Al Bastakiya Dubai: The Oldest Residential Area in Dubai
Last updated on July 9th, 2015
Now a days everyone talks about Dubai and its amazing development but we often ignore the history and tradition of Dubai and UAE. Al Bastakiya village is situated along Dubai Creek and Al Fahidi Fort is one of the oldest residential area in Dubai.
Al Bastakiya was constructed back in 1690s. It was consisted of 60 housing units in its prime time and most of them were owned by rich persian merchants. Traditional narrow lanes and wind towers were used to separate houses. However, All of this changed when oil was discovered in the region and most of families moved to the new and modern city of Dubai.
Traditional Wind Towers Dubai
Traditional Wind Towers were used in Al Bastakiya houses to keep the house interior cooler than outside temperature and heat. A Wind Tower is a traditional Persian architectural element to create natural ventilation and passive cooling in buildings. They came in various designs and used in many countries. The wind towers used in Dubai are rising above building’s roof and open to all four directions. They captures wind and redirecting into the interior spaces of the building through narrow shafts.
Survival of Al Bastakiya
In the 1970s half of the Al Bastakiya village was destroyed to make way for the development of a new office complex. After that the wind tower houses in remaining area were mostly used as warehouses or accommodation for laborers came from different countries. In 1989 Dubai Municipality issued a schedule to demolish the remaining parts of Al Bastakiya. During that time Rayner Otter, British architect came to the area and made extensive renovation in the house where he was staying. Rayner started a campaign to preserve the area and wrote a letter to Prince Charles who was scheduled to visit Dubai that year. On his arrival Prince Charles asked to visit Al Bastakiya and explored the whole area with Rayner Otter. During his visit Prince suggested that Al Bastakiya should be preserved and upon that demolishing of Al Bastakiya was canceled.
In 2005 a project was initiated to restore the locality’s of old buildings and lanes by Dubai Municipality. And we strongly recommend as a must visit place in Dubai to all tourists and visitors.