Dubai Creek is one the emirate’s most picturesque locales that particularly stick out for its traditional aura and charm. Despite the record-breaking landmarks comprising high-rise buildings and entertainment venues that dot across the city, this natural seawater creek stands as the real identity of Dubai and is a living illustration of the country’s long-standing trading tradition.
Since ancient times, the creek has served as a safe and significant harbor for ships heading towards the ports of the Arabian Gulf region. But in 1950s, a slit occurred in the creek presumably as an outcome of heavy flock of ships. Later the HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum appointed a team to study the prospects of the creek’s broadening and expansion. With the Dubai Creek Dredging Fund especially formed for the purpose and support from the Kuwait government, a canal of about 4,000 ft long and six feet deep was excavated, with a sheet piling of 1200 ft X 11,000 ft installed on the creek’s either side. Apparently, its expansion became instrumental in positioning Dubai as one of the Middle East’s major port cities.
Running through the heart of the city, the creek segregates Dubai into two major districts: Bur Dubai and Deira. A retro feel is evident in every nook and corner of the creek and its surrounding areas. Old-style buildings that reflect rich Arabian hospitality, traditional style wooden dhows, and bustling souks – all make Dubai Creek a must-visit landmark of the city. With that being said, you can also find here a good number of futuristic buildings popping up amid the historic charisma of the region. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary – a haven for nature lovers and bird watchers, Bastakiya that is exceptional for its ancient wind tower houses, Al Fahidi Fort with a museum, and Sheik Saaed’s House are few to name of the must-visits in the vicinity.
Things to do
A pleasurable stroll along the promenade of the creek itself is enough to revel in the soothing wind and marvel at the real allure of the area where natural beauty harmoniously merges with the suave modernism. However, there are certain must-dos while you’re here – mainly an abra ride that takes you from Bur Dubai to Deira and vice versa and a dhow cruise, which not only assures you of a glorious and memorable sightseeing but also allows you to enjoy traditional entertainment shows by way of Tanura and horse show. Likewise, if not for shopping at least to experience the real Arab trading tradition, be sure to visit many of the bustling souks in the area, like Gold Souk, Spice Souk, and Textile Souk, where traders will be more than happy to see you haggling to shop your favorite items at best prices.
As the sun goes down, the creek, along with its surroundings, become a hub of activities. Whether you’re a party-goer or a connoisseur of tastes, or a shopping freak or one who prefers to have fun with your family or friends or simply wants to immerse in the vibe of this distinct region, it has everything to cater to your unique nightlife requirements, with a whole lot of clubs, disco bars, discotheques, restaurants, cafes, retail outlets, and upscale shopping centres with entertainment venues swarming the region.
From budget and mid-range to opulent and extravagant accommodation choices, the creek’s bank is home to a huge assortment of hotels to satisfy every pocket and preference. For travelers seeking luxury, options include Park Hyatt, Raffles, Le Meridian Fairway, Copthorne, and Jumeira Creekside. Similarly, some of the decent choices for vacationers on budget are Citymax Al Barsha, Desert Palm, Ibis, and Jonrad.