On the eastern bank of Dubai Creek, Deira is Dubai’s busiest area. The majority of the city’s souqs are here, thronged with shoppers and vendors. The wharves are lined with traditional Arab sailing dhows. The Heritage House museum and the gold, spice and fish souqs in Al Ras, near the mouth of Dubai Creek, give a glimpse into the area’s mercantile past. Luxurious Dubai hotels stand proud on the waterfront promenade winding down to Maktoum Bridge and the Dubai Creek Golf Course. Snaking towards the Arabian Gulf, the promenade meets the Corniche leading to the Palm Deira offshore development. Dubai International Airport is in Deira’s south-east.
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Facing Deira on the other side of Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai celebrates the past in its restored historic quarter, Bastakiya. Here, a former fort houses the Dubai Museum. The waterfront winding round to the mouth of the creek leads to Sheikh Saeed House, official residence of past rulers and now open to the public. The nearby Heritage and Diving Village is a recreation of a Bedouin village. Shop for souveniers in the souqs and Indian market stalls which run back from the waterfront to the Grand Mosque. Bur Dubai stretches south to take in the lavish BurJuman and Wafi Malls. Creekside Park, a refreshing oasis of parklands and gardens between Maktoum and Garhoud bridges, is home to the educational play centre Children’s City. The neighbouring bargain shopping district of Karama borders Bur Dubai to the south.
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Jumeirah follows the coast west from Dubai Creek, with Jumeirah Road running along the beach. The glamorous resort hotels and beach clubs of Jumeirah, culminate in the seven- star Burj Al Arab hotel, built on its own island. The Madinat Jumeirah resort at Umm Suqeim is styled like an ancient Arabian citadel. Wild Wadi Waterpark makes a splash nearby, and the Palm Jumeirah and World residential developments rise out of the Arabian Gulf offshore.
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Stretching almost the entire length of Dubai, multi-lane Sheikh Zayed Road runs parallel to the coast as it heads south from the World Trade Centre on the western edge of Karama and Bur Dubai. Soaring skyscraper hotels and homes line the highway but even they are dwarfed by the 160-storey Burj Dubai the world’s tallest building. Shoppers target Dubai Mall at Burj Dubai, while bar-hoppers and gourmands head to the glittering Dubai hotels lighting up the road at night.
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The southern leg of Sheikh Zayed Road runs to the massive theme parks under construction at Dubailand in New Dubai and on to the Abu Dhabi border. Shoppers spend the day in air- conditioned art galleries and the Mall of the Emirates and Ibn Buttuta shopping centres. Luxury hotels, fine-dining restaurants and residential towers cluster at the waterfront Dubai Marina development. The Atlantis resort is just offshore on Palm Jumeirah.
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