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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]

Map of Dubai/Deira

Aerial view of Deira

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

Deira 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 heritage abra cross the Creek from Bur Dubai. One route is from 1 Bur Dubai Station at the west end of the Textile Souk in Bur Dubai to near the Spice Souk in Deira. The other main route is from 2 Dubai Old Souq Station in 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.

On the inner side of Dubai Creek, a motorized abra route was opened from 3 Al Jaddaf Water Transport Station (250m from Creek metro station) to Dubai Festival City water transport station, with a more modern style. These motorised abras is operated by RTA every 10 to 20 minutes from 7AM to midnight and costs 2 dirhams per person.

See[edit]

  • 1 Al Ahmadiya School and Heritage House, Al 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.
  • 2 Deira Clocktower (Dubai Clocktower), Abu Baker Al Siddiqe Rd 110 crossing Al Maktoum Rd 105 (8&nbps;min from Deira City Center or Al Rigga metro stations). A landmark of Deira and important as a monument built before the independence of UAE. Deira Clocktower on Wikipedia Deira Clocktower (Q4346630) on Wikidata
  • 3 Dhow Wharfage, Baniyas Rd, Rigga Al Buteen community 125. The dhows ply the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, transporting goods between south and south-west Asia and east Africa.
  • 4 Mamzar Park, 104 Al Khaleej Rd, Al Mamzar community (most northern penisula of Dubai, near Sharjah), +971 50 858 9897. Su–W 8AM–10PM, Th–Sa 8AM–11PM. 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. Monday & Wednesday for ladies only. 5 dirhams/person.
  • 5 Dubai Municipality Museum, Old Baladiya St crossing Al Souk Al Kabeer St, Al Buteen community (next Spice Souk, facing Abra ferry station, entrance at the back via stairs), +971 4 225 3312, fax: +971 4 225 1568. Su–Th 9AM–3PM, closed and Friday and Saturday.
  • 6 Imagine, Festival Bay, Dubai Festival City, Festival Blvd (On the waterfront of the Mall, reachable from Creek metro station via Abra ride-on Al Jaddaf water transport). Sa-W 8PM 9PM 10PM, Th-F 8PM 9PM 10PM 11PM, smaller shows play every 30&nbps;min from 6PM. Plays two different big water, fire and light shows: Stardancer and A Child's Dream. Have several world records. free of charge.
  • 7 Women's Museum, 28 St, Al Dhagaya community, P.O. Box 1086 (nearby Gold Souk), +971 4 234 2342, +971 55 667 2447, e-mail: . Sa–Th 10AM–7PM. Highlight the contribution of women to UAE's economy, culture and politic for the independance in 60's and since. Life of great women and daily life of Emirati people. A exhibit is also dedicated to the famous Emirati female poet Ousha bint Khalifa Suwidi. 20 dirhams/person.
  • 8 Naif Police Museum, 106 Naif Rd crossing 9A St, Naif community (In the Naif fort police station, 600 m from Baniyas Square metro station), e-mail: . Su–Th 8AM–2PM, closed on Friday and Saturday.. free of charge.

Do[edit]

  • 1 Cinecity - Al Ghurair Centre, Al 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.
  • 2 VOX Deira City Centre, Deira City Centre, +971 600 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.
  • 3 Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Radisson 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.
  • 4 [dead link]Dhow Cruise Daily Guided Tour Dubai, Pier 1 in Dhow Wharfage, Baniyas Rd, Rigga Al Buteen community, +971 4 336 8407, +971 4 336 8409, fax: +971 4 336 8411, e-mail: . tour start every hour, from 10:30AM to 5:30PM. A 1-hour guided cruise tour on a "5-star" dhow, along Dubai Creek with commentary in English. 50 dirhams/person.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Deira City Centre, Banyias Rd, Alittihad Rd, Port Saeed community (Deira City Center metro station, near Floating bridge), +971 4 295 1010, e-mail: . Su–W 10AM–10PM, Th–Sa 10–midnight. 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. City Centre Deira on Wikipedia Deira City Centre (Q4037155) on Wikidata
  • 2 Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival City, Festival Blvd, POBox 126027 (east of Creek, near Business Bay crossing, reachable from Creek metro station via abra ride on Al Jaddaf water transport), +971 4 425 4900 (management), +971 4 425 4999 (security/lost), toll-free: +971 800 DFC (332), fax: +971 4 232 5667, e-mail: . Su–W 10AM–10PM, Th–Sa 10AM–midnight. 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. Dubai Festival City#Dubai Festival City Mall on Wikipedia Dubai Festival City (Q4037664) on Wikidata
  • 3 Mirdif City Centre, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Rd E311 crossing Al Rebat St, Mirdif community, toll-free: +971 800 6422. Su–W 10AM–10PM, Th–Sa 10AM–midnight. A large mall with 500+ stores, over 80 restaurants and cafés and plenty of entertainment and recreation sites inside it. City Centre Mirdif on Wikipedia Mirdif City Centre (Q6873078) on Wikidata

