Al Bastakiya, also known as the Bastakiya quarter, was established at the end of the 19th century by well-to-do textile and pearl traders from Bastak, Iran. It is supposed to be one of the city’s most picturesque heritage sites and has been declared a conservation area.
Within the quarter lay the remains of the old city walls, one of the prominent architectural features of the urban context of old cities. They surrounded cities to defend and secure them against external attacks. Dubai had two such walls that defined the city context. The oldest one was constructed in Bur Dubai in approximately 1800 AD. It surrounded the city, which included the Al-Fahidi Fort, the Grand Mosque and residential houses. The second one was built in the Deira side in the 1850s.
The Bur Dubai wall was built using coral stones and gypsum. It was 50 centimetres thick, around 600 metres long and 2.5 metres high. In the beginning of the 21st century the wall was demolished to accommodate the expansion of the city. The only remaining evidence of this wall is a part of the foundations, which was restored in 2001 by the Historical Buildings Section.
A number of art galleries are located within the Bastakiya quarter, including the Majlis Gallery, which is Dubai’s oldest commercial art gallery, and some little shops and stalls that sell all sorts of beautiful souvenirs and paintings.
- Information sign in Bastakiya