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Dubai Creek: All You Need to Know to Before you Go

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Dubai Creek is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dubai due to its serene beauty and attractive nature of activities. Bustling with commercial and residential activity, Dubai Creek is often known as the lifeblood of Dubai. Let’s take a deeper look at this popular destination.

What is Dubai creek?

The Dubai creek is essentially a saltwater inlet or creek. This water body was known to divide the city of Dubai into Deira and Bur Dubai and has played a massive role in the transformation of this city. Earlier it used to extend to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary but since becoming a part of the new Dubai Canal it extends till the Persian Gulf. Some even claim that the creek used to extend as far inland as Al Ain and was called river Zara by ancient Greeks. Since its 4000 ft. long and six ft. the deep expansion was executed under the rule of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Dubai Creek’s waters loop through the city and flow through the Business Bay and into the Gulf of Jumeirah. The main site of the creek and all its subordinate attractions are still preserved in their natural state.


The Dubai Creek isn’t just a place of beauty but is enriched with a long history of being the lifeline for people. The members of the Bani Yas tribe first settled along with the Bur Dubai Creek area in the 19th century and established the Al Maktoum dynasty in the city. The creek was incapable of supporting large scale transportation in the early 20th century but it served as a minor port for dhows coming from as far as India or East Africa and facilitated trade between these areas. It was the only port in the city during that time and proved to be a safe harbour to trade with other ports of the Arabian Gulf. Though the entry of ships was impeded by the flow of current in the Creek’s water, it played a vital role in the establishment of Dubai as a commercial hub.

Before the invention of cultured pearls in the 1930s, was the main source of the city’s economy. This was expedited through the creek. Fishing was another important industry that was supported by the shallow and warm water of the creek which gave way to a variety of marine life. It was also the hub for Dubai's pearling industry adding gold, spices, and fresh catches from the Arabian waters. The Al Maktoum bridge, constructed in 1963 was the first to connect Bur Dubai and Deira. Since the construction of the Jebel Ali Port, the commercial importance of the Creek has diminished but smaller ports continue to exist along the creek.

How to reach?

There is no direct connection between the Dubai Creek and the airport. You will have to take a metro from the airport to the Deira City Centre. From there take a Line 53 bus from the City Centre Metro Bus Stop A till the Maktoum road. Dubai Creek is a walkable distance from the road. If you would prefer a less cumbersome way then you can opt for an Uber or local taxi to take you to the spot. It is also well connected to the Al Maktoum Bridge and the Business Bay bridge.

Things to do in Dubai Creek

  • Visit the Al Bastakiya District, Heritage Village, and Dubai Museum. The age-old museum was built in 1787 and is located inside the Al Fahidi Fort. If you are intrigued by history then you should pay a visit to the oldest existing building in Dubai.
  • You can book a seat on a traditional Dhow which provides day and night cruises. Catch a glimpse of the setting sun as you are taken over the water or look at the illuminated skyline at night. Make your experience even richer by opting for the onboard meal. You can have dinner on a floating platform at Bateaux Dubai which is becoming a very popular outlet with the tourists. A ride on the Dubai Creek boat will cover all the ancient and modern marvels of architecture.
  • Dubai Dolphinarium. The creek boasts of a large marine life and bottlenose dolphins are one of the major attractions here. Watch an action-packed live show and get up close with the enthusiastic mammals.
  • Take a walk down the Dhow Wharfage along the Creek. Look at the sailors loading and unloading cargo and you might even get a chance to take a quick look inside their dhows.
  • Shop for exotic spices and herbs as you lose yourself in their aroma. These spices will take you back to the Creek when you use them in the kitchen.
  • Isn’t Dubai one of the best places to shop for gold? Visit Gold Souks for looking at the exquisite collection of jewellery and you can even try your hand at bargaining.
  • The streets of Dubai Creek will mesmerize you with live shows, plays, music, and fireworks. If you happen to visit the place during Dubai Shopping Festival then you can witness the Al Seef, Al Muraqabat, and Al Rigga streets come alive.
  • Take a short break and unwind as you watch the sunset from the Creek. Take a seat in any of the restaurants as you watch the beautiful sight. As it gets dark to capture the lit-up Promenade on your stroll.
  • The endpoint of the sanctuary, Ras Al Khor bird sanctuary spans over an area of 620 hectares. It houses wetlands, pools, mudflats, and lagoons which are the abode of different kinds of birds. You might even spot flamingoes migrating to Ras Al Khor.
  • Another interesting museum is the Museum of Illusions which will have you fascinated by the mirror work and illusions to play with your head.
  • The Al Seef Dubai carnival is a weekly affair where you can spend time at the waterfront market and enjoy music, carnival games, musical nights, street food, and magic shows at night.

Take a ride in a cable car onlooking the Creek and you will be able to cover a large distance in a matter of half an hour. Abras, yachts, and water taxis can be seen in plenty. Take a short cost-effective ride with the locals and experience the Creek up close. There are several activities at the Creek Park which will make up for a perfect day out with the family. If you are a sports enthusiast then you can check out the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Dubai Creek comes to life as the sun goes down. You can choose from a plethora of restaurants, bars, and clubs among other entertainment venues.

Where to stay?

You can find several hotels of mid-range to luxurious stays. There are no time restrictions and entry is free for children. The entry fee for adults is 5 Arab Emirates Dirham.

The Dubai Creek is 14 kilometres or 8.7 miles long from its origin at the Persian Gulf. It is wide enough to welcome trade vessels for transport between the Eastern and Western sides. Visit the markets and test your bargaining skills at items like perfumes, fabrics, Arabic coffee, and even jewellery. The vast area is beaming with life at any given time and a visit here will make sure you remember it for years to come.

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