A Long-Awaited Vacation

Our last vacation was on August 2014, when we had our honey moon in Yogyakarta. The decision and preparation to have that trip was made in haste, but was very much enjoyable and memorable for us. 

Seven months later, we although the memories of Yogya were still fresh in our minds, we began to feel the urge to have another trip and, with our next great days off might still be month away, we figured that a short stroll to Dibai would be good. So, just like Yogya, the plan was made in a short time.

Two of the biggest questions were: Which sites in Dubai that we’re going to visit, and where we’re going to stay? For the first question, we decided that we were going to visit the old Dubai of Bur Dubai area. I guessed that it would be interesting to see what Dubai looked like before its current heyday. 

With the first problem solved, we focused our attention on where we should stay. It made sense that we’d better stayed in a hotel in or near Bur Dubai area. We considered several hotels that seemed to be quite nice, but after some phone calls, we found out that they were already fully booked. Obviously, since Bur Dubai is one of Dubai’s favorite tourism spot, and trying to find an empty hotel spot around that area only two days before date of trip would make the search a little bit difficult, even when our trip was on weekdays. 

Then my wife saw a reference to XVA Hotel, a petit boutique hotel in Bastakiyah. While Bur Dubai is the old Dubai district, Bastakiyah is the oldest neighborhood in That area that still survived.  The old houses and building of Bastakiyah were converted into restaurants, museum, art galleries, and hotels. A quick check revealed that they still had room availabe so I quickly made a booking. Besides, A visit to old Dubai and staying at one of old house of the oldest settlement sounded rhymming and exciting.

Initally, I felt a little bit uncertain if I made a right decision by staying in XVA. The reviews about this hotel are either very good or very unrecommended. Afterall, I didn’t want to take my beloved to a questionable site. But upon checking in, I fell in love with this place. Moreover, my love DID fall in love with it, too, so I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Installation artist had exhibition at one of the hotel’s main lobby and, by chance, our room was one of the rooms facing this area. It’s like staying inside an art gallery. And since the vintage architecture of the room and building were preserved, we got a glimpse of how the  people of old Dubai must had lived –with a touch of modern way of living, of course, by the presence of hot and cold water and the electric air conditioner.


During our two nights stay, we visited coffee museum, Arabian Tea House restaurant, Dubai Museum, Naif Souq, and Dubai Creek, that are either inside the Bastakiyah or within walking distance from XVA. We also went to Dubai Mall by metro, and Miracle Garden car. In general, it was like having a journey through Past and Present Dubai and witnessed the transformation of Dubai from a small village into a global metropolis.


All in all, it was two days well spent, and it made me wanting to have even more journeys like this, a journey together with my wife, enjoying life and the history it made. 

And by the way, I just learned that “Dubai” was called “Debai” in its old days. 

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