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Bastakiya

The historic heart of Dubai is a labyrinth of old city streets packed with restored townhouses, traditional Persian wind towers, galleries and boutiques. 

Feel as though you are stepping into Dubai's past with a walk through the narrow, shaded streets and alleyways of one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Tucked behind the lavish malls and steel and glass skyscrapers is the Al Fahidi Historical and Cultural Area (formerly known as Bastakiya), a merchant quarter established at the end of the 19th century by wealthy Iranian pearl traders. Today, their traditional houses of coral, gypsum and limestone have been restored and turned into museums, galleries, restaurants and shops.

A good place to start your tour is at the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, located in the courtyard of a traditional house. The center hosts cultural breakfasts and lunches almost every day. These events are an opportunity to taste local specialties and hear about Emirati culture. You can also join one of the guided walking tours of the historic neighborhood run by the center. For more information about times and prices visit the center’s official website.

As you walk through the old streets, note the tall, rectangular structures on top of some of the buildings. These are wind towers or windcatchers, called barjeels, a useful Persian architectural feature before the invention of modern air conditioning. The thick adobe walls of the towers capture and cool winds that come from all directions and funnel them down into the buildings. 

Search for an original piece of art in one of the many galleries that showcase a variety of Arabic, Asian, Indian and contemporary art. Hunt for a souvenir in boutiques selling locally made arts and crafts, silks, ceramics and jewelry. Go to the Dubai Museum in the 18th-century Al Fahidi Fort to discover how Dubai turned from a small fishing village into a global metropolis. Savor a cup of traditional mint tea in a neighborhood café.

Al Fahidi Historical and Cultural Area is situated on the Bur Dubai side of Dubai Creek, close to two metro stations. A fun way to get there if you’re in the Deira part of the city is to take a water taxi or traditional dhow boat across the creek. The neighborhood is a conservation area where the lanes are pedestrianized. 


Guide to Exploring around Bastakiya


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Lodging Near Bastakiya

See all 982 Properties near Bastakiya
Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa $37
Reviewed on Apr 30, 2019
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Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa

Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa

Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, Dubai
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Check-in wasn’t the most pleasant. But the hotel staff redeemed themselves the remainder of our stay.

    Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai $43
    Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
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    Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai

    Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel Dubai

    Sheikh Khalifah Bin Zayed Street, Opp. Burjuman Centre, Dubai
       
      4.2 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Good Hotel and good location. Restaurants and shops around the hotel.

      Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek $64
      Reviewed on Jun 16, 2019
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      Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek

      Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek

      Bani Yas Road, Deira, Dubai
         
        4.3 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Toilet fittings and the good maintance culture of the facilities.

        XVA Art Hotel $74
        Reviewed on Feb 9, 2019
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        XVA Art Hotel

        XVA Art Hotel

        Al Fahidi Neighborhood, Bur Dubai, Dubai
           
          4.5 of 5
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Unique and nice boutique hotel. Location is perfect for walking to street markets, museums and good restaurants. Staff is friendly and helpful

          Al Seef Hotel
          Reviewed on Jun 11, 2019
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          Al Seef Hotel

          Al Seef Hotel

          Al Seef Street, Dubai Creek, Dubai
             
            4.7 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            great hotel to stay, just do come to the right timing where the weather more friendly

            Orient Guest House $34
            Reviewed on Apr 28, 2019
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            Orient Guest House

            Orient Guest House

            Al Fahidi Street, Bastakiya Area, Dubai
               
              4.1 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              We consider it fortunate that we were able to stay at the Orient Guest House. It was such a delight to enjoy the historic atmosphere of the hotel and it's surrounding area. The staff were most helpful and welcoming, the breakfast was very good and the room comfortable and just so charming. Thank ...

              Hyatt Place Dubai Baniyas Square $49
              Reviewed on Jun 6, 2019
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              Hyatt Place Dubai Baniyas Square

              Hyatt Place Dubai Baniyas Square

              Baniyas Square -14th Road, Diera, Dubai, AE
                 
                4.2 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Location was great Early check in request granted Breakfast was okay

                Buraq Hotel By Gemstones $33
                Reviewed on May 29, 2019
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                Buraq Hotel By Gemstones

                Buraq Hotel By Gemstones

                5 Old Baladiya Street, Gold Souk, Dubai
                   
                  3.6 of 5
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Good service staff, close to Gold Souq and train station Al Ras food shopping