Get Great Deals On Your Maldives Trip. Up to 40% OFF!
Written by Shriniketh on May 5, 2020 Share on

Al Bastakia that you need to visit once in a lifetime

What comes into your mind when you first hear the word Dubai? Not to be surprised if it is all about city life, lights, grandeur, buzzing streets, skyscrapers, glamour, and oil-magnates. Amidst the modern infrastructure and modernity of Dubai, it is often misconceived that travel in Dubai is all about this and there is nothing more in variety for the slow-pace lovers.

What is Al Bastakia in Dubai?

Al Bastakia, also known as the Al Fahidi Historical District, is a historic district in Dubai that houses the memories that date back to the federation of the Emirates. The neighborhood offers a fresh perspective on the lifestyle and culture of people before the UAE was formed.

History of Al Bastakia the Old Dubai

The construction of this historically significant neighborhood dates back to the 1890s. Before the union of the Emiratis in 1971, UAE was a place where bedouins lived as herders, date farmers, and fishermen. Back then during the seafaring trade times, Khor Dubai was the pivotal point out of which the businesses flourished and developed in Dubai, which is also referred to as Old Dubai or the Creek. Mr. Qasim Bin Abdullah Al Bastaki constructed this neighborhood in the 19th century, which was funded by pearl merchants and textile merchants of Dubai. Spread over 300 square meters, this neighborhood is well and truly the essence of Old Dubai. Interestingly, it was once considered to demolish and renovate this region, but it was Prince Charles’ intervention citing renovation would kill the charm, which makes this region retain its heritage. The trade through the Old Dubai region is one of the definitive and instrumental parts of evolving Dubai to its current flourishing stage.

Al Bastakia
Image credits: Wikimedia

How to reach Al Bastakia?

Al Bastakia is very well connected from and to every part of the city and is quite accessible.

By car: You can reach the neighborhood by hiring a taxi from any part of the city as almost all the drivers are quite familiar with this region.

By metro: There are two metro stations closer to this neighborhood, namely Bur Juman station and Al Fahidi station.

By bus: You can board a bus, get down at Al Fahidi stop, which is the closest bus stop to this neighborhood.

Ideal time to visit Al Bastakia in 2020

Al Bastakia neighborhood is open all the days of a week between 9 am – 6 pm. There is no entrance fee for this region, which allows anyone to learn and embrace the culture and heritage of Old Dubai. Although you will have to keep in mind since this is an outdoor tour, the weather may tend to get hot and the physical activity could turn out to be strenuous. So ensure you wear lightweight clothes. In case you’d want a more enriching and detailed experience, consider hiring a guide at the venue.

Experiences and points of attraction in Al Bastakia

Al Bastakia is the cultural hub of Dubai where you can understand and experience how Dubai would have been before urbanization. The Creek is a lively tourist destination where tourists embrace an experience that they can’t find elsewhere in Dubai. You can take an abra alongside the creek with which you’d be able to tour around the Bastakiya quarter.

Al Bastakiya
Image credits: Wikimedia

Although you’d find marvelous urban architecture in Dubai, Old Dubai is a contrast for the same. The architecture here is one of a kind, inspired by several cultures and countries that were instrumental in shaping Dubai for what it is today. Walking through the narrow and rugged streets of Old Dubai will take you back to the 19th century, so far away from the dazzling city that Dubai is currently. Explore the history, culture, lifestyle, Islamic calligraphy, Levantine decorations, and North African style courtyards that grace this charming quaint region.

The whole neighborhood of Al Bastakia is of prominence, but there are few major points of attraction that embed this region.

1. Mawaheb Gallery

Mawaheb, meaning art studio in Arabic, is a platform where people above the age of 16 can enhance life skills through art and creativity while being focussed on adults with special needs.

2. Dar Al Nadwa

Spanning over 463 square meters, this building was constructed by Mr. Abdul Rahman Mohammad Farooq in 1925. This historic building is known for hosting several prominent events, conferences, symposiums, national and international meetings, etc.

3. Sheikh Mohammed Center for Civilized Intercommunication Building

This is an iconic building in Dubai, which was constructed in the year 1944 and later renovated in 2004, is a symbol for establishing a relationship of culture amidst the people of Dubai. Many international conferences and several other events are also hosted in this 300 square meter building.

4. Coffee Museum

This is an interesting and unique museum, where Coffee from all over the world converges together here at Al Bastakia. There are two floors to this museum. On the ground floor, coffee lovers can buy the coffee variety of their choice. On the first floor, different coffee roasting and brewing styles are out in demonstration, and in the second floor, you find resources and books that are linked to the history of coffee. This is a must-visit if you are a coffee lover or if you are seeking a unique experience.

5. Bastakiya Nights Restaurant

No tour in Dubai is complete without experiencing authentic Middle East cuisine, and that is why Bastakiya Nights Restaurant is top-rated in this locality. A two-storeyed building with traditional interiors that overlook the creek, dining in this restaurant is an experience in itself. You get to experience authentic Arab food in a home-cooked style, leaving you asking for more!

If you are looking for an accommodation option in the Al Bastakia region, consider staying at the XVA Hotel. This cozy little hotel, with charming interiors, is a completely unique stay as compared to the high rise hotels in the city of Dubai. The rooms overlooking the amazing courtyard will ensure you have an experience of a lifetime.

If you are someone who thinks Dubai is all about buzzing city life, Al Bastakia is here to break that misconception and show you Dubai in a light you have never heard or seen before. Embrace the culture and heritage of the Emiratis in the 19th century, and seek an experience that is sure to leave you with memories forever. Pickyourtrail helps curate your dream vacations where you experience all the variety you’d need in your Dubai tour, thus making it a memorable vacation!

Related Itineraries