Dubai/Deira

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Deira is the area of Dubai north of Dubai Creek and south of the Sharjah border. It is the traditional commercial center of Dubai and the Creek and its dhows were the historic mode of transport. Today Deira is split in two parts. There are the old souks (Gold and Spices) near the waterfront, and Dubai International Airport covers a major part of the area into the creek inland. Deira suffers a lot from traffic congestion as the bridges to Bur Dubai are at full capacity during the rush hour. In hidden backstreets the traditional life still takes place but it is not obvious to the tourist.

Get in[edit]

Aerial view of Deira

Dubai airport is in this part of Dubai and if you flying to Dubai, this is where you will touch down.

Both Red and Green lines of Dubai Metro connect Deira with Bur Dubai.

Diera is connected with Bur Dubai by five crossings over the Creek, namely Al Maktoum Bridge, Floating Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Business Bay Crossing and Al Shindagha Tunnel. All the crossings charge the Salik road toll.

Small ferries called abra cross the Creek from Bur Dubai. One route is from the west end of the Textile Souk in Bur Dubai to near the Spice Souk in Deira. The other main route is from the middle of the Textile Souk to Al Sabkha station, further up the Creek at Al Sabkha Rd in Deira. The trip costs 1 dirham, payable to the driver after the boat has left the station. Abras set off very regularly, and the service is available round-the-clock.

See[edit]

  • Al Ahmadiya School and Heritage HouseAl Ahmadiya St, Al Ras +971 4 226 0286. Sa-Th 8AM-7:30PM, F 2:30-7:30PM. Built in 1912, Al Ahmadiya School was Dubai's first school and has now been nicely restored. It would be a stretch to call the exhibits of old reed pens and diplomas fascinating, but they've tried pretty hard, and if nothing else, the air-con and clean toilets may come in handy. The attached heritage house is a traditional Emirati-style home built in the 1890s. Free.
  • Deira Clocktower. Also known as Dubai Clocktower. A landmark of Deira and important as a monument built before the independence of UAE.
  • Dhow WharfageBaniyas Rd. The dhows ply the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, transporting goods between south and south-west Asia and east Africa.
  • Mamzar Beach Park. You can swim at Al Mamzar Beach or stroll in the park. Though less popular than other Dubai parks, it has its share of Dubai's greenery.

Do[edit]

  •    CINECITY - Al Ghurair CentreAl Ghurair City, Al Riqqah St +971 4 228 9898. Previously Grand Cinemas, now CINECITY, is the largest cinema chain in the Middle East. It is a part of Novo Cinemas group. This 8 screen cinema complex including 14 anchor stores has 2 levels.
  •    VOX Deira City CentreDeira City Centre 600 599905. VOX has 11 screens with various types of experiences for movie lovers. The immersive experience of DepthQ 3D technology, fully reclining seats, VIP seats, 20 meter screens and brightest and clearest pictures is their latest addition.
  •    Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht ClubRadisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Bani Yas Rd, 476 +971 (4) 222 7171. This leisure hub is an ideal destination for golfers. It provides wide-ranging set of services, floodlit par-3 course, modern golf academies and driving ranges. Visitors can enjoy a challenging game of golf, hire a private boat to enjoy the calm waters or take a swim.

Buy[edit]

  • Deira City Centre. By far the most popular mall in Dubai. Debenhams, Virgin Megastore, Zara and other international high street brands. A multiplex cinema, and many restaurants and cafes. Also has a large "Arabian Treasures" souvenir and traditional textiles area. A new extension includes many more high-end boutiques and upmarket mall restaurants. A big Carrefour hypermarket sells just about everything and is nearly always very busy. There is a Sofitel hotel at one end of the centre, where there are bars and restaurants serving alcohol.
  • Festival City. Has Dubai's only Ikea, since it relocated from City Centre, and a huge Plug-Ins electronic store. Also an ACE Hardware and an amazing mall that has 550 shops.
  • Mirdif City Centre. A large mall with 500+ stores, over 80 restaurants and cafés and plenty of entertainment and recreation sites inside it.

Markets[edit]

  • Gold Souk— Not a mall, but a historic market that has been a part of Dubai since the origin of Dubai itself. Located at the mouth of the creek, it dazzles people by selling gold in large quantities and with little visible security. A must visit for shoppers and sightseers. Most of the gold is 22ct quality and quite expensive - although even here the shopkeepers are prepared to bargain - and the craftsmanship can be remarkably detailed. The gold items are sold by weight with a "making charge" added on top to cover the workmanship. It pays therefore, to go shopping armed with the current gold price and a knowledge of the making charges in order to hone the bargaining process. Many outlets are part of chains that also have branches in malls, so are generally reliable.
  • Spice Souk— As above, not a mall, but a historic market that has been a part of Dubai since the origin of Dubai itself. Located at the mouth of the creek, it is not far from the Gold Souk, but has sadly declined a bit in recent years as supermarkets take over the spice trade. If you're actually shopping for spices, odds are you'll get better prices and quality with much less hassle at Carrefour. Both the Spice Souk and the Gold Souq are a rather hot and sweaty experience with limited air-conditioning, so wear appropriately cool, loose clothing if visiting in mid summer. Individual shops are air conditioned. Although regularly visited by tourists, none of the souks are considered a tourist area and as such modest dress should be worn to avoid causing offence or attracting unwanted attention.

