Dubai Creek: Dhow and Abra

Dubai Creek: All the Best Things to Do and Know

Dubai Creek is the natural inlet that divides Bur Dubai from Deira, the oldest parts of the city. Since ancient times, Dubai Creek has been frequented by merchants, sailors, pearl-seekers and pirates.

The ships with their load of spices and goods arrived from the East and their load was unloaded and brought to the nearby souks to be sold.

Even today, Dubai Creek is animated by the constant coming and going of goods and boats, making this area one of the most beautiful and authentic in Dubai.

Dubai Creek: Interesting Things to Know

The Dubai Creek, which locals also call Khor Dubai, is a natural inlet formed by the waters of the Persian Gulf. It extends to the heart of Dubai, for a length of over 14 kilometers, reaching the Ras Al-Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, a brackish area inhabited by many species of protected sea birds.

Dubai Creek has always been of fundamental importance for the city of Dubai. Along its banks the first settlements were built, Bur Dubai and later Deira. The inlet has created a real natural port, which has become the center of trade with the rest of the world.

In the 1960s the Dubai Creek was dredged to allow the navigation of larger ships and in 2007 the artificial extension of the Creek was completed. Now Dubai Creek no longer ends at Ras Al-Khor Wildlife Sanctuary but from there it continues to the sea making Bur Dubai an island. The new artificial part is called Dubai Water Canal.

Its width is such that sometimes one has the impression that the opposite shore does not belong to Dubai: in fact in some places its width exceeds 1 km.

Until not many years ago, in order to pass from one part of Dubai Creek to the other it was necessary to ride one of the many small wooden boats called abra. Today there are 3 bridges that allow you to move more easily, however the abra are still widely used.

Despite the impressive growth of the city, which has become a symbol of modernity and well-being, the Dubai Creek area remains the true heart of Dubai and still offers a special atmosphere, with the flavor of ancient times.

Even today along the Dubai Creek it is possible to see the traditional large wooden boats called dhows, used since ancient times by the Arabs. Today some of these have been restored and allow tourists to take evening cruises on Dubai Creek.

Things to do at Dubai Creek

Enjoy an unforgettable evening cruise on Dubai Creek

The dinner cruise experience aboard an ancient Dhow is a must-do on a trip to Dubai! The ancient Dhows set sail in the evening from Deira, and sail along Dubai Creek. You can enjoy a romantic buffet dinner while admiring the sparkling and breathtaking Dubai skyline.

The traditional buffet includes delicious local meat and fish specialties (and excellent vegetarian alternatives), accompanied by a glass of fine wine and unlimited soft drinks.

The evening is enlivened by live performances by musicians and dancers, who dance the traditional ancient Youwla and Tanoura dances.

This is one of those experiences to do at least once in a lifetime. Absolutely a must for couples and families!

Lose yourself in the souks and museums of Dubai’s Old Town

Along the banks of Dubai Creek are the two oldest districts of Dubai: Al Bastakiya, also known by the name of Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood on one side and Deira on the opposite bank.

Have fun exploring the old souks of Deira: start at the Spice Souk and continue to the Gold Souk. If you see something you like, have fun bargaining for a better price.

Cross Dubai Creek aboard a traditional abra and jump into the Al Fahidi neighborhood. Here you can visit the Dubai Museum, the House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum and the Heritage Village, to learn something about Dubai’s past.

Enjoy the amazing shows at the Dubai Dolphinarium

If you travel with children you can’t miss the Dolphinarium!

Located inside Dubai Creek Park, one of the most beautiful city parks in the city, the Dolphinarium offers acrobatic shows of Dolphins and Seals. The shows have fixed times, so you need to book in advance for the time you prefer. The afternoon ticket also allows you to see an exhibition of exotic birds and an illusionistic show.

How to Get to the Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek is located between the Deira and Al Fahidi neighborhoods.
The closest metro stops are Al Ghubaiba (on the Al Fahidi side) and Al Ras (on the Deira side) both on the Green Line. Between the two sides you can move smoothly riding an abra.

You can move around Dubai Creek and visit all the major attractions of Bur Dubai and Deira with the excellent double-decker Hop On Hop Off bus service. They are quite frequent and the ticket allows you to get on and off the bus whenever you want .

Nearby Attractions

Around Dubai Creek, the ancient district of Al Bastakiya is worth a visit, with its museums such as the Dubai Museum and the House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum.

On the opposite bank you cannot miss Deira with its Souks (the most famous is the Gold Souk) and traditional restaurants.

A short distance from Dubai Creek you can visit the iconic Dubai Frame and the Jumeirah Mosque.