With countless souks, spice-scented restaurants and creek cruises, holidays to Deira are traditional and buzzing in equal measure.
Dubai minus the bling
There’s more to Dubai than seven-star hotels, glitzy malls and soaring skyscrapers. And you’ll find it in Deira. Sitting to the east of Dubai Creek, this district missed the boat to the 21st century. The streets are thronging with bazaars, shisha cafés and curry houses. Plus, you just need to cross the creek to reach Dubai’s cutting-edge attractions, like the Burj Khalifa.
Shopping’s big business in Deira. Here, it tends to play out in traditional souks, rather than air-conditioned malls. The Gold Souk’s one of the most-visited. It’s got a huge range of the yellow stuff in every form, from solid gold bars to gold dresses. And the scents of cinnamon, saffron and chilli waft over from the nearby Spice Souk. If you prefer something modern, there’s also a multi-story mall, with hundreds of stores, restaurants and a cinema.
Deira’s waterfront views come courtesy of Dubai Creek. Head down to the Dhow Wharfage for a glimpse at Dubai’s old-school shipping industry. You can watch traders stacking their traditional dhow boats high with goods, before setting off for Iran, India and Oman. That’s not the only water in sight, either. To the east of Deira, you’ve got Al Mamzar Beach Park, where the sands are shelved around a lake-like lagoon.
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