Old Dubai is separated into two by the Dubai Creek. On the eastern side is Deira while the western side is known as Bur Dubai. Take a stroll down the banks of the creek and enjoy the beautiful skyline scenery, the hustle & bustle of the merchants on the wharfs and the abras crossing the creek. If you wish, you can also take a tour of the creek by an Abra. Crossing the creek is only Dh1. A half-hour tour costs some Dh150 (if I’m not mistaken).
You can start after a visit to Dubai Museum by walking towards the creek. You can also stroll along the Textile Souq and enjoy the sounds and sights of traders selling their textiles. Many tourist sights are on the Bur Dubai side of the creek – Dubai Museum, Bastakiya, Textile Souq, Sheikh Saeed al Maktoum House and Heritage Village. It will make a nice walk as you pass one attraction after another (provided it’s not summer!) Take a slow stroll and you will enjoy the atmosphere here.
The spiritual heart of the city, Dubai Creek is simply unmissable on your visit here. On one side of the Creek lies Bur Dubai, while Deira occupies the other side. The Creek itself is a charmingly bustling hub of activity. If you wanted to, you could walk all along the Creek's outlined sidewalks, to get a real feel for what the city has to offer. This is very much the defining symbol of 'Old Dubai', miles removed from the frenetic activities taking place on the other side of town.
My personal favourite is taking a ride on the abra (a local water-taxi), as it meanders along, offering a fascinating, refreshing glimpse of the contrasts that lie on the shore. Feel the breeze, remember the moment.
The Creek splits Dubai into two with Bur Dubai on one side and Deira on the other. The creek is 14km long and is shaped in a large J shape from the Khor Dubai Wildlife & Waterbird Sanctuary and flows into the Gulf. The Creek is not only the centre of today's life in Dubai but it also plays an important economic role for the city bringing in many trading ships from far and wide. In the early days only small dhows were able to enter the creek. The bigger vessels had to unload goods into small boats at it's entrance on the Gulf. The late H.H. Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, even before he became the Ruler of Dubai, realised the strategic importance of the creek. He ordered an economic and technical study in 1954 on deepening and widening the creek. Despite the lack of financial resources at that time to cover the cost of the project, a fund called the "Dubai Creek Dredging Fund" was established with a sum of £200,000. Initially, a canal 4000 ft long and six ft deep was dug and in the second stage sheet piling of length 1200 ft and 11,700 ft was laid on both sides of the creek. As a result, shipping movement increased and ships of a capacity of 500 tonnes were able to enter the creek. Upon completion of the dredging operations, it was necessary to link both sides with permanent bridges and hence the Al Maktoum bridge was completed in 1964. With the discovery of oil in 1967, a mobile part of the bridge was introduced in 1968 to facilitate the movement of oil tankers.
The creek is the main arthery of Dubai and at its sides the commerce and the life flourishes. Some of the most interesting sights of the city are at the banks of the Creek so, it is absolutely worth to take your time and walk along this very special feature of Dubai.
The way to cross the Creek is by Abra, little motorboats that you will se aplenty when walking alongside. Very cheap, only 50 fils.
Unless you decide to take one all for your self and make your own customised cruise on the Creek, that is.
Price is around 30 or 40 Dh and I think it is worth the price. But only if you are after a little cruise. Never take an Abra for yourself if you only intend to cross the Creek !! Too expensive, really.
Remember to bargain: aim to pay 30 Dh for a half an hour trip or 60Dh for a 60 min one.
Dubai is divided by the Dubai Creek into Deira(north section) and Bur Dubai (south section).To appreciate the city atmosphere , cross the river by water taxi (called abra) which cost about 25 US cents or less.
Dubai Creek is a-must-to-visit place in Dubai. Situated in Bur Dubai, along the creek, you will love the beautiful view of creek. It is a mixture of modern and traditional. High rise buildings in the background and the dhows and abras (small ships) cruise along the creek. You can take abra to cross from Bur Dubai to Baniyas street in Deira.
Along the creek, you can find many restaurants (mostly Arabic and Lebanese restaurants) , also you can enjoy Shisha. If you come in the afternoon, you will find many birds. You can also feed them by throwing the small pieces of bread to the water. Usually, the birds will catch it before the bread touches the water. It’s nice!! But try to catch them will cause you to pay fine. So, better to avoid it.
Dubai Creek divides the city of Dubai into two separate sections; Bur Dubai and Deira. To get to the creek, just take a taxi which is relatively cheap. The creek is busy with water taxis and Dows; a means of transporting people and goods. It is a beautiful area where markets can be found; restaurants, etc. A must see!!!
The glass-fronted buildings along the edge of the creek vary in appearance depending on the time of day.
At sunset, the buildings cast impressive reflections onto the creek.
Seen here is the sun reflecting off the National Bank of Dubai building to give the creek an orange glow.
Dozens of Abras ferry passengers across Dubai creek from early morning until around midnight.
These wooden water taxis can hold about 25 passengers and can be boarded at two stations on either side of the creek. One route connects Al Sabkha station in Deira with the Old Souk station in Bur Dubai. The other connects two stations further along the creek.
Crossing the creek takes 5 minutes or so, and costs a ridiculously cheap 50 fils, which equates to approximately 8 pence in UK sterling.
Alternatively, it is possible to hire an Abra for a designated period of time to journey up and down the creek.
Boarding and disembarking the Abras can be a little difficult, especially during busy times when crowds are pushing to board, and steady footwear is essential.
I had a taxi take me down here and I found a boat for a 30 minute ride. It was a great way to see the city's skyline and quiet--I was the only one on my boat.
Take a trip on the Creek on a traditional wooden dhow boat. Nice to do it at dusk/at night. Dhow dinner cruises are nice too.
It is interesting to see the contrast between the high rise buildings on one side of the creek and the dhows on the other
A nice activity is to take an abra (a small passenger motorboat taxi) from one side of the creek to the other. The trip should cost around 50 fils. You can also take a dhow tour on the creek.
An abra is a traditional wooden boat. They are a fun way to cross Dubai Creek. Journey time is between 5 and 10 minutes, and the cost is AED 0.50.
The sunset at the creek it´s a great experience, the small boats and the dhows, specially in Ramadan, when the city comes to life after that special time.