The bustling metropolis of Dubai is a city of traditional souks, incredible modern high rise buildings, dusty streets and cool blue waters. For an authentic experience of Dubai life and spectacular views of this sprawling city, take a ride on an abra.
Abras are traditional wooden boats which have long been used to ferry residents across the Deira Creek. They are not just a convenient mode of transport, though: they are the perfect way to see Dubai’s clear blue skies, amazing architecture and lively city life.
If you stay at our luxurious Radisson Blu Residence Dubai Marina hotel you’re a short distance away from a ferry ride to remember.
Take A Ferry Ride
The cheapest and easiest way to ride an abra is to use the taxi service they provide across the waters of Deira Creek. Make your way to one of the many abra stations which line the banks of Deira Creek, like Deira Old Souk Abra Station in front of the Spice Souk.
These creaky little boats fill up quickly with people who want to get across the water. Normally you’ll share the boat with about 20 other people. For as little as 1 Dirham per person you can spend five or ten minutes gliding across the water.
On your trip over Deira Creek you will have excellent views of gleaming skyscrapers, traditional Arabian houses, and even sea-life of the coral reef below the boat.
Treat Yourself To A Private Hire
If you don’t like the idea of sharing a boat with strangers, don’t worry. Many of the abras can be hired privately for Deira Creek crossings, or even for exclusive tours of the Dubai waters. Prices for these tours, too, are cheap, with private crossings around 10 Dirhams, and an hour’s private charter around a mere 100 Dirham.
You can ask the boatman to steer your boat upriver or downriver as you fancy, taking in the sights you want to see. Take in the top Dubai attractions like Creek Park, traditional souks, the wind-towers of Bur Dubai, the pinnacles of Burj Khalifa, and other landmarks.
Relax On An Evening Cruise
Perhaps the most dazzling time to take an abra ride on Deira Creek in Dubai is at dusk and in the evening. It’s when the natural light goes out that the city is at its most atmospheric, and the water reflects the sparkling lights of Dubai. Start your cruise at sunset to see the glamorous city bathed in light, then return to shore when the stars are out above.
The abra ferries run until around midnight, and just as during the daytime they can be booked for private hire at night. A big advantage to an evening cruise is that the temperature will be cooler and the abra itself will not be crowded with workers from the city.
However, to make the night even more romantic, take an evening dinner cruise on a traditional wooden dhow as it sails gently through the water. Evening dinner cruises on Deira Creek can be booked through many hotels and through tour operators in Dubai.