A Walk along Dubai Creek
Arriving in Dubai at the early hour of 04.00 I had enough time to spend learning more about this city before my flight out to Manila later that night. I was lucky (or unlucky) to have chosen the slowest queue for immigration. It took over an hour to finally pass through and clear customs. Once on the other side i had a coffee and an early breakfast and planned my day.
I deposited my bag at the left luggage office which cost 20AED for 12 hours and then made my way to the Dubai Metro where i bought a Day Ticket ( 16 AED ) and took an exploration trip along the two lines. It was still early and i had the trains almost to myself. This was a good way to learn how the system worked. I would get out at random stations and explore the immediate area for a while and then get back on the train to the next random stop.
I found the train announcements quite amusing…… ” The train for Jebel Ali will be leaving from Jebel Ali platform ” which i thought would be quite obvious !!!!!!
Eventually i alighted at Al Ras and began a walk along the Dubai Creek. There were many people out jogging, walking and running along the pavement. I walked, stopping now and again to take in the views of early morning life along the Creek. The Indian boatmen were preparing their wooden Abras for the days business of transporting people to and fro across the Creek. ( Abra is taken from Arabic “to cross ” )
Wooden dhows are docked in an orderly chaotic scene. These dhows have brought goods from the ports of the Indian subcontinent, Iran and other neighbouring countries.
There is much activity happening around them and it’s enjoyable to stop a while and just take in this scene which has been happening for hundreds of years.
How some of these craft actually still manage to sail is remarkable, but sail they do back and forth across the Arabian Sea. Wander along the quayside and watch the crews going about their chores onboard, cooking, washing, eating. Unchanged by time.
For a different angle take a ride on an Abra across the Dubai Creek and take a look at life on the dhows from a different angle as you pass by.
The Abras operate between Deira and Bur Dubai and the fare is only 1AED. Abras leave when they have 20 passengers. Just be careful when arriving at the Jetty as the locals like to jump off before the Abra has stopped. My boatman told me that quite a few tourists have not quite managed to perfect the jump and have landed in the water instead, much to everyones amusement !!!
Walking away from the Abra landing station there is a covered market mainly populated with Afghan traders selling goods from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I discovered a small Indian eatery there and dived in to see what they were offering to eat. I had a bowl of dahl, a couple of idlis and some coconut dip and a cup of tea for 5AED before returning by Abra to Deira and the spice and gold souks.
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A Walk along Dubai Creek
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Wonderful to read, thanks for sharing
Happy that you enjoyed reading it Silke 🙂
Sounds like a wonderful way to spend your layover. Glad you got to make the best of it. It would be such a shame to miss out on a good adventure like that!
Thanks for showing a side of Dubai that I haven’t seen, I usually see pics and posts about the lavishness and overly exuberant skyscrapers and hotels. I love how you have captured the charm and authenticity, even if your trip was a short one.
A different take on Dubai for sure. Looks like you’ve had a wonderful introduction to this fascinating city
A total different read about Dubai not the usual sky scrapers building of Burj Khalifa. .. I love wandering around a local community seeing their day to day life. Beautiful photos well captured. .
We love to hop on and off the metro in random places in different cities, definitely the best way to explore places and find hidden gems you wouldn’t normally find!
Lovely photos, nice to see a more traditional side to Dubai!
This sounds like a nice day of walking and sightseeing at Dubai Creek. Dubai looks very interesting and I would love to travel there some day! That’s awesome that you basically had the whole train to yourself! Very rare in busy cities!
Great shots of the life in Dubai! I always see city pictures but these are the real city of Dubai.
I love to see people get out of the airport and experience a new place during a longer layover. So many travelers seem to just stay put at a boring airport. Your day looked like a lot of fun and it seems you did something different from the typical tourist there. Its nice to see a different take on Dubai!
This is cool!!
Didn’t know something like that exists in Dubai!
Great read and fantastic photos 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it Danik
This is definitely a different side of Dubai – a refreshing change from pictures of flashy buildings of Dubai.
is it safe for a solo girl traveler to go here?
Very safe. Just make sure you dress respectfully and observe local customs and you will be ok, its safe in my opinion.
I always like to have time in between flights, so you can have possibilities like this, visiting a new city. I have flown with Emirates but never had time enough to visit Dubai, I’d love to though, especially after reading this and more so after seeing the lovely photos.
If you have a stopover of 5 hours or more then its worth getting out and seeing what you can.I had a stopover of 12 hours so made the most of it.
Great article! It’s refreshing to see photos of Dubai outside of the typical luxury high rises and shopping malls.
This gave me a new perspective on Dubai and I will definitely add it to my list!
Thanks for sharing!
You should Kevin.Dubai has so much more than the well known hotels and Malls. Just do some research online before you go, so you have a plan.
What a great article, im gonna find this really useful for my layover in dubai, great tip about the metro. Do you think it would be safe enough for a female travelling alone
Yes Jenni, Dubai is very safe for solo females. Just dress modestly and respect local customs. A day ticket on the trains is well worth it. Leave any luggage at the left luggage office and enjoy a few hours exploring.
Some awesome photos of locals – love it. We were blown away by the scuba diving possible in the large aquarium – looks kinda wrong but awesome at the same time…!
Thanks Stefan 🙂
Dubai seems to becoming a more popular travel destination. It looks like a great place to visit.
Most people go for the hotels and malls but never get down by the Creek where the local life thrives.
great photos as always Dave ! yes you just hate when you choose the wrong queue huh ? whilst everyone else flies by …. : ) love this post because there is not a single hotel or restaurant in sight – just the old Dubai !
Im not one for 5* hotels and Malls Sean. I much prefer to dive in where the locals hang out.
I have couple of friends who works and lives in Dubai for years now, but didn’t noticed any of them, posting this kind of photos or some sort of good interesting things to see in Dubai, all I can see are those malls, restaurants and hotels.. It’s really amazing that you shared this kind of place to people who loves to get more interested to places like Dubai. Thanks Dave, you really discovered things on a different level.
Thats the mistake of many who work there Ferna. All they see are the Malls and Hotels. I much prefer to discover the back streets and off beat areas where tourists never tread 🙂