Heritage Tour of Bastakiya
There are several options for touring the Bastakiya neighborhood after your breakfast or before your lunch. You can certainly meander through the narrow streets and explore on your own or you can book a tour at the SMCCU and learn more about the intriguing history of Dubai and Bastakiya and Emirati life.
If you wander on your own here are some points of interest to find.
The traditional windtower house where the SMCCU is housed was built in 1944 and renovated in 2003. It has a center courtyard and second story balcony. The entrance doors are the traditional carved wooden doors.
From the SMCCU entrance go towards the Creek and turn left walking down the first alleyway, turn right and there should see the Dar Al Nadwa which was built in 1925 in a traditional architectural design. The building has a windtower which provides cool air for the building, classic wood doors and interior meeting space which today is used for small conferences and educational programs. It was restored in 2001.
Continuing towards the creek and you should see the Bastikaya Nights restaurant, the oldest building in Bastikiya, built in 1895. Keeping the creek on your right continue down the next alleyway to the white mosque. Highlights are the carved doors with brass knockers and the beautiful grille work.
When facing the mosque turn to your left and walk down the alleyways until you reach the site of the last remaining segment of Dubai’s original defensive wall. It was built in 1860 of gypsum and coral, and protected the old town of Burj Dubai from attack by neighboring tribes.
From this point you just have to meander around the alleyways to discover art and crafts galleries, the stamp collection and the coin museum. There is also the boutique XVA Hotel. All are house in restored windtower houses.
However, if you want to learn more details about Bastakiya and Emirati life before oil, feel comfortable making a reservation for any of the tours as they are all excellent. It just depends on how much time you have to spend. Reservations are a must. Children under 12 are free.
Bastakiya Tour – 90 minutes AED 55 (approx $14) – a guided walk through the Bastakiya neighborhood including a visit to the Bastakiya Mosque. Return to the SMCCU for Arabic coffee, tea and dates and informative Q&A session with your guide.
Bastakiya Walking Tour – 60 minutes AED 35 ($10) – A guided walk through the Bastakiya neighborhood. Return to the SMCCU for Arabic coffee, tea and dates and informative Q&A session with your guide.
Creekside Tour – 120 minutes AED255 ($70) – A guided walk through the Bastakiya neighborhood including a visit to the Bastakiya Mosque, the Textile Souq, an abra boat ride across Dubai Creek, the Gold Souq, and the Spice souq. Return to the SMCCU for Arabic coffee, tea and dates and informative Q&A session with your guide. This tour has a minimum of 5 participants and can be scheduled at your convenience.