Al Bastakiya Overview
Al Bastakiya name is derived from Iranian town of Bastak, from where many of Dubai’s first trading immigrants hailed in the early 19th century.
Sophisticated houses with rough walls shielding the privacy of the wealthy families within became a trademark of the Bastakiya area. Wind towers topped these walls, trapping the wind and funneling it down into the house as an effective form of early air conditioning. Inner courtyards, shady and highly decorated, provided a sharp contrast to this outer impenetrability.
Wandering around Bastakiya, it’s easy to transport yourself back to a bygone era. These old buildings have been converted into shady cafés, art galleries and quirky little shops – making Bastakiya the perfect place to while away a few hours. What makes Al Bastakiya unique is its architecture. The wind tower, called barjeel, is in every house of Al Bastakiya. The number of barjeels a house has indicates the wealth of the owner family.
Moreover, the doors of the houses are related to cultural behaviors. For example the main door of the house is large whereas the inner door is short, and this is because when men entering the house they should bend down not facing women directly.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Dubai is safe to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Dubai tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Valid Passport with 6 months validity beyond your travel schedule is a must. Visitors to Dubai from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia Do not need a visa for Dubai. Visitors from Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and The Vatican can purchase a one month visa upon arrival. Travelers from other countries must arrange for a visa before they travel and will be required to have a sponsor for their visa application.
Although Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Dubai, Dubai is an international city with a wide variety of languages. Most people in Dubai can speak and understand at least basic English.
Dubai is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
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Burj Khalifa; The tallest man-made structure in the World. Dubai Mall; The World largest shopping mall. Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort; the oldest existing building in Dubai. Jumeirah Mosque; highlighting the The UAE attractions with a capacity of 1,200 worshippers. Dubai Creek; The historic focal point of The United Arab Emirates flows between Bur Dubai and Deira. Palm Jumeirah; the first offshore development of its kind and is the 8th Wonder of the World.
The currency in Dubai is the Dirham (AED), it is about 0.27 to USD. Money exchange is widely available and Credit cards are largely used.
Dubai enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Dubai is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.