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The best way to start to discover Deira is to walk along the Creek, where old meets new with full force.
5-star hotels like the Sheraton Dubai Creek and Radisson SAS Hotel Dubai Deira Creek are situated just yards away from wharfs that have not changed in the past 70 years. Traditional dhows still line the Creek wharf and, day and night, seamen unload goods destined for the many tiny shops that make up Dubai's oldest trading area.
It's here that you'll find Deira old souk, sprawling around the mouth of the Creek, on the north shore, where the waterway widens at the entrance to the Arabian Gulf. The area is best explored during the late afternoon or evening, when the temperatures are lower and the traders are at their busiest.
The entrance to the old souk stands under renovated buildings with traditional wind towers. Like most markets, it has evolved into sections defined by the goods sold in each, and is criss-crossed by alleyways.
The areas are known individually as the spice souk, antique souk and textile souk.
Once you reach the antique shops, you know that you are approaching the renowned gold souk, where over 125 little shops sell gold , silver and diamond items of every style and description imaginable. The gold souq is still dominated by Indian and Iranian craftsmen and traders, as it has been for close on a century.
Beautiful jewellery containing pearls is also sold here. Diving for natural pearls in the Arabian Gulf was the very old industry that established the wealth of Dubai, centuries ago, long before oil was discovered. The pearls were then traded for goods and spices from Persia, India, the Far East and Africa, as Dubai, around Deira and the Creek, grew rapidly as a trading town.
International trade and low taxes have been the hallmarks of Dubai for centuries.
There is a great deal to see in Deira. They are even constructing Deira Island and
Palm Deira, just offshore, using sand dredged from the floor of the Arabian Gulf to
create huge islands that will be filled with luxury villas and hotels. The work is ongoing
at the present time.
Tucked away in the busy streets of Deira is a surprise; a beautifully restored mud-brick watchtower that stands in its own gardens. This round tower is Burj Nahar. It dates back to 1870 when it served as one of three towers that served as part of Dubai's defences.
Further up the Creek, on the Deira side, is Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club in a
superb setting, amidst rolling greens. Opened in January 1993, the world-class golf
course is the centre-piece of a sprawling leisure complex that incorporates a 115 berth
There are excellent hotels in Deira, many of them 5-star. However, they are mostly much cheaper to stay in than the luxury hotels of Jumeirah Beach.
Deira is popular with businessmen and travellers on "stop-overs", because Dubai International Airport is conveniently located on the Deira side of Dubai Creek.
Deira City Centre is a very large, lively mall with 340 shops, an 11-screen cinema, a kid's entertainment area and good restaurants.
Deira really has a great deal to offer tourists, shoppers and visiting businessmen.