Dubai Creek is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dubai, with its bustling souks, abra rides, and historic vibe. Apart from these, there is another reason for you to visit this area. A brand new cultural district on the shore is now open to the public – and this is Al Seef.
Al Seef is the latest project of the developers behind the likes of City Walk, The Beach at JBR, and Boxpark. This new tourist destination stretches 1.8 km along the Dubai Creek and is located next to the Al Fahidi historical district.
If you want to see a structure that tells the story of this dazzling city, don’t forgo the unique experience of going to Al Seef. Paying homage to UAE traditions, the developer emphasizes that Al Seef has been designed to bring to life Emirati culture that underpins the iconic heritage of Dubai.
There are two main areas in Al Seef. First is the heritage area, which is inspired by Dubai’s old architecture. Second is the contemporary area, which features different modern elements characteristic of the Dubai everyone knows.
What will you find there?
Al Seef is a dining, entertainment, shopping, and tourism destination. It covers about 2.5 million square feet and houses approximately 500 art galleries, shops and eateries, which includes a floating market. Vendors include The Brass Coffee & Community, Lebanese-Armenian restaurants, and a gelato store.
Moreover, this place is home to unique, luxurious hotels. To get a feel of Emirati culture, for example, consider staying at a luxury Arabian hotel in Dubai for a unique and authentic Arabian experience. Other options include modern hotels located in the contemporary section.
There are also other great places you can visit along Dubai Creek, including the serene and fascinating Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. Surrounded by lush greenery, you can go birdwatching (when it’s in season) as well as stop and smell the fragrant Japanese cherry blossoms.
There are also man-made marvels in this place, including a grove of giant artificial trees and sights like the garden you may have seen in Singapore.
Both locals and tourists can also explore the open air market filled with handmade artifacts, accessories, textiles, and small treasures you can take home with you.
Things to do in Al Seef
1. Bateaux Dubai Gourmet Dinner Cruise
Undoubtedly, a survey of Dubai’s historic charms will not be complete without sighting the Dubai Creek. A Bateaux Dubai gourmet dinner cruise allows you to watch the city as you cruise along the creek. Be delighted by royal service and live entertainment inside the air-conditioned, glass-enclosed extravagant boat.
While onboard, your meal will include an array of different a la carte options. After dining, you can freely roam about the two outdoor decks of the boat and take in sweeping romantic views from the creek.
2. Dhow Dinner Cruise
A dhow dinner cruise is a two-hour evening dinner cruise along the creek in an Arabic wooden dhow or boat. This cruise includes a luxurious buffet, musical entertainment, a non-alcoholic welcome drink, tea and spectacular views of the city.
You will also sail under the famous bridges of the Dubai Creek, and see the iconic high-rises from a distance, and protected inlets – all gorgeously lit up in the night sky.
3. Spice Souk
Experience the essence of being an Arabian as you wander around the famous souks of Dubai. Located near the Dubai Creek, the Spice Souk gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the aromas of various spices like cloves, saffron, cinnamon and cardamom.
Stroll down the souk alleyways and practice your haggling skills so you can buy spices in bulk and bring them with you back home.
How to get there
There is a marina for private yachts if you are arriving by boat although Al Seef is also serviced by abras and water taxis that ply the Dubai Creek.
Moreover, this place is within walking distance to two key stops of the metro rail system — the Burjuman Metro Station and Al Fahidi Metro Station. If you are driving your own car, there are lots of underground parking spaces and valet parking services available.
Basically, there is no reason for you not to include this new cultural district in your list of must-visit places in Dubai. It offers plenty of superb shopping, hospitality, leisure and dining options. This place is definitely set to revitalize tourism in the heart of the dazzling city of Dubai.
Habib Khan is a seasoned Hotelier, currently the CEO of Planet Hospitality and General Manager of Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa. Khan has more than 30 years of diversified international experience in the hospitality industry. He is an expert in developing, transforming, and managing hotels, with an ability to analyze and solve problems in a challenging work environment.