Immerse in the Bedouin origins of Dubai when you visit its heart and soul at the Old Dubai district. The Dubai Creek, the former center of trade and commerce in the emirate, continues to retain its ageless charm with old town architectures and traditional sea transport still alive and kicking
Dubai Creek is where history practically began in this flourishing desert paradise. It has been petitioned to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the government of Dubai has been rehabilitating this gem of a destination. Museums, art galleries, mosques, souks, restaurants, and heritage villages lining up the creek add a charming cultural vibe to the area.
On a dhow dinner cruise along Dubai Creek affords a tourist or resident an extraordinary sightseeing and dining adventure in this charming part of Dubai.
Dubai Creek (Khor Dubai) is more than 10 kilometers long. Connecting with the main sea, it winds inland and divides the Old Dubai district into two sections, Bur Dubai and Deira. It ends at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Santuary, a protected reserve for migratory birds. Currently, works are ongoing to extend the creek to usher in more residential and leisure offerings for everyone.
The center of trade before the discovery of oil in the region, fishing and pearling industries back in the old days were primarily based in Dubai Creek. Its warm shallow waters are home to an abundant and diverse mix of marine life. It was also a port for dhows carrying trade goods and merchandise to and from India, South Africa, and other neighboring countries.
While you enjoy your two-hour cruise on a traditional dhow, you can behold the beauty of Old Dubai as it offers breathtaking sights of the old village of Al Bastakiya. Its traditional houses with the distinctive wind towers were constructed in the 1690s. The village was rehabilitated and transformed into a cultural and heritage haven now housing museums, art galleries, heritage offices, boutique hotels and restaurants. It still retains its charm and could totally transport you into a whole new world.
As your dhow cruises down the creek, you can also see small motorized water taxis whizzing by. These are abras which have existed in the old days as the primary mode of transportation in the creek. You can cross one side of the creek to another aboard these traditional boats for only 1 dirham. You can also rent them for a cruise down the Dubai Creek.