Old Dubai Part 1 : Crossing Dubai Creek

I’m not one to be very impressed with the tallest and mostest, so when I went to the tallest building in the world, the majestic Burj Khalifa— I was impressed with the architecture, yes. But it wasn’t a favourite part of Dubai. I prefer historic and rustic things, so I was thrilled to go on an Abra, or a wooden boat to cross Dubai Creek.

I love that the Abras don’t have conventional seats. All passengers just take their place on the sides of that wooden platform!

Like so. I love that Dubai has kept the wooden boats as is. They could easily replace those with hundreds of modern speed boats. But why would they replace such a charming thing? I thought these Abras were just a tourist novelty. But I saw locals using these too. Very convenient, quick, and a pleasant breath of fresh cool air.

This one had a mini titanic episode…

Here’s a mini drawing of Dubai Creek to show you where those wooden water taxis are handy.

I love that despite being one of the most modern cities in the world, Dubai has retained the wooden Abras. It’s interesting to imagine how these wooden taxis have ferried thousands or millions of people throughout the years. Specifically, transporting people from “modern” Dubai, to Old Dubai (separate post on that soon)

Dubai may be the city of airconditioned bus stops, biggest aquarium in the world, tallest building, etc. But it was upon entering Old Dubai, stepping into the Abra that this mega modern city took my breath away…


  1. says

    I’ve written about how much I love Old Dubai on my blog too. Taking an abra across Dubai Creek is one of my favourite things to do in the city and it only costs a few pennies. They are definitely not there for tourists (as you saw) most of the people using them are local workers commuting from one side of the Creek to the other.

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