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The construction of Al Bastakiya dates back to the 1890s. In its prime, the locality was capable of supporting 60 housing units, most of which were separated by narrow, winding lanes.
In the 1980s half of the Al Bastakiya village was destroyed to make way for the development of a new office complex. The remaining houses were mostly used as warehouses or accommodation for foreign laborers. In 1989 Dubai Municipality directed that the remaining parts of Al Bastakiya were to be demolished. Rayner Otter, a 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 the demolition of Al Bastakiya was canceled.
In 2005 a project was initiated by Dubai Municipality to restore the locality’s of old buildings and lanes .
- Al Bastakiya Dubai (Pics + Video) A Complete Review with Video and Audio of Al Bastakiya Dubai: The Oldest Residential Area in Dubai.
- Passive Cooling in the UAE An article on design lessons learned from Bastakiya houses, via Carboun