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Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya is a historic neighborhood located in the heart of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is one of the city's oldest residential areas and is known for its traditional Arabian architecture and narrow winding lanes.

Al Bastakiya dates back to the late 19th century and was originally settled by wealthy Persian merchants who were attracted to Dubai's lucrative pearl diving and trading industry. The neighborhood was named after the Bastak region in southern Iran, from where many of the early settlers hailed. Over the years, Al Bastakiya fell into disrepair but was later restored in the 1990s as part of a preservation project.

Visiting Al Bastakiya allows you to step back in time and experience the traditional Arabian way of life. The neighborhood features beautifully restored wind-tower houses, which were designed to catch the breeze and provide natural cooling. These houses now house art galleries, cafes, boutique hotels, and cultural centers.

One of the prominent attractions in Al Bastakiya is the Dubai Museum, located within the Al Fahidi Fort. The museum provides a fascinating insight into Dubai's history, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that depict the city's transformation from a humble fishing village to a modern metropolis.

Tips for tourists:
1. Wear comfortable shoes as the neighborhood is best explored on foot due to its narrow lanes and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.
2. Visit during the cooler months (November to March) to avoid the scorching summer heat.
3. Don't miss the chance to visit the Majlis Gallery, a renowned art gallery that features contemporary Middle Eastern art and hosts regular exhibitions.
4. Explore the traditional courtyard houses, known as "majlis," which offer a glimpse into the traditional Emirati lifestyle.
5. Enjoy a cup of traditional Arabian tea or coffee at one of the charming cafes in the area.
6. Take a walk along the Dubai Creek, which runs alongside Al Bastakiya, and consider taking an abra (traditional wooden boat) ride to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Al Bastakiya is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, art lovers, and those seeking an authentic Emirati experience. Its unique blend of history, culture, and traditional architecture makes it a hidden gem in Dubai's bustling urban landscape.