Al Bastakiya – The Oldest Residential Area In Dubai

From all the amazing development to many events and fair; Dubai is the most talked about city among the other emirate city. But this city is not about all the stunning structure; it has an impressive history and tradition. Al Bastakiya village is one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai and is placed along Dubai Creek and Al Fahidi Fort.


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Al Bastakiya was built back in the 1690s. It has consisted of 60 housing units in its prime time and most of them belonged to rich Persian merchants. Traditional narrow paths and wind towers were used to separate houses. When oil was found in the region; it has changed many things and most of the families moved to the new and modernized city of Dubai.

Old Wind Towers were used in Al Bastakiya houses to retain the house interior cooler than outer temperature and heat. A Wind Tower is a traditional Persian structural part to produce natural ventilation and passive cooling in homes. It has several designs and used in many countries. The wind towers used in Dubai are rising above building’s rooftop and open to all 4 directions. They capture the wind and redirecting into the interior gaps of the building by narrow shafts.


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Half of the Al Bastakiya village was demolished in the 1970s; to make way for the construction of a new office complex. After that new plans for the area; the wind tower houses in remaining area were often used as warehouses or accommodation for labourers came from another country. In 1989, Dubai Municipality announced a schedule to destroy the remaining parts of Al Bastakiya. Rayner Otter, who was a British architect; came to the area and made the extensive restoration in the house where he was staying, Rayner began a campaign to protect the area and wrote a letter to Prince Charles who was scheduled to visit Dubai that year. When Prince Charles arrived, he asked to visit Al Bastakiya and examined the whole area with Rayner Otter. During his visit, Prince proposed that Al Bastakiya should be protected and upon that demolishing of Al Bastakiya was dropped.

In 2005, a project was started to restore the localities of old buildings and lanes by Dubai Municipality. And we completely recommend as a must visit place in Dubai to all tourists and visitors.

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