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The Majlis Gallery, a haven for artists and art lovers, grew out of a love affair between an expatriate lady and a very special house. Alison Collins came to Dubai in 1976 to work as an interior designer. She fell in love with the country, especially with the architecture and the ambiance of the old windtower houses in the Bastakia. In 1978, with the help of two Iranian tea importers and an Egyptian curtain maker, Alison and her husband secured the lease on villa number 19, Bastakia, Bur Dubai. Here, over the next ten years, they raised their three young children and played host to many informal soirees in their ‘majlis', hence the name, introducing artists both professional and amateur to a somewhat culturally bereft community.

1988 could have been a disaster for the Bastakia, but instead of the planned demolition of the area, a reprieve was granted and on 2 November 1989, The Majlis Gallery re-opened its doors. Its mission? To promote the work of artists of international standing and to become a meeting place for creative minds.

In the early 1900's, the area was home to the merchants and their families. The story goes that many years ago, when seen from the Creek, the Bastakia's numerous windtowers were like a host of upraised hands welcoming visitors to port or bidding them safe passage as they sailed out to sea. The Bastakia, both past and present, provides a sense of community, offering a tantalizing glimpse into a time when Dubai was nothing more than a sleepy trading port, and now, with the opening of the newly renovated houses, presents the Emirate with a vibrant artistic centre.


Opening Hours : 9.30am  - 8pm , Saturday - Thursday - Closed Friday.




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