C – CREEK – The Heart of Dubai
Creek – The Heart of Dubai #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z
Human history has been marked with pieces of evidence that suggest that early civilizations and settlements flourished usually around a natural water body. The great Nile River was the backbone of the Egyptian civilization and Indus valley civilization made River Indus its lifeline.
In this case – Dubai Creek is the ‘Heart of Dubai’. Also known as ‘Khor Dubai’ it is currently a saltwater creek, an inlet from the Persian Gulf, which has been modified continuously during the course of the past century.
In the early 19th century a section of the Bani Yas tribe first settled around the creek and established the ‘Al Maktoum’ dynasty. In that era, the creek divided the city into two major regions Bur Dubai and Deira. Long before oil was discovered in the region, the pearling industry along with fishing formed the major part of the economy, because of its warm and shallow water, which is conducive for a variety of marine life.
Due to shallowness only small wooden boats – dhows could navigate in the region and that lead to the development of the modern creek in 1955, which involved dredging shallow areas, the building of breakwaters, and developing its beach to become a quay suitable for loading and unloading of cargo. It has been undergoing constant modernization since then.
Being an entry point to this part of the world and a major hub of trade and commerce in that era – it still holds on to that old rustic charm of Arabian origin. Dubai Creek has stark contrast during the day and night. The day seems to highlight the ancient glory while the night reflects the transformation. It is the perfect representation of what real Dubai is – a simple Bedouin way of life.
Fun things to do at the Creek:
On both sides of the Creek, there are heritage buildings, narrow-lane markets, and important museums. The Dubai Museum is the old clay fort of the then ruler which is now transformed into a museum – gives a picturesque account of what hardships life threw at them in the beginning. It was built in 1787 and it is believed to be the oldest existing building in Dubai.
If you are an admirer of historical locations than you can also visit the Al Bastakiya District and Heritage Village along with the Dubai Museum.
The old-style markets of Bur Dubai and Deira are perfect for shopping perfumes, gold jewelry, spices, and leather goods. Experience the aroma of spices and perfumes in the sea breeze while enjoying the sunset in the evening.
Take an Abra, a small wooden boat and cross from one side of the creek to another side paying only AED 1. (Yeah you read it right).
For Indians, during festivals like Diwali, one can enjoy the fireworks at the Creek. There is also a small temple and a gurudwara on the Bur Dubai side. If you are a ‘Chat’ lover then don’t miss ‘Puranmal sweets’ in Meena Bazaar in Bur Dubai.
The Dhow Cruise
One can also go for a more immersive experience of a Dhow Cruise – traditional wooden large boats that have been used in the Middle East for centuries. They will take you on a tour of the creek, which would last about 2 hours at a nominal cost starting from AED 79. You’ll pass the Clock Tower, the Al Maktoum Bridge, the Deira Twin Towers, the Grand Mosque Souq, and many other landmarks. Enjoy the traditional Tanura shows and horse shows on board while having an international buffet on your Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise.
Al Seef Dubai
Part of the transformation is silver lined by ‘Al Seef Dubai’. It is a perfect marriage of Dubai’s cultural heart and its contemporary opulence. It is making a mark in the heritage district by covering 1.8 km of Creek’s shoreline. It has two segments – one highlighting the heritage area and the other one with the architecture of modern design. Expensive restaurants, renowned brands, topline retail outlets, lounges, and modern wooden decks make up a major part of Al Seef. It is a perfect tribute celebrating the legacy and inheritance and the vision for the future.
How to Reach
It has awesome connectivity to every part of Dubai using every mode of transport possible. It is a five-minute walk from the Al-Fahidi and Burjuman metro stations. A taxi is only a ‘hawk’ away and Abras plying to-and-fro from Bur Dubai and Deira.
The Dubai Creek is a mystical place where you witness the pastoral past while standing in a dream-like future truly making it the ‘Heart of Dubai’.
For all those who have been to the creek,
For all those who love the Abras,
For all those who enjoy the dhow cruises,
For all those who are in love with the Creek…
It’s not a goodbye,
But it’s a GOOD BYE.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This is the Third post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Travel Category is ‘Dubai – the City of Gold’, where I would be covering everything about the city in the course of 26 posts.
C – CREEK – The Heart of Dubai
Read the Previous post here:
A – Arrival in Dubai
B – Burj Khalifa
Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘C’
I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’. If you are keen on following key issues pertaining to the upcoming General Elections head over to the Politics Theme and share your feedback.