Before the sky-high architecture and multi-billion-dollar modernization, Dubai was a simple fishing waterfront. We try to discover the appeal of the town in instances gone by.
Mention this city and the first images that spring to mind are sandy beaches, towering skyscraper and opulent 5 star Dubai hotels and resorts. But remove the shiny new layers and under the modern day style of the sheikhdom lies an authentic Arabian city that’s full of old-world allure.
Before it boasted the tallest tower, the most expensive horse race as well as the largest artificial island in the world, Dubai was a simple fishing port bounded by sand dunes and palms. The industrial heart and lifeblood of the city was concentrated at the Creek, a natural seawater inlet where pearl divers, anglers, traders and merchants from places afar would dock their dhows and ply their trade. Within the late ’50s, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum put Dubai firmly on the trading map by dredging the creek until it absolutely was wide and deep enough for ships to sail. Now, the Creek runs along 14km and separates the town into the Bur Dubai and Deira areas.
In its goal to always be larger and greater Dubai emerged fifty years later by having a completely distinct experience – that of an ultra-modern westernized city. But a wander about the Creek tells a distinct tale. The destination that started all of it is nonetheless a lively hub for financial along with a testament to Dubai’s wealthy cultural and historic heritage.
Majlis Gallery proprietor and longtime Dubai resident Alison Collins says: “When I moved here in 1975 there had been random herds of goats and camels just wandering within the town and all this was sand dunes and date palms .The Creek was the center of Dubai. To go to work I’d stroll from what’s today the Ramada Hotel down to the Bastakiya district, through the souk. Then I’d hop on an abra (water taxi) to get to the other bank of the Creek. The Majlis Gallery grew from walking down this place. I met Iranian merchants in the souk, stopped for some tea and through them had the lease on the house in Bastakiya.” The Bastakiya centre, a National Heritage place, is really a good beginning point to get acquainted with Dubai’s historical past.Located within the Bur Dubai side of the Creek, Bastakiya get its name from the affluent textile and pearl traders from Bastak, Iran, who settled here in the 19th century. Aspect of Bastakiya’s captivating charm is its striking architecture, large concentration of courtyard buildings and also the specific barjeel wind towers that dominate the rooflines. Created by Persians before electricity was obtainable, this clever cooling method stored the temperatures pleasurable even within the top of summer time and was an indication of prosperity – the more barjeels a house owner possessed, the wealthier he was.
These days Bastakiya continues to be mostly renovated and it is lined with boutiques, cafes and art galleries, which includes Alison’s Majlis Gallery, the oldest Dubai art gallery. “I’ve often experienced a enthusiasm for art and back again within the previous times, I used to hold informal soirees as there wasn’t much going on culturally. I’d hang good paintings on the wall, such as Julian Merrow’s, who did essentially the most wonderful paintings of the Creek. We used to put them in the Majlis, or sitting room, and that’s exactly where the name of the gallery came from,-” recalls Alison.
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Tags: art gallery, Destinations, Dubai, hotel, travel
April 18 2012 10:19 am | Destinations