The Creek is the reason Dubai exists - it's where the first settlement was built and was the driving force behind the early pearl trade with the outside world.
Go onto Deira side, from where the traditional wooden dhows still trade with the sub-continent, Iran, east Africa, and you'll see all kinds of goods being loaded - from canned milk powder to trucks!
Then walk into the old spice and gold souks and on around Naif Road, a fascinating old shopping area. Get the abra ferry across to Bur Dubai and visit Shindagah, site of the original settlement, which is being renovated and rebuilt. You'll find museums, Heritage Village, Sheikh Saeed's House and several great open-air restaurants.
I've put a suggested tour in a Travelogue, which you can reach by clicking here
It was a surprise, the taxi driver arrived here, we wanted to go somewhere else, but this was one of the best mistakes a taxi driver could make. You can drink beer, cocktails etc... And ofcourse take a shisha. There's a little floor where you can dance. It says it is for members only but we went there several evenings and never was asked for a membership
A day at the Dubai Creek Park can be a lot of fun, since the park offers an abundance of activities/attractions:
- Park Train
- Picnic areas
- Children's City
- Heritage area
- Snow world
- Cable car
- bike rental
- boat rides
We aimed straight at the cable car, since this is something we had wanted to do for some time. The cable-car ride is about 20 minutes long and provides a spectacular view of the creek and the city. Just note that there is no A/C on the cars, and since it was mid July when we went, the box felt more like a sauna.... :-)
Then we went along the beach to the auditorium, walked along the fitness-trail (several exercise equipments along the path) towards Snow World; along the way to the desert gardens (uhm...rocks and cacti), flower gardens, and to the heritage area. Throughout the day we had a couple of snacks from the restaurants, which were OK, but not spectacular. If you plan ahead, bring a picnic-basket or have a barbeque - designated areas available.
On our way towards the exit, we strolled along the creek and marveled at the sparkling city-lights across the water, when we had visitors: stray baby-kittens. Apparently they made the creek park their home and roam around at night, pillaging trash and following visitors around. (They were not shy!)
The whole day was fun. Make sure to call ahead and find out which day of the week is ladie's day (men not permitted) - usually Wednesday. 5 Dirhams entry per person.
Here are more pictures from our day in the Creek Park.
Abra's will take you across dubai creek. it's well worth checking this out as the roads are usually jam packed across the bridges anyway. The abra stations are a hustle and bustle of people and the ride across takes a few minutes but you'll get to see a great view of the creek (great for photos)
The word abra comes from the arabic verb to cross, and these boats have been in operation for many years now.
For me the best thing about taking an Abra ride in a traditional water taxi was the opportunity to view the waterfront view of Dubai from the creek.
The sight it afforded of the amazing modern architecture.was fascinating and I preferred most of what I saw here to any of the fanciful hotels we saw about town and near the beach.
Some of the reflections on the buildings were truly remarkable, quite beautiful.
I think the tour only lasted about 40 minutes but it was a perfect way to escape the crowds, traffic and oppressive heat ashore.
The Gold Souq and Spice Souq in the Dubai Creek area is well worth the visit. One of the most difficult things to do is getting there. A cab is probably the easiest way. But, if you have a car and want to find parking, good luck. The parking lot along the creek is always full, at least the two days I looked for parking. There is a parking lot that is extremely crowded even closer to the creek. You will see it at one of the roundabout exits. Pay for the parking to the right, if the attendant doesn't charge you and tells you to go to the left, don't. It is overcrowded and can be impossible to get out if you are parked in, which is very possible. Once parking in this lot, make sure not to go to the underpass, as this takes you across the creek, not the road to the Souqs.
Any trip to Dubai must include a visit to Dubai Creek and why not take a trip along the Creek in an abra or water taxi. They are extremely cheap and a good way to cross from one side to the other. You will probably be sharing the trip with up to 20 others as the abra tends to leave only when full. A great and fun way to sample traditional Dubai life.
Dubai Creek (Dubai Khor in arabic) is the indeed the heart of Dubai and a place where it rains some color away from gigiantic skyskrapers or luxurious hotels.
On the Deira side it's prominent to see the old -fashioned wooden colorful cargo wharves which dock here to load and unload all sorts of cargo underneath the shadow of skyscrapers. One of the best times to walk around the area is just before sunset as the sunlight refrected on the high buildings adds more charm and makes everything more photogenic.
I love to have a little walk on the Creek at the sunset, away from the noise traffic, for example near Bastakia...drink a tea or spend some moment looking to the Dohw passing in the Creek...in the night the building shine of million of lights....the Deira board of the Creek is more noisy ana busy, but is nice to take a local boat to cross it.
If u like u can dine on a Dohw, a romantic cruise on the water eating fish...it isn't my prefered but it pretty!
An abra is a small wooden boat that transports passengers over the Creek between Deira and Bur Dubai. The trip takes about ten minutes and is well worth taking - it almost feels like a little getaway from the city while cruising over the water. Crossing the creek on an abra provides a spectacular view of the Dubai skyline, and birds will accompany the boats all the way across. As you come into the Bur Dubai side, you can see the ruler's court standing out proud (the huge white structure - beautiful and hard to miss).
Inside the boat you sit on a wooden bench, bundled up against 20 other people, with boats banging against each other as they take off or come into the harbour on the other side, but all of it is an adventure nevertheless.
The most beautiful (and romantic) time is at night when the lights are on on either side of the creek and you can watch big dhows ferrying their passengers around. Your boatman will put on a little lantern to guide you across the water. The worst time to take an abra is on Friday afternoons and evenings, because of people going to the opposite sides of the creek for shopping and meeting friends on the weekend.
Warning: take care while jumping onto the boat when it is still bouncing away - many have fallen into the creek (and arose oily and wet).
Costs is only about 50 fils (US $ 0.30 approx)
Whether you want to wind down from a day's of hard work (or hard sightseeing), or you just need to get out of the house, a stroll along the creek will recharge your batteries in no time. During the day, you can watch the hustling and bustling of store-keepers, and at night you can take in the skyline of Dubai. If you are lucky, you can catch a nice evening breeze to cool you off from the summer-heat.
Dhow cruises of different lenghts are offered if you wish to actually go onto the water.
It's nice to take one of the old boats which are taking the passangers from one side of Creek to another. That way you can see the both sides of the canal enjoying the ride. The ride lasts around 5 minutes, but it's quite enough. You can take it many times, it costs only 50 eurocents! That way I would eliminate expensive boat excursions - Creek sailing.
Don't leave Dubai until you have crossed the creek in an abra. Dubai is a new city and new skyscrapers and shopping malls are going up everywhere, but by the creek you can catch a glimpse of the Dubai of old. There are markets on both sides of the creek and the best way to explore is to walk around through the fabric souq and Dubai musuem before heading to the abra station, paying half a Dirham, and getting on the abra with everyone else to head over to the spice souq and the gold souq.
Dubai Creek offers a picturesque sight of the city. Use an "abra" (water taxi) to cross the Creek and enjoy the view. The "abras" leave every few minutes.