Even after almost 3 and a half years in Dubai, I’m still discovering new spots in town.
When my best friend Lucy came to visit last month, I took her to all of the usual sights (the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Desert Safari, Dubai Marina…etc!) but I also tried to include a few areas she might not have heard of.
We jumped in a taxi to the old Dubai, Bastakiya, located along the Creek. Here you can find the traditional old spice and gold souks, as well as lots of lovely little side streets.
The Dubai Museum is also located here and at only 3 dirhams per person, is a real bargain and worth it if you’re interested in the history of Dubai and how the UAE has developed from a small pearl-fishing spot to the metropolitan city it is today.
After having strolled through the old streets which house the traditional wind towers that were once used to keep the houses cool, we stopped for a coffee in the Arabian Tea house.
This is an absolutely charming little cafe, hidden inside a courtyard.
It’s full of pretty flowers, wicker chairs, and white drapes floating in the breeze.
We got quite envious when we saw all the delicious looking food that kept coming out, but since it wasn’t that long since we’d had breakfast, we just stuck to coffee.
Another tip for something a bit different is to take an Abra (the traditional wooden boats) across the creek. They only cost 1 dirham and take about 10 minutes to cross over to the other side. The walk along the creek is lovely and you might even be greeted by a few birds!
Dubai is not the most pedestrian-friendly city, however that seems to be slowly changing. There’s a lovely area called City Walk, in Jumeirah, which is a long boulevard with cute cafés and boutiques, perfect for a stroll in the sunshine.
It also has a little lake tucked behind it with some pretty fountains. They might not be the Dubai Mall Fountains, but there’s still a nice view of the Burj Khalifa!
Don’t mind the crane in the background – it wouldn’t be Dubai if there wasn’t construction going on somewhere!
One last hidden spot that we checked out was an area that was also new to me. It’s actually only just down the road from where I live, and is called Jumeirah Fishing Harbour.
It’s pretty much what the name says – a fishing harbour! However there are a few restaurants with lovely outdoor terraces which have popped up recently, and it is incredibly peaceful.
We walked around enjoying the peace and quiet – although it’s only just off a main road somehow it’s sheltered from all the noise from the cars passing by. It’s a great spot to watch the fishermen bringing in their hauls and if we’d had more time I’m certain we would have stopped to have a leisurely lunch at one of the restaurants.
As you can see Dubai has a lot more to offer than just huge shopping malls and chain restaurants. I wish we’d had more time together to check out some other areas!