Immerse in the Bedouin origins of Dubai when you visit its heart and soul at the Old Dubai district. Dubai Creek, the former center of trade and commerce in the emirate, retains its ageless charm with antique architecture and traditional sea transport, which is still alive.
The Creek is where the history of this flourishing desert began. It is known for museums, art galleries, mosques, souks, restaurants, and heritage villages that add a cultural vibe.
Dubai Creek (Al Khor) is more than 10 kilometers long. Connecting with the main sea, it winds inland and divides the Old Dubai district into Bur Dubai and Deira. It ends at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected reserve for migratory birds.
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 a large 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.
Another major attraction in Creek is the Dolphinarium. There, you will get immense opportunities to interact with the playful dolphins and click selfies with them. Many live shows of dolphins make it a favorite place for kids.
Shopping is redefined once you are in Creek. The Spice Souk and the Gold Souk are the best places to shop in Dubai. The skilled customers will bargain and buy things at huge discounts. Souks are the traditional Arabic markets that reminisce the ancient days. Find some rare and elegant jewelry at Gold Souk. The extensive collection may sometimes confuse you, but try this if you love shopping.
The village was rehabilitated and transformed into a cultural and heritage haven now housing museums, art galleries, heritage offices, boutique hotels, and restaurants. It retains its charm and can transport you into a whole new world.
The best way to explore Creek is to sail on a traditional dhow cruise. Dhow cruise along Creek gives a tourist or resident an extraordinary sightseeing and dining experience. While you enjoy your two-hour cruise on a traditional Dhow, you can behold the beauty of Creek as it offers breathtaking sights of the old village of Al Bastakiya. Its traditional houses with distinctive wind towers were constructed in the 1690s. Wind towers were the older form of the air conditioner.
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 Creek. You can cross one side of the Creek to another aboard these traditional boats for only 1 dirham.
The whole image of Creek will be transformed once the Creek Tower is completed. Creek Tower will steal the crown of Burj Khalifa as the tallest building in the world. With this new structure, all eyes will be on Creek, and its Old Dubai image will no longer be suitable. Creek Harbor will also be extended, soon becoming a prominent spot for water activities.