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Bastakia

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The old Bastakiya district with its narrow lanes and tall wind-towers was built in the late 19th century and provides an insight into old Dubai. Located near Al Fahidi Fort, Bastakiya is the largest concentration of traditional courtyard houses with windtowers. These distinctive windtowers were not merely decorative but the only means of cooling houses in the days before mains electricity and worked by drawing wind into the house from all directions to create movement.

Many of the restored buildings are open to public.

These include:

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
Basta Art Cafe - Popular courtyard cafe.
Majlis Gallery - Features the work of local and international artists.
Ostra - Gallery specialising in contemporary art and sculpture.
XVA - Small guesthouse and art gallery.

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding conducts guided tours of the Bastakiya area every Sunday; Thursday at 10 am. 50 UAE Dirhams per guest. Telephone: 04 3536666.

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