Bastakiya Quarters Dubai

Open Art Galleries in Bastakiya Quarters, Bur Dubai.

Open Art Galleries

Bastakiya Quarters Dubai is a quaint and intriguing neighborhood (across the Al Fahidi roundabout in Bur Dubai) originally established by erstwhile Iranian pearl and textile merchants, built in 1890s and restored by the Dubai Municipality in 2005.

One morning we found ourselves wandering in the historical atmosphere and character of the past, walking through labyrinth alleyways (Sikka in Arabic) and visiting heritage courtyard houses topped with wind towers. We strolled through the cobbled streets enjoying the open art galleries and those within the restored traditional houses.

Not having had enough of Bastakiya, we returned in the evening to enjoy local cuisine at one of the cafes. We were lucky to be visiting during the Art Week and got to witness a performance by Gaya, an Indian born-Dubai bred singer and songwriter.

A photo essay with some experiences of our wondrous day spent at Bastakiya’s mystic old merchant settlement!

Exploring Bastakiya in Bur Dubai.

Bastakiya is so tranquil with its yesteryear flavor and soothingly different from the skyscrapers and modernity of downtown Dubai – you feel transported back a 100 years.



Exploring the Bastakiya Quarters – A gypsum, coral, and limestone building with carved wooden doors and intricate patterns.


A historical house in Bastakiya, Dubai.

Inside one of Bastakiya’s elegant buildings, with a beautiful courtyard, pretty decorative grilles, hanging oil lamps and lattice work.


An art gallery in Bastakiya, Bur Dubai

An art gallery with several exhibition rooms around its shady courtyard of a historical house, showcasing beautiful ceramics, handicrafts and jewelry. 


Sampling came meat while strolling in Bastakiya!

That’s how close I got to sampling camel meat!


Wind Tower in Bastakiya in Dubai.

Note the wind tower. This traditional form of air-conditioning, constructed to funnel cool air into the house, was an architectural feature of buildings in southern Iran.
And don’t miss the art graffiti on the wall.


Open art galley in outdoors in Basatakiya, Dubai.

A beautiful painting in the outdoors on one of the Sikka Walls.


Arabic Calligraphy in Bastakiya, Bur Dubai.

Arabic calligraphy exhibited in the open.


Wall of Old Dubai.


A model of last remaining section of the Old City Wall

The last remaining section of the Old City Wall. Constructed in 1800 from gypsum and coral, the defensive wall surrounded the old town of Bur Dubai, which included Al Fahidi Fort and the old Grand Mosque.


Gypsum and Coral used for making walls of buildings in Dubai.

Buildings then were made of gypsum and coral.


Evening musical performance at Bastakiya.

A lilting evening performance by independent singer-songwriter Gaya during the Art Week at Bastakiya. Lively crowd, wind-tower backdrop, gentle breeze, wafting music in the open courtyard. What an ambience! 

Note: We visited Bastakiya Quarters in Bur Dubai during March 2016.

Article Authored By: Achal Bindraban
Page Design By: Ranjana Achal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s