Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Al Bastakiya


If there is one reason for me to come back to Dubai, it would be to explore further the Al Bastakiya quarter.

Kervin and I originally planned to go to the Gold Souq on a Thursday afternoon but figuring out that we wouldn't make it in time because of the rush hour, decided to stop by Al Fahidi street to check this out and find something to fill in my itinerary.

But to steal a line from an author, Bastakiya is a picturesque step into Dubai's past. I knew it the moment I stepped into its narrow lanes and saw those strange structures that are wind towers. It's a glimpse of the  old Dubai - a respite from everything man-made I saw in the last days.

So guess who were the earliest residents of this place? It was actually established in early 19th century by merchants from Bastak, Iran. Iranians. Hmmmm, interesting. Lol. The wind towers are actually an architectural feature of buildings in South Iran. Original residents also earned money from pearl diving from the saltwater creek here known as Dubai Creek.

This is the beautiful courtyard of Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House. Al Maktoum is the name of the dynasty of the original tribes of settlers here. This is a building for cultural understanding and Nat Geo recommends to start with the breakfast tour which if obviously something I missed already. Boo hoo. =,(

Again to quote Lonely Planet, this place is magical to explore. It's just so sad, there were still a lot of things to check out like the art galleries, the old city wall, the mosque, the dive center and the restaurants at night. It would've been lovely indeed to try some Arabian tea or coffee here. Sigh.

But as it is, Kervin and I were only able to explore the cultural house with its coin and stamps collections. I mean, even Kervin who's been working there for years now was mesmerized with the place. Obviously, it was his first time to visit. Haha!

It was almost time for the sun to set when we got out of Al Bastakiya. Less than five minutes of driving and we had to stop again to take in the beauty of this metro station close to the quarter - Al Ghubaiba. 

Seriously? How pretty is this park? Why don't we have it here? Lol!

I really wish to come back here soon. =)

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