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Al Bastakiya, Dubai: Top Attractions, How To Reach and More

Al Bastakiya in Dubai also called Al Fahidi Historical District is as old as the 1890s with narrow and winding lanes. Discover the district with original infrastructure intact from traditional wind towers made of teak, stone, palm wood and gypsum. Wander each alley and understand the story of life before the unification of the emirates and Al Bastakiya history. We showcase the best places to visit in Al Bastakiya, its heritage and more. 

Al Bastakiya, Dubai

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum offers a journey into the history of Dubai, its cultures, and its people. The museum is in the Al Fahidi Fort and was opened by the Ruler of Dubai in 1971. Witness local artefacts and various exhibits that tell you about the way of life in the emirates many years back. The museum served as a prison, garrison, and weapon depot for the king of the day. It is one of the top attractions in Al Bastakiya in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)


Take an Al Bastakiya tour to explore the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. This is a top attraction in Al Bastakiya with charming cafes and art galleries. SMCCU seeks to spread tolerance and knowledge of Emirati culture, customs, traditions and heritage. With the idea to “Open Doors Open Minds”, the non-profit organisation is among the top places to visit in Al Bastakiya.

Coffee Museum Al Bastakiya

Coffee Museum

One of the hidden places in Dubai is the museum in the Al Fahidi Historical neighbourhood. Walk through narrow lanes of the old district also called Al Bastakiya in Dubai and discover the Coffee Museum. Here, indulge in the knowledge of the origins of coffee that dates back to the legend of Kaldi who found the humble coffee bean. Coffee has always been an important part of Arabic culture and the Coffee Museum is a good spot to visit on the Al Bastakiya tour.

Dar Al Nadwa  

Dar Al Nadwa

Explore Dar Al Nadwa, a fascinating place to visit in Al Bastakiya from 1925. It covers an area of 465 square meters and whose history goes back to the 19th century. The man behind this construction was Mr Abdul Rahman Mohammad Farooq. The newly renovated attraction now hosts special events similar to symposiums, art shows, national and international conferences, and more. Pick the experience in the Al Bastakiya tour and indulge in the history of the region.

Bastakiya Nights Restaurant

Bastakiya Nights Restaurant

Indulge in local Arabic delicacies in a two-storey building with fabulous views of Dubai Creek in an age-old mansion. The Bastakiya Night Restaurant serves flavour-rich Arabic food and has traditional interiors. Interestingly, this restaurant was built in 1895 and covers an area of 645 square meters. Choose from the fixed menus or à la carte selection in a top Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood attraction.

Majlis Gallery

Majlis Gallery

Another best place to visit in Al Bastakiya is the Majlis Gallery. This is a premier art gallery that showcases highly reputed artworks from around the world. It gives an opportunity for regional and international artists to get onto an international stage. Visit during the SIKKA Art Fair and Heritage Week for the best time to be in Bastakiya and indulge in a cultural tour.

Sahara Gate

Sahara Gates

Sahara Gate is a traditional place constructed in 1954 in Al Bastakiya in Dubai. The building was renovated in 2005 and was built way back in 1954. It is now under the maintenance of the Culture and Tourism  Department of Dubai and is a must-visit in the Al Bastakiya tour. Spot the Islamic writings and designs on the walls and understand their meaning at your own pace.

How to reach Al Bastakiya?

How to reach Al Bastakiya

Explore the Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood and trek through the rustic alleys to witness the architecture of the mid-19th century. At about 8 km from the Dubai International Airport, it boasts of great public transport connections. The nearest metro station is Al Fahidi from where the neighbourhood is just within walking distance away. You can also hire a taxi or cab service from the airport for a hassle-free transfer. There are plenty of buses/coaches also that ply this route.

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What is Al Bastakiya history about?

What is Al Bastakiya history about

The place has traditional buildings beautifully crafted from stone, gypsum, teak and palm wood. You experience the twisted alleys and architectural history belonging to the times before the formation of the Emirates in 1971. Al Bastakiya in Dubai is a must-visit for history buffs who will love to soak in a quiet neighbourhood. It was built by Mr Qasim Bin Abdullah Al Bastaki, in the 19th century. Away from the city’s buzz and tall skyscrapers, the network of lanes emits a feeling of a secluded village. The district dates back to the 1890s and because of its prime location at Dubai Creek, it played an important role in commercial trade relationships overseas.

Other places to visit in Al Bastakiya: Historic Building Section | XVA Hotel | Architectural Heritage Society | Al Fahidi Fort and others.

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