Bastakia (Old Dubai)

The Bastakia Quarter (sometimes also called Al-Fahidi neighborhood) was built in the late 19th century to be the home of wealthy Persian merchants who dealt mainly in pearls and textiles, and were lured to Dubai because of the tax free trading and access to Dubai Creek. Bastakia occupies the eastern portion of Bur Dubai along the creek, and the coral and limestone buildings here, many with walls topped with wind-towers, have been excellently preserved. Wind towers provided the homes here with an early form of air conditioning - the wind trapped in the towers was funneled down into the houses. Persian merchants likely transplanted this architectural element (common in Iranian coastal houses) from their home country to the Gulf.