is situated just by the Creek and is within walking distance from Dubai Museum and Textile Souq.

    Bastakiya heritage area

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Wind Towers

    by Willettsworld Written Jan 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Before modern day air-conditioning was invented, wind towers were built on top of houses whereby cool air was funnelled down into the house and warm air rose out (known as simple convection process). Some of the wind towers can be found on the old tradional merchant houses in the newly renovated Bastakia district which lies just south of the Dubai Museum.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Bastakia Quarter

    by Willettsworld Written Jan 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This area near the creek waterfront is one of the oldest to still remain in Dubai. It features a number of traditional old merchant houses that were built at the turn of the 20th century for wealthy Persian merchants lured to Dubai by it's relaxed trade tariffs. Most came from the Bastak district in what is now southern Iran, hence the name Bastakia.

    The quarter has undergone recent renovation and has now been declared a conservation area. As you walk around the narrow streets you will notice the traditional wind towers which act to cool the houses. Also you will notice that the houses still contain their original carved wooden doors.

    Was this review helpful?

  • kuwait_david's Profile Photo

    Bastakiya - A taste of old Dubai's architecture

    by kuwait_david Written Nov 24, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are interested in seeing what Dubai looked like before the invasion of the skyscrapers go to Bastakiya where a few streets of old Dubai architecture has been built / restored. Each time you turn a corner you may find a coffee shop or a gallery, an intriguing shop, an old doorway and other views which give a glimpst to a era long passed in Dubai.

    Bastakiya Nights Restuarant Dubai X V A Gallery in Bastakiya Dubai The Mosque in Bastakiya Dubai Bastakiya by Night Dubai Windtower Bastakiya Dubai
    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    The wind towers

    by call_me_rhia Written Nov 15, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wind towers are amazingly functional old building tzpical of the Gulf region. In Dubai you can find the finest examples on the Bastakia area, but some can also be found in the old souk area.

    Wind towers are houses shaped like towers and open on all sides above the rooftop, so that the wind can breeze in, funnel into a room below and keep the house cool. Basically it functions like a primitive, but very effective, natural air-conditioning system: the cool air comesin, the warm air goes out.

    wind tower
    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Rinjani's Profile Photo

    Bastakiah Nights

    by Rinjani Written Jul 15, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yes, I know, I should include this tip under Restaurant, but Bastakiah Nights offers more than food.
    It's great to visit Bastakiyah Nights at evening time, since the light will create strong exotic Arabic atmoshphere. Bastakiyah Nights is a restored heritage building and the creative owner opens the restaurant with the breathaking atmosphere for people to enjoy the taste of interior design combined with the great food.

    Bastakiah Nights
    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Business Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Dubai

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

27 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Bastakia Quarter
3.0 out of 5 stars
0 miles away
Show Prices
3.0 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
Show Prices

View all Dubai hotels