Bastakia , Dubai
Bastakiya is a quiet old neighborhood tucked behind the Bur Dubai district, showing a striking contrast with the sky reaching buildings of the city. Away from the noisy highways and bright illuminated malls, this tiny society welcomes the tourists with sand colored and wind towered buildings standing in calm splendor. The narrow lanes of this area are flanked on either sides with a number of merchant houses, art galleries, cafés, craft shops, souvenir shops and hotels. It was once a fishing village, established in the last decade of the 19th century by the textile and pearl traders from a place called Bastak in Iran.
Start your guided tours offered by Sheikh Muhammed Centre for Cultural Understanding or you can visit the well known places yourself. Visit the Majlis Gallery which is Dubai’s oldest art gallery that displays Asian oiled and water colored art pieces. XVA is a contemporary art gallery and Dubai Museum are also worth while attractions to visit. Then go to the old city wall constructed in 1800 served as a defense to the district of Bur Dubai. There are a good number of fine restaurants and cafés in this area to re-energise you. Don’t miss the delicacies at Bastakiya Nights where you will dine in a courtyard house whose walls are traditionally decorated and at Arabian Tea House. Explore the village wandering in these narrow winding alleys and buy souvenirs from one of these craft shops.