Sometimes the best experiences don’t cost very much.
The Creek in Dubai, a city known for its luxury and ultramodern architecture, is the original centre of the city’s commerce, and still buzzes with boats zipping up and down trading goods. Crossing the Dubai Creek on an abra, the city’s most traditional mode of transport, is a great way to experience the city’s history and heritage. Best part is taking an abra only costs AED 1 (0.27 USD) – a bargain in Dubai!
During my recent visit to Dubai, I stayed on the old side of Dubai in an area called Deira. Historically, Deira has been the commercial hub of the city. Bordered by the Dubai Creek, it’s now an up-and-coming area with most of new Dubai developing along Sheikh Zayed Road. With its older origins, hopping on to an abra to the Old Souk Station was a perfect poetic beginning.
The five minute journey across Dubai Creek ends just meters away from the Spice, Gold and Perfume Souk. The bustling souks are a shopper’s paradise, but don’t forget to bargain! The narrow streets offer many stalls, often selling similar things, so don’t worry about missing out. Walk around, survey the prices, and then make a decision.
Originating from the Arabic word “abara”, which means to cross, this mode of transport is a symbol of Dubai’s history and heritage. If you’re visiting Dubai, make sure you give an abra a try. There are electric, motorized and even air-conditioned options! In an ultramodern city like Dubai, such authentic experiences are hard to come by, so cherish them when they do.