When the glitz and glamour of Dubai gets a bit too much, then better get out of the hotels and malls and I suggest you pay a visit to Bastakiya, the old neigbourhoods of Dubai. It’s just a couple of walks along Dubai Museum. Here, you’ll step into Dubai’s past and get a glimpse of what Dubai looked like in the days before oil. This is the other side of Dubai. Visiting this place keeps on reminding me that I’m in the middle east after all.
Bastakiya, located along the Dubai Creek, is known for its traditional homes, wind towers, and labyrinth of narrow alleyways. This is where the first settlements of Dubai were built. It was named after Bastak, a province in southern Iran, from where merchants emigrated on the invitation of the Emir of Dubai in the early 20th century to avoid taxation by the Iranian state. Today the restored quarter is filled with art galleries, cafés, museums, and boutique hotels.