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Published: April 5th 2012
This is one of the oldest parts of Dubai, a restored Heritage area, which has now become home to art galleries, cafes, boutique hotels, and cultural centres. Bastikiya is in Bur Dubai, the original trading township of Dubai, alongside the creek. The Bastikiya Quarter is full of restored wind tower houses, mostly 2 stories, with central courtyards, decorative arches & doorways. They were built about 100 years ago by pearl & textile merchants from Persia.This is definitely my favorite part of Dubai, well away from the massive malls. The narrow streets nearby are bustling with life and energy, small shops, souks, the dhows & abras alongside the creek...
I love the narrow alleyways of Bastikiya, the stone paved walkways, wind towers, the heritage buildings restored... the ornate doorways leading to hidden courtyards. The courtyards offer a cooler protected retreat from the searing heat and sandstorms that so often accompany this desert land.. To wander the lane ways with the absence of traffic takes you back to times long gone..
Bastikiya is a labyrinth of lane ways, condensed in to approx a block area... so you can wander around in its maze, get lost, then found again..around
every corner is a surprise of the beautiful architectural details of these historic houses.
I was very relieved when I first came across this gem of Dubai...I would rather spend my days wandering around here, having a cool lemon & mint drink in one of the many courtyard cafes.. than be at one of the many shopping malls. My favourite places here are :XVA cafe/ gallery/ boutique hotel , Bastikiya Nights restaurant, Orient Guest House cafe, Basta cafe and Majlis Gallery, the oldest gallery in Dubai and one with a very welcoming, relaxed feel, where artists are often working in the expansive courtyard.
I have taken many photos down here, and it is especially good to visit at night when all the lights light up the alleyways and buildings. Here are some of my photos, ... more to come, enjoy :-)
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