Eat[edit]

This is not India or Pakistan, but Deira

Budget[edit]

  • Yum!Inter-Continental Hotel +971 4 222 7171. A wonderful noodle bar located at the InterContinental Dubai. Well priced, with excellent food.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Al Dawaar Revolving RestaurantHyatt Regency +971 4 209 1100. Lunch: 12:30-3:30PM, dinner: 7PM-midnight. Serving an assortment of cuisines, the highlight of this beautiful restaurant is that it revolves, giving a nice tour of the city. Lunch: 165 AED per person, dinner: 205 AED per person.
  • Al Fanar Restaurant & CafeFestival City +97142329966. Authentic Emirati cuisine, in the ambience of Dubai recreated from the 1960s. 30-200 AED.
  • KikuLe Meridien Dubai +971 4 282 4040. Japanese cuisine. Very high quality and very popular. 150 AED.
  • Legends SteakhouseDubai Creek Golf Club +971 4 295 6000. Part of the Creek Golf Clubhouse. The waterfront restaurant right on Dubai Creek is very popular with residents. Around AED 200 per head.

Splurge[edit]

  • JW's SteakhouseJW Marriott Hotel +971 4 607 7977. This is the Marriott's signature restaurant. Highly popular with Dubai residents. 350 AED per head.
  • Cafe ChicLe Meridien, Garhoud +971 4 282 4040. Nouvelle French cuisine, served in a comfortable and sophisticated atmosphere, run by Michelin star chef Michel Rostang. Expect to pay 300 AED.

Drink[edit]

  •    400 NightclubFairmont Hotel Dubai, Sheik Zayed Rd +971 4 332 4900. Tu, Th, F 10pm-3am. The essence interior of 400 club is a mix of Gothic and Baroque designs, famous for its vibrant lights and mix music of Arabic, RnB and house. It is always over-crowded during the weekends, especially local faithful crowds.
  • Filli CafeteriaAl Mamzar. Probably the most popular tea spots in town, especially Filli, who serves over 4,000 cups a day. Try the zaffrani chai (milk tea with saffron) or the doodh kadak (strong milk tea).
  • The Rooftop Swimming Pool, on top of Hilton Dubai Creek. Small bar but wonderful views especially at sunset.
  • Stagshead, Avari Dubai. Located at the lobby level, this traditional Scottish pub offers bar snacks, a wide range of beverages, pool tables and a dart board.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Invisible to the net and the guidebooks, there's several basic cheap places around the souk area, a few streets back from the creek.

  • Dubai Youth Hostel39 Al Nahda Rd (next to Lulu Hyper Market),  +971 4 2988151 (reservation), +971 4 2988161 (reception)fax: 971 4 2988141, e-mail: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Reception 24/7. Pool, football field, chill-out garden, A/C in the room, small bar fridge. It's located next to a mosque so morning prayers may wake you. Bus stop just 100 m from hostel, Lulu Hyper Market shopping center and supermarket nearby. Free safety deposit boxes (hang on to your key as they have stiff $200 replacement fee). Clean rooms but unhelpful staff. You can walk there from Terminal 2. When you get out walk straight along 16th St to the end. It takes around 10 min. From terminal 1 or 3 you can take the metro to Deira City Center (6 min, AED 2,50) and from there take bus C19 or 22 to Al Nahda Rd (35 min, 2 AED, you'll see the Lulu Shopping Mall on your left). A taxi from terminal 1 or 3 costs around 40 AED. It is a branch of the UAE YHA. Dorm from 100 AED or US$27, breakfast included.
  • Gulf Pearl HotelAl Baraha St, Omar al Khattab Rd +971 4 2728333. Rooms from 158 AED.
  • Pacific HotelSabakha St 115, Deira (opp Sabakha Bus Station),  +971-4-2276700fax: +971 4 2276761, e-mail: . Rooms from 300 AED or US$80.
  • Niawara Guest HouseAl Ras Street (Near Gold Souk),  04-2265935, e-mail: . Probably one of the cheapest place in town 150 Dhs dbl rm shrd bathroom.
  • Alkhayam HotelSikkat Al Khali Street, PO box 88249 (Near the Gold Souk),  +971 (4) 2264211, e-mail: . free wifi, nice cafe about 250 dhs.
  • Qasr Al Seyaha HotelPO box 21457 (Near the Old Souk, Al Ras Area, Behind Choitram Supermarket),  2255855, e-mail: . Another cheapy in the souk area 180 dhs dbl room.
  • Al Jazeera HotelPO box 8814, Al Ahmadea Rd, Al Ras Area (Near Al Ras metro station),  +971 4 2262322, e-mail: . 220 Dhs dbl rm (200 dhs if booked for 1 week).
  • Galaxy PlazaPO box 32236, Al Ras Street (Near Gold Souk),  04 2257444, e-mail: . 2 star place, a step up from the <200 dhs places 260 dhs dbl rm.

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

Connect[edit]

This district travel guide to Deira is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page