Where am I heading?
Bur Dubai. Al Mankhool Road bisects the area, running from Satwa Roundabout on 2nd December Street, right down to Al Fahidi on the edge of the Dubai Creek.
Sounds fairly long.
It is. Just under 4km, in fact, or approximately an hour’s walk if you’re not stopping off anywhere. But you should.
Okay, talk me through it.
Starting at the Satwa end, you’ve got the Chelsea Plaza Hotel, home to cute (and ancient) Italian restaurant Il Rustico, and Legends Sports Bar, known for its rock-infused live music sets and karaoke competitions. Just after the Kuwait Road intersection, stop in at the Majestic Hotel Tower for a poke around. Greek restaurant Elia is a local favourite, while The Music Room regularly hosts top international tribute bands and emerging indie talent from around the world.
I’m all set for live music then. What’s going on outside the hotels?
Walk a little further down towards the Creek, and just after the Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road intersection, behind Al Musalla Tower (which has a little mall at its base, for your electronics needs), you’ll find Special Ostadi. This Iranian restaurant is one of the city’s lesser-known institutions, and you’re there as much for the patter from the staff and quirky decor as the food, but if you’re on Mankhool, it shouldn’t be missed.
If I only wanted to join Al Mankhool in the middle, would there be a quicker way?
Yes. Hop on the metro and get off at Al Fahidi station, which sits at the junction of Mankhool and Khalid Bin Al Waleed.
I’ve come all this way, is there anything else to see?
Potter down to the end of the street and you’ll find yourself in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, full of art galleries and cultural centres,
in an area laid out like an old-fashioned village. From here, you’re only around the corner from the Dubai Museum, and just metres away from Dubai Creek, where you can catch an abra to cross the creek or a water taxi to explore further.
Only on Al Mankhool Road
Love tea? Head to this much-loved tea and snack shop. It’s not the only outlet in the city, but it’s one of the most popular, and best for a spot of people watching. If you’re not sure what to order, you can’t go wrong with the chain’s signature zafran chai. On the snack front, the “crunchy bite” is a true UAE hybrid, featuring toasted bread, Oman chips, roasted egg and Kraft cheese. (04 358 1353).