Slicing its way through the middle of the city centre between the districts of Bur Dubai and Deira, the Creek (Al Khor in Arabic) remains very much the physical and cutural heart of old Dubai. The Creek was the location of the earliest settlements in the area and also played a seminal role in the history of the city, providing a safe haven for shipping which established Dubai as a major regional commercial centre long before the discovery of oil.
The Creek’s economic importance has dwindled in recent decades following the opening of the enormous new docks at Port Rashid and Jebel Ali. Nevertheless, it continues to sees plenty of small-scale commerce, almost all of it transported on the hundreds of traditional wooden dhows which ply between Dubai and neighbouring countries and which can be seen moored up along the Deira side of the water at the memorable Dhow Wharfage.
Commerce apart, the Creek remains the centrepiece of old Dubai and its finest natural feature, a broad, salty stretch of water which provides cooling maritime breezes as well as many of the city’s finest views. These are best appreciated during the memorable Creek-crossing by abra or, at a more leisurely pace, during an evening dinner cruise aboard a traditional dhow. The Bur Dubai side of the Creek is also where you’ll find one of the city’s most enjoyable short walks.