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The Dubai Creek, also known as Khor Dubai, is a 15-kilometer long saltwater creek flowing through the old part of Dubai. The Dubai Creek lies between the Bur Dubai on the southwest side and Deira.

The Dubai Creek plays a significant role in the history of the emirate of Dubai. In the 19th century, the first inhabitants settled in Dubai when the Bani Yas tribe from the Liwa Oasis, under the leadership of the Al Maktoum family, established settlements around the Dubai Creek. This tribe is considered the founding group of Dubai and remains the ruling family of the emirate to this day. In the 20th century, a port was constructed at Dubai Creek for ships engaging in trade with Africa, India, and neighbouring emirates. The harbor at Dubai Creek also accommodated fishing vessels used for pearl diving. For a long time, pearl diving was the primary industry at the harbor until the discovery in 1930 that pearls could be cultured.

Visiting the Dubai Creek

Today, the Dubai Creek is a bustling waterway, used by cargo ships (dhows) supplying the nearby port, luxury yachts, cruise boats, and traditional abras ferrying tourists and locals from one side of the waterway to the other.

Along the banks of the Dubai Creek, several notable buildings can be found, including the Etisalat building with its iconic sphere atop, the Dubai Bank, and the Deira Twin Towers. Also situated nearby is the former residence of the late ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, which now houses the Heritage Village and Diving Village, open to the public free of charge.

Beside to the Dubai Creek is the Dhow Wharfage, a slice of nostalgia in modern Dubai and an enjoyable place to visit. Here, traditional dhows are still manually loaded, providing a unique sight. Close to the Dubai Creek is the Dubai Museum, housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, one of Dubai’s oldest structures. Within the museum, visitors can learn about Dubai’s history and its transformation into the vibrant metropolis it is today.

Deira in Dubai

Al Seef along the Dubai Creek

Along the banks of the Dubai Creek, amidst the historic Al Bastakiya district and opposite the Deira Twin Towers, lies the vibrant Al Seef district. This new district, opened in 2017, is situated where pearl diving in Dubai began. Where ships once docked, there now stretches a 1.8-kilometer promenade and an impressive shopping area spanning more than 230,000 square meters. This lively waterfront offers a unique blend of traditional and contemporary architecture.

The area of Al Seef is divided into two distinct sections along the banks of the Dubai Creek. There is an area with traditional architecture, paying homage to Dubai’s history, and an area with more contemporary and modern architecture, primarily hosting restaurants.

Dubai Creek Park and Ras al Khor

Between the Maktoum Bridge and the Garhoud Bridge, on the Bur Dubai side, lies the renowned Creek Park. Many locals come here to walk, relax, and picnic. Nearby Creek Park, you’ll also find the Dubai Festival City shopping mall, where around a harbor including fountain shows, over 400 shops, and nearly seventy restaurants and cafes await. Additionally, there’s a large square where regular events and performances take place.

At the end of Dubai Creek, near Ras al Khor, you’ll find an immense lagoon where over 25,000 birds reside. Here, you have the chance to see real wild flamingos that permanently inhabit the Creek Lagoon. Since November 2016, Dubai Creek has been connected to the water at Business Bay and the Dubai Water Canal project, allowing you to navigate through Dubai from Dubai Creek and sail out to sea at Jumeirah Beach. Along the Dubai Water Canal, numerous luxury villas, hotels, shopping centers, and marinas are expected to emerge in the coming years. There’s also a kilometer-long pedestrian and cycling path along the Dubai Canal. Therefore, it’s anticipated that the Dubai Canal will become a favourite spot for both locals and tourists in the coming years.

The Dubai Creek

Abra tour over the Dubai Creek

A must-do during your visit to Dubai is an abra tour across the Dubai Creek. The abra stations can be found in both Deira and Bur Dubai, and a journey on an abra can be perfectly combined with a visit to the Gold Souk, located in the Deira district. You can also combine a visit to the Dubai Creek with the historic Al Bastikiyadistrict.

For just 1 dirham, approximately 27 cents, you can sail across the Creek on a wooden abra. Payment on board is only possible with cash; payment by debit card or credit card is not possible. You can also book a private abra tour across the Dubai Creek. The cost for a 60-minute private tour ranges from 120 to 150 AED, which is approximately 32 to 41 US Dollar.

During the journey, you will get a good glimpse of old Dubai before the economic growth and the huge urban development of the past 25 years. The crossing takes only a little 5 minutes and takes you past the old ports with traditional dhows, the old Bastakiya district with its beautiful mosque and narrow streets, and modern buildings such as the towers of the National Bank of Dubai and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

Two abra routes across the Dubai Creek

Would you like to take a journey across the Dubai Creek on a traditional abra boat? There are two routes you can take. You can embark on an abra trip from the Deira Old Souk Abra Station to the Bur Dubai Abra Station or vice versa. The Deira Old Souk Abra Station is close to the Spice and Gold Souk, while the Bur Dubai Abra Station is located to the west of the Textile Souk.

The second route is the busier of the two and departs from the Al Sabkha Abra Station in Deira to the Dubai Old Souk Abra Station and vice versa. The Dubai Old Souk Abra Station is near Al Bastakiya and the Old Souk. Both routes operate seven days a week from 6 am to midnight.

Dhow diner cruise on the Dubai Creek

Dinner cruise in the Dubai Creek

Do you want to discover the Dubai Creek in a special way? Then book a dinner cruise over the creek and see the Dubai Creek as the evening falls. After the sun sets, the boat departs from the harbor and sails past historical landmarks such as the Al Bastakiya district, Al Seef, and Gold Souk. Along the way, you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of the illuminated skyline of the Dubai Creek.

During the boat trip, you can enjoy an extensive dinner buffet with a variety of international dishes prepared by talented chefs. Curious about which dinner cruises are available on the Dubai Creek? Below, we have listed the best dinner cruises over the Dubai Creek.

Traditionele Dhow dinner cruise
Price per person: 25 US Dollar
Duration of the dinner cruise: 2 hours
Click here to book this dinner cruise >>

Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise with Buffet Dinner
Price per person: 18 US Dollar
Duration of the dinner cruise: 4 hours
Click here to book this dinner cruise >>

Dhow Boat Trip over the Dubai Creek including Dinner
Price per person: 80 US Dollar
Duration of the dinner cruise: 3 hours
Click here to book this Dinner Dhow Boat trip >>

Dubai Creek Dinner Cruise with Private Transfer
Price per person: 95 US Dollar
Duration of the dinner cruise: 2 hours
Click here to book this dinner cruise >>

Abra on the Dubai Creek

Where is the Dubai Creek?

The Dubai Creek, also known as Khor Dubai, is a 15-kilometer-long saltwater creek flowing through the old part of Dubai. The Dubai Creek is situated between the districts of Bur Dubai and Deira.

Planning to visit the Dubai Creek? You can reach it conveniently via the Dubai Metro. Al Fahidi Station on the Green Line, Union Station, and BurJuman Station on the Red and Green metro lines are within walking distance of the Dubai Creek. If you’re planning to visit the Dubai Gold Souk and Spice Souk, it’s best to get off at Al Ras Metro Station.

Alternatively, you can travel to the Dubai Creek by taxi. It’s best to tell the taxi driver that you want to go to Al Fahidi or the Dubai Museum. From here, you can walk to the Dubai Old Souq Marina Transport Station within a few minutes, where you can take an abra to cross the creek.


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