The Creekside district of Shindagha is one of the oldest areas of the city, and perhaps the place where you get the clearest sense of what old Dubai once looked like. Although it’s now been virtually swallowed up by Bur Dubai, until the 1960s Shindagha remained quite separate, divided by an inlet (roughly where the Shindagha Tower now is) which periodically flooded, cutting the area off from the rest of the town.
The Shindagha Creekside was also once the most exclusive address in town, home to the town’s ruling elite, who lived in a string of fine old traditional house lined up along the waterfront. Most of these old houses have now been carefully restored and reopened as a clutch of museums, “heritage villages” and restaurants, including the Diving and Heritage Villages and Traditional Architecture Museum. Best of the bunch is the characterful former palace of the ruling Maktoum family, now open to the public as the Sheikh Saeed al Maktoum House, with fascinating photographs of old-time Dubai.