Dubai Sights

Several distinct zones and quarters, each with its own purpose and atmosphere, make up the city of Dubai. The older districts around the mouth of Dubai Creek—Deira, Al-Rigga, and Bur Dubai—have developed over the last 150 years into a maze of narrow streets and alleyways that are often choked with traffic. However, the museums and attractions here are clustered close together, making this

area the most walkable in the city. You'll need to cross the creek on the abra (boat) service, about seven or eight minutes long, to get from one bank to the other.

To venture beyond this downtown core you'll need to take transportation. If you have time, buses are very cheap, new, and air-conditioned, and their routes pass by many major attractions. However, taxis are efficient, inexpensive, and metered, making them a more flexible option if you're only in Dubai for a short time and every minute counts.

Sheikh Zayed Road is the multilane road that links old Dubai with the newer Dubai districts to the south—about 15 mi to the southernmost communities. It runs 3 mi inland from the ocean and parallel with the coastline. Every well-marked intersection off Sheikh Zayed Road leads to a different district—including Dubai Marina, Emirates Hills, and Knowledge City—as well as that area's major attractions. This road is the thoroughfare for most of the traffic traveling north and south, so it's always busy. By taxi, the trip from Deira to Dubai Marina takes about 45 minutes.

Dubai doesn't use building numbers in its street addresses. People navigate by referencing major hotels, roads, intersections, or other well-known landmarks. Taxi drivers know how to reach all the main attractions, but if you're looking for something off the beaten path—say, a particular specialty store—find out which hotel, mall, or other geographical marker is close to your destination. Direct your driver to that location, so he knows the general area to which you want to go.

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Bur Dubai and the South Bank 14

Deira and the North Bank 13

Jumeirah Beach 11

Dubai Marina 7

World Trade Centre Area and Burj Dubai 6

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 1

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 1

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 1

Building/ Architectural Site 3

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 3

Festival–Sight 1

Financial Institution 1

Government Building 1

Historic District/ Site 1

Hotel–Sight 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 1

Island 2

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 2

Museum Village 2

Museum/ Gallery 1

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Neighborhood/ Street 3

Park/ Playground 3

Promenade/ Boardwalk 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 3

Resort–Sight 2

Sports Venue 1

Sports–Sight 2

Store/ Shop/ Mall 5

Town/ Village 2

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Dubai Sights

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Al-Ahmadiya School

  • Educational Institution

A window to the past, this school was founded by Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Dalmouk in 1912 and operated until 1962. But today it's...

Burj Nahar

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

The last surviving example of a series of inland-facing fortifications that protected Dubai city from attack by hostile desert tribes,...

Dhow Wharfs

  • Marina/Pier/Dock

Cooking oil heading for Somalia, refrigerators for Iran, and used cars for countries around the Gulf—all of these goods and more are...

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

  • Sports–Sight

Designed by UK-based firm Godwin, Austen and Johnson and modeled after the billowing sails of a dhow catching the ocean breeze, the elegant...

Dubai Creek and the Abra

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

Without the creek, Dubai would not exist. This safe inlet, one of a few in the Gulf area, was the obvious choice for a commercial port...

Dubai Festival City

  • Town/Village

The first of Dubai's megaprojects to enter development stages, Dubai Festival City would be getting much more press if its more recent...

Gold Souk

  • Store/Shop/Mall

Take sunglasses when you visit the Gold Souk—no matter what time of day. The window displays shine with precious metals and cut stones...

Heritage House

  • House/Mansion/Villa

One of the few old buildings left north of the creek, Heritage House belonged to a wealthy merchant family and has been restored to mimic...

National Bank of Dubai

  • Financial Institution

One of Dubai Creek's most recognizable buildings, the National Bank of Dubai was designed by Carlos Ott in the 1990s to redefine the...

Palm Deira

  • Island

The second in the trilogy of offshore Palm islands to break ground—or break water—Palm Deira aims to be the biggest man-made island...