Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Cruising along the Dubai Creek

Late one night at the centre of the city, the historical part of Dubai, we took an abra (small water taxi) and view the old trading port and the dhows from the water. The cruise costs only one dirham and passes 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.

The Dubai Creek, a natural sea-water inlet which cuts through the centre of the city, is the historic focal point of life in Dubai. The abra, one of the small water taxis which criss-cross the Creek from the souks of Deira to those on the Bur Dubai side. Mostly, workers use this as a means of transport to cross the Creek. We squeezed ourselves with them on a short ride. Sometimes we can also book the entire abra and have a fascinating hour-long trip from the abra embarkation points to the mouth of the Creek and inland to the Maktoum Bridge.

On the Deira side, a broad and well-lit, paved promenade extends from the Corniche, which faces on the Arabian Gulf, all the way to the attractive purpose-built dhow terminal constructed beside Maktoum Bridge. On the Bur Dubai side between Maktoum and Garhoud bridges, Creekside Park provides pleasant paved walks and extensive landscaped public gardens.

The night breeze was something truly breathtaking as we sail along the Dubai creek under the moonlight. To end the night after the ride, we had a little late night supper at a restaurant facing the Creek.

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