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Dubai Creek

Old and new Dubai meet at this natural waterway, central to the city’s historic identity.

The city of Dubai is divided into two sections by Dubai Creek, a natural salt-water channel that has shaped the city’s history. To the north-east is Deira Dubai, and to the south-west, Bur Dubai, where the Bani Yas tribe first settled in the 19th century, marking the beginnings of the city.

The creek was commercially important throughout the 20th century, first as a port for small vessels, or dhows, arriving from India and East Africa, then with modernisation and development it was adapted to cater for larger ships. It was also the main centre for pearl diving, forming a large part of Dubai’s economy until cultured pearls were invented in the 1930s. You will still see a lot of activity along the creek today, with boats being loaded and unloaded on the banks.

The perfect way to explore the creek is by hopping on board a traditional abra, or water taxi. Used by workers to cross from one side to the other, these small wooden motorised boats are a cheap means of transport. You won’t need a ticket, as fares are collected once you’ve climbed in. The abras depart regularly from designated stations up and down the bank, and will carry approximately 20 passengers. If you want exclusive use, you can also charter an abra.

The view of the city skyline is particularly impressive from the water. You’ll be able to appreciate the difference in architectural style between the two sections of the city, with the traditional designs in the older Bur Dubai, and modern structures in Deira Dubai. Tours of the creek are also offered on traditional dhows during both day and night. Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera!

There are also promenades along the banks of Dubai Creek, if you prefer to stay on dry land. They are fully paved and well-lit at night, so you can take a relaxing stroll well into the evening.

At the upper end of the creek, you’ll find the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. This 620-hectare area of wetlands, mudflats and lagoons is home to many species of water bird.


Guide to Exploring Dubai Creek


Top Dubai Creek Flight & Hotel Packages

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See all 2,104 Properties near Dubai Creek
Grand Hyatt Dubai NZ$249
Grand Hyatt Dubai

Grand Hyatt Dubai

Riyadh Street, Sheikh Rashid Road, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Dubai hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Dubai Creek, City Centre Deira and Dubai Frame. Dubai World Trade Centre and Dubai Garden Glow are also within 6 mi (10 km). Health Care City Station is 9 minutes by foot.

    Palazzo Versace Dubai NZ$394
    Palazzo Versace Dubai

    Palazzo Versace Dubai

    Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Dubai hotel is located on the riverwalk, within 3 mi (5 km) of Dubai Creek and Dubai Festival City Mall. Dubai Tennis Stadium and Dubai Mall are also within 6 mi (10 km). Al Jadaf Station is 15 minutes by foot and Creek Station is 17 minutes.

      Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights NZ$140
      Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights

      Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights

      20th Street, Dubai Healthcare City, Bur Dubai, Dubai
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Dubai hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Dubai Creek, City Centre Deira and BurJuman Mall. Dubai World Trade Centre and Gold Souk are also within 6 mi (10 km). Health Care City Station is 12 minutes by foot and Oud Metha Station is 21 minutes.

        Park Hyatt Dubai NZ$496
        Park Hyatt Dubai

        Park Hyatt Dubai

        Port Saweed, Dubai
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Deira, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Dubai Tennis Stadium and City Centre Deira. Dubai Creek and Dubai Festival City Mall are also within 3 miles (5 km). GGICO Station is 11 minutes by foot and Deira City Centre Station is 20 minutes.

          Jumeirah Creekside Hotel NZ$157
          Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

          Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

          Road Al Garhoud Deira, Al Garhoud Deira, Dubai
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Dubai hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Dubai Tennis Stadium and City Centre Deira. Spice Souk and Gold Souk are also within 6 mi (10 km). GGICO Station is 12 minutes by foot and Deira City Centre Station is 25 minutes.

            Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Residences NZ$139
            Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Residences

            Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights Residences

            20th Street, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Bur Dubai, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Mohammed Bin Rashid University Of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dubai Creek and American Hospital Dubai. City Centre Deira and BurJuman Mall are also within 3 miles (5 km). Health Care City Station is 12 minutes by foot and Oud Metha Station is 22 minutes.

              Movenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai NZ$105
              Movenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai

              Movenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai

              19th Street, Oud Metha Area, Dubai
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Dubai hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Dubai Creek, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and Dubai Museum. Grand Mosque and Dubai Festival City Mall are also within 6 mi (10 km). Health Care City Station is 19 minutes by foot and Oud Metha Station is 20 minutes.

                Novotel Bur Dubai NZ$96
                Novotel Bur Dubai

                Novotel Bur Dubai

                Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bur Dubai, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mohammed Bin Rashid University Of Medicine and Health Sciences and Wafi City Mall. Dubai Creek and American Hospital Dubai are also within 1 mile (2 km). Health Care City Station is 6 minutes by foot and Oud Metha Station is 23 minutes.