Bur Dubai? Bit of a nightmare to get to, isn’t it?
No more so than Jumeirah Beach Residence on a Friday night. Besides, it’s the granddaddy of waterside neighbourhoods in Dubai – and arriving by road is only for the achingly uninformed. Take the Metro, hail an abra across the Creek for Dhs1, or climb aboard the Dubai Ferry (tickets from Dhs50) outside Dubai Marina Mall and cruise the coast on your way up.
Yeah, all right, but it’s all pashminas and Burj Al Arab fridge magnets isn’t it?
Yes, there are enough souvenir shops to knock any tourist’s socks and sandals off, but there’s more to the area than tat. At the textile souk, stop for a coffee and mezze at Bait Al Wakeel, which sits on a creaky wooden platform right over
Okay, so where can I shop for something a bit different?
Head to Hindi Lane, between the Creek and Dubai Museum. This narrow alley teems with shops selling colourful trinkets. Near the Arabian Courtyard Hotel you’ll find antique silverware shops selling Saudi and Bedouin jewellery. Walk further into Meena Bazaar and you’ll find row upon row of fabric shops and tailors.
Nice. What can I get made?
How about a suit? Try Kachins in Cosmos Lane, which also sells fabric, so no need to duck and weave, fetching your finishings from different stores.
I’ll give it a go. How about a spot of culture?
It’s obvious, isn’t it? Head to Dubai Museum, housed by the old Al Fahidi Fort and built in the late 1700s. For just a couple of dirhams you’ll get up to speed on Dubai’s meteoric rise from tiny pearl-diving community to major global city. If you’ve got time, pootle along down to the heritage strip towards the mouth of the Creek, where you’ll find the Diving Village and a few more quieter historic spots to explore.
I’m shattered. How about a drink?
Of course! Get yourself over to the Meliã Dubai.
Isn’t that a Spanish hotel?
Yes, but you won’t be complaining when you see the stunning cityscape view from rooftop bar Estrella’s. It doesn’t get more Dubai than this.