Markets[edit]

  • 4 Gold Souk, 106 Sikkat Al Khail Rd, Al Ras community. 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. Dubai Gold Souk on Wikipedia Dubai Gold Souk (Q5310547) on Wikidata
  • 5 Spice Souk, 34 St, Al Ras community. 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. Dubai Spice Souk on Wikipedia Dubai Spice Souk (Q5310610) on Wikidata
  • 6 Fish Market, Al Mina Rd crossing Baniyas Rd, Deira Corniche (near Palm Deira metro station). A modern covered market where they sell various kind of fish and seafood, as well as fruits, vegetables, dates (and some kitchen utensils).

Another historic market, Old Textile Souk, is located in Bur Dubai just on the other bank of the creek, reachable via heritage abra ferries for 1 dirham.

  • 7 Traditional Souq, Naif community (10 min from Banyias Square metro station). 9AM–10PM daily, but most shop are closed on Friday morning. Souk with air-conditioning, nice decoration and good infrastructure, let say almost a souk almost a mall. 100 shops and 6,100 square-meters. Khalid Huriah Public Restaurant in the middle.

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]

  • 1 Al Dawaar Revolving Restaurant, Hyatt 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: 185 AED per person, dinner: 235 AED per person.
  • Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe, Canal Walk, Dubai Festival City Mall, +971 4 232 9966. Authentic Emirati cuisine, in the ambience of Dubai recreated from the 1960s. 30-200 AED.
  • 2 Kiku, Le Meridien Dubai, +971 4 282 4040. Japanese cuisine. Very high quality and very popular. 150 AED.
  • 3 Legends Steakhouse, Dubai 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.
  • 4 Al Bait Alqadeem Restaurant & Cafe, Al Ahmadiya St crossing 15a St, Al Ras, POBox 30304 (in front of Ahmadiya School, near Heritage House), +971 4 225 6111, +971 55 477 8107, e-mail: . Emirati cuisine in a Emirati traditional house.
  • 5 Floating Restaurants, Baniyas Rd, Al Sabkha & Al Rigga & Rigga Al Buteen communities (Along the creek between Dhow Wharfage and Al Sabkha arba station). around 8PM daily for most of them. Tens of dhows propose a diner during a 2-hour cruise on the creek.

Splurge[edit]

  • 6 JW's Steakhouse, JW Marriott Hotel, +971 4 607 7977. 17:00-24:00. This is the Marriott's signature restaurant. Highly popular with Dubai residents. 350 AED per head.

Drink[edit]

  • Filli Cafeteria, Al 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).
  • 1 The Edge Pool & Bar (at the Rooftop Swimming Pool on top of Hilton Dubai Creek). Small bar but wonderful views especially at sunset.
  • 2 X Club (Avari Dubai. Located at the lobby level). Russia themed bar
  • 3 [dead link]Jockey's Pub, Panorama Hotel, Omar Bin Al Khatib Road, Al Mankhool Road, PO Box 14703, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, +971 4 351 8518. With leisure amenities and friendly bar and nightclub, this restaurant bar is a comfortable and modest place during vacations. Loud night clubs music is played up until 3 am. Food is good with specialization in Indian food.

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 Hostel, 39 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. Stadium metro station and 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 Union and transfer to Green Line (just take a train on the other side of the platform) to Stadium station (zone 1 fare, 2 AED). A taxi from terminal 1 or 3 costs around 40 AED. It is a branch of the UAE YHA, and only hostel in Dubai; thus booked up weeks ahead. WiFi cost extra 10 AED. Dorm from 100 AED or US$27, breakfast included.
  • Gulf Pearl Hotel, Al Baraha St, Omar al Khattab Rd, +971 4 2728333. Rooms from 158 AED.

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[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.