Historically, Dubai creek divided the Dubai city into two main sections – Deira and Bur Dubai. It was along the Bur Dubai creek area that members of the Bani Yas tribe first settled in the 19th century, establishing the Al Maktoum dynasty in the city. It is the historic focal point of life in Dubai. A stroll along its banks evokes the city’s centuries-old trading traditions.
Visitors can take an abra (small water taxi) and view the old trading port and the dhows from the water. A cruise to Al-Maktoum Bridge will pass many of the city’s historic as well as modern landmarks. A stroll around the wharf offers a picturesque glimpse of Dubai’s trading heritage, where dhows bound for distant places dock to unload their goods.
Visitors will be captivated by the colour and bustle of the loading and unloading of dhows which still ply ancient trade routes to places as distant as India and East Africa. An attractive way to view the Dubai Creek and the dhows is is from an abra, one of the small water taxis which criss-cross the Creek from the souks of Deira to those on the Bur Dubai side.
Boatmen will also take visitors on a fascinating hour-long trip from the abra embarkation points to the mouth of the Creek and inland to the Maktoum Bridge, passing on the way many of the city’s historic and modern landmarks.
The 14km (8.7 mile) Dubai Creek is a natural seawater inlet that divides the city of Dubai into two parts – Deira Dubai and Bur Dubai – and is the heart of soul of the city. Long established for its ancient sea routes that reached as far as India and the East African coast, the Creek was originally only deep enough to accommodate smaller vessels and goods had to be transferred to traditional Arab sailing dhows at the entrance to the Creek.
Recognising the Creek’s strategic importance to the region, it was deepened in the 1960s and today functions as a vibrant port and vital part of the city. A wildlife sanctuary that’s home to over 27,000 birds has been set up at the inland end of the Creek. Reflecting the wealth of one of the fastest growing economies in the world, boutique hotels, golf courses and yachting clubs have sprang up along the Creek’s banks.
Discover the true beauty of Dubai while aboard a traditionally decorated wooden dhow (cabin cruise), as it sails along the Dubai creek under the moonlight. The major Dubai landmarks shine through the moonlit sky as the wooden vessel slips silently across the creek. The past and present architecture of the area is brought to its full beauty during this time, including the National Bank of Dubai, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Sheikh Saeed’s house, and the Heritage Village. This unforgettable romantic evening cruise includes a buffet dinner of either continental or oriental cuisine, along with soft drinks, traditional coffee, alcohol, and mineral water. The tour also normally contains various sorts of entertainment, which is accompanied by traditional Arabic music and a belly dancer.
The tour lasts for a duration of 2 hours, between 8:30pm and 10:30pm. The cost of the Dubai dhow cruise is US$ 49 (Dhs. 180) for adults and US$ 27 (Dhs. 100)for children. Guests are picked up between 7:00 and 8:00, depending on their distance from the creek.
Special facilities are available for individuals who would like to rent half or the entire vessel, which increases the romantic atmosphere of the cruise and is very popular for honeymooners. Renting the entire vessel can cost around US$ 547 (Dhs. 2,000) and renting half of the vessel cost around US$ 231 (Dhs. 850).
An extension of the creek has recently been approved. The extension, which is part of the Business Bay development, will bring the creek all the way around Bur Dubai and into the Persian Gulf. The expansion will initially add 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the creek, which will eventually be increased to 12.2 kilometres (7.6 mi) by November 2010. The 10 km extension (which was nearly completed in late September 2007) costs Dhs. 484 million (US$ 132 million).
Additionally, a new project consisting of seven islands known as The Lagoons was proposed to be built on Dubai Creek. The center piece of this project will the be Dubai Towers Dubai, a set of towers of which the tallest will top 400 metres (1,312 ft) while two others will exceed 300 metres (980 ft). Three additional bridges are being planned for Dubai creek which includes, The Seventh Crossing, Al Shindagha Bridge, and The Fifth Bridge..