The famous Dubai Creek runs through the center of Dubai and divides the center into the Bur Dubai districts on the southwest side and the Deira district on the opposite side. In the past, the Creek was mainly used by the pearl fishermen and local traders to trade with the neighboring Emirates. Currently, the Creek is mainly used by the traditional Abra’s which tourists and locals sail from one side to the other, luxury yachts, excursion boats and cargo ships. (dhows) The dhows are there to supply the harbor beyond.
Along the banks of Dubai Creek are a number of well-known buildings, including the gigantic Etisalat building with the famous ball on top, the Dubai Bank and the Rolex Twin Tower. The old residence of the now deceased ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum is also located near the Dubai Creek. The Heritage and Diving Village museum is now located in this old house and can be visited free of charge.
The famous Creek Park is located between the Maktoum Bridge and the Garhoud Bridge, on the Bur Dubai side. Many locals come here to walk, relax and have a picnic. The Dubai Festival City shopping center can also be found near the Creek Park. Festival City shopping center is around a harbor has a fountain show and more than 400 shops and around seventy restaurants and cafes. There also is a large square where events and performances are regularly held.
At the end of Dubai Creek, near Ras al Khor, there is a huge lagoon with more than 25,000 birds. Here you have the chance to see real wild flamingos that live permanently in the Creek Lagoon. Since November 2016, the Dubai Creek is connected to the water at the Business Bay and to the new Dubai Water Canal project. So, you can now sail from Dubai Creek through Dubai and sail to the sea at Jumeirah Beach. Numerous luxury villas, hotels, shopping centers and marinas will be coming along the Dubai Water Canal in the coming years. There is also a kilometer-long walking and cycling path along the Dubai Canal. The expectation is that the Dubai Canal will grow into a new favorite place of locals and tourists in the coming years.
Abra tour on the Dubai Creek
What you should definitely not skip during your visit to Dubai is an abra crossing over. The abra stations can be found in both Deira and Bur Dubai. A trip with an abra can easily be combined with a visit to the Gold Souk which can be found in the Deira district. For 1 dirham, you will sail with a wooden abra to the other side of the Creek. You can only pay on board with cash.
During the tour you get a good picture of old Dubai. Dubai has grown enormously since then. After 25 years of construction the city is nowadays huge. The abra crossing takes just under 5 minutes. Your crossing will take you through the old ports with the traditional dhows, the old Bastakiya district with its beautiful mosque, narrow streets and the modern buildings such as the towers of the National Bank of Dubai and the Chamber of Dubai Commerce.
You can also book a private abra trip on the Dubai Creek. The costs for a private journey of 60 minutes are around 120 to 150 AED, which is around 32,50 to 41,00 US Dollars.