The Dubai Creek divides that area of the city into two sections: Deira and Bur Dubai. The creek starts in Dubai and ends at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, a wetland reserve.
Historically, the Bani Yas tribe settled along the Bur Dubai Creek in the 19th century. This established the Al Maktoum dynasty in Dubai. In the early 20th century, the creek was used as a small port for dhows and for fishing.
Since then, the creek has been expanded to accommodate larger vessels to transit through. The Al Maktoum bridge was also constructed in 1963 connecting Bur Dubai to Deira. Since the construction of the Al Maktoum bridge several other crossings have been built including: Al Shindagha Tunnel, Floating Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge and Business Bay Crossing.
Notable buildings to look for along the Dubai Creek
Deira Twin Towers: Also known as the Dubai Twin Towers or Rolex Towers. They are multi-use buildings that include offices, residential units and a shopping center. Each building is 335 feet high/102 meters and has 22 floors.
Dubai Creek Tower: This building was constructed in 1995. It is 384 feet high/117 meters and has 29 floors. When looking from Bur Dubai, it is on the right of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce building.
National Bank: This building is the headquarters for the National Bank of Dubai. It stands 410 feet/125 meters and contains 20 floors.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry building: The headquarters of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is located within this building. It is 299 feet tall/91 meters and has 18 floors.
Taking an abra across the creek
An abra is a boat that is used to ferry people across the Dubai Creek. It is a convenient way to get from one side to another, especially if you plan on doing sightseeing in this area. The fare for a ride is 1 dirham, which can be paid directly to the driver. There are four abra stations—two on the Deira side and two on the Bur Dubai side.
Route 1: Deira Old Souk Abra station to Bur Dubai Abra station
Deira Old Souk Abra station: This station is located on Baniyas road, close to the Spice Souk. The closest metro station is Al Ras Metro Station, located on the Green Line.
Bur Dubai Abra station: This station is located on 3A street, on the southern side of the creek. The closest metro station is Al Ghubaiba Metro Station, located on the Green Line.
Route 2: Sabkha Abra station to Dubai Old Souk Abra station
Sabkha Abra station: This station is also located on Baniyas road in Deira. The closest metro station is Baniyas Square Metro Station, located on the Green Line.
Dubai Old Souk Abra station: This station is located at Dubai’s old souk (textile souk), in Bur Dubai. There two closest metros to the abra station are Al Ghubaiba Metro Station and Al Fahidi Metro Station, both on the Green Line.
Top things to do at Dubai Creek
- Visit the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
- Shop at the local souks
- Visit the Grand Mosque
- Enjoy a Dhow cruise
- Stroll and lounge in Creekside Park
- Have a history lesson at the Dubai Museum
- Check out the dhow wharfage
- Dine at a local restaurant
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club is located on the Deira side of the Dubai Creek. This club opened its doors in 1993 and is home to an 18-hole golf course. On the creekside of the yacht club is a marina.
Many tournaments and events have been held at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht club, including the Dubai Desert Classic. Besides tournaments, it is a popular golf club for locals and tourists. If you would like to play golf at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, you can book your tee time up to seven days in advance.
There are plenty of other leisure activities you can take part in at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht club, such as the Fit Lab. There are also many popular outdoor restaurants, like QD’s or Boardwalk.
Dubai Creek souks
Spice Souk: This souk sells spices, herbs, rice and fruit. It is the ideal place to buy saffron, exotic spices and dates. The spice souk is located on the Deira side of the Dubai Creek.
Perfume Souk: Here you will find everything fragrance related: incense sticks, essential oils, perfume and oud. This souk is also located in Deira.
Old Souk/Textile Souk: The textile souk, located in Bur Dubai, is a great place to look for fabrics or buy ready to wear articles of clothing.
Gold Souk: This souk sells solid gold as well as gold jewelry, gemstones and costume jewelry. The souk is located on the Deira side of the Dubai Creek.
The Grand Mosque in Dubai is located near the textile souk and opposite the Dubai museum. The original building was constructed in 1900. It was demolished and rebuilt in 1960. An additional build was done in 1988 to complete the mosque.
In 1900, the mosque was a school known as a kuttab, which is a school devoted to learning to recite the Quran from memory.
The mosque features a 230 feet/70-meter minaret, which makes it the tallest in Dubai. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque, but are allowed to go up the minaret.
Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise
Taking a dhow cruise is a great way to see the surrounding areas of the Dubai Creek from a unique perspective. There are several tour companies offering dhow cruises. Many of them are evening cruises, which include a buffet dinner and soft drinks.
Creekside Park is located in Bur Dubai and is a wonderful place to enjoy leisure time activities. This large park features plenty of green grass, making it the perfect place to have a picnic in the sun. There are gardens, jogging trails, children’s play areas and barbecue areas. There are also several restaurants and kiosks located nearby as well. The entry to Creekside Park is 5 AED/1.40 USD.
The museum is located in Al Fahidi Fort, which was built in 1787 and is the oldest building in Dubai. The Dubai Museum displays galleries about the Emirati culture, including artifacts as old as 3000 BC.
The dhow wharfage area is an interesting place to see cargo sailed in from ports around the world. When strolling along the dhow wharfage you can get a glimpse as to what trading in Dubai looked like in the early 20th century.
Dubai Creek restaurants
- Arabian Tea House Café – Middle Eastern food – Located in Al Fahidi area (Bur Dubai)
- Lakeview – American and European food – Located at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
- Aden Restaurant -Middle Eastern food - Located on Banyas Street in Bur Dubai
- Mumtaz Mahal Indian Specialty Restaurant -Indian food – Located in Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa
- Boardwalk – Mediterranean food – Located at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
- Sumibiya – Korean food – Located in Radisson Blu Hotel in Deira
- Shabestan – Persian food – Located in Radisson Blu Hotel in Deira
Dubai Creek Hotels
- Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers
- Hilton Dubai Creek
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek
- XVA Art Hotel
- Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa
- Riviera Hotel Dubai
- Hyatt Place Dubai
- Flora Hotel Apartments