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Discover Dubai from the water

Mon, August 24, 2020

Whether to unwind, celebrate or explore, Dubai's waterways offer up alternate perspectives.


Whether to unwind, celebrate or explore, Dubai's waterways offer up alternate perspectives.


Bustling waterways of Dubai Creek

Old Dubai Creek crossing

With time on your hands, a trip down Dubai Creek becomes an indelible memory. A traditional mode of public transport, the fleet of abras criss-cross the wide saltwater creek, as they have done for centuries. A token fee of AED1 per trip gives visitors the chance to travel between the city's famed Gold, Textile and Spice souks, to find bargains on gemstones and gold, exotic seasonings and exquisite fabrics. Dock at the far end of the creek, at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, for a picturesque meal at the rooftop terrace.

Set sail from: Dubai Old Souk Marine Transport Station


Through the hills of Hatta


The mountain getaway of Hatta is home to freshwater wadis (valleys) and the sparkling waters of the Hatta Dam. Head to the latter and book a single or double kayak experience, or opt for the larger yellow boats and triple water bikes for a group social experience. For more action and adventure, blaze your own trail with a 4X4 mountain safari, or try zorbing and ziplining at the action zone, Hatta Wadi Hub


Winding canals of Madinat Jumeirah


The Madinat Jumeirah uses abras to connect the sanctuary's hotels, villas and restaurants via a picturesque canal system. Cruising past the beach and the Burj Al Arab, a Madinat abra ride takes about 30 minutes for a full loop. If you want more, check-in for more indulgent resort experiences at either Al Qasr, Mina A’Salam or Jumeirah Al Naseem. You can even sit down for a meal at one of many spectacular waterside restaurants and lounges in this tranquil setting.


Urban escapes at Dubai Water Canal

Dubai water Canal

Set sail down Dubai’s newest – and perhaps one of its most ambitious projects yet – the Dubai Water Canal. Its waterways stretch three kilometres from the Arabian Gulf, through Safa Park, into the heart of the city centre, culminating in the quiet waters of Business Bay. Soak in the spectacular views from any one of the pedestrian bridges that cross the canal, including the motion-operated waterfall where the Canal meets the Sheikh Zayed Road bridge. It pumps water in a constant, colourful flow and switches off when the sensor detects a boat nearby. 


Surf's up at Dubai's beaches


Beach lovers have been cruising along the Dubai coast for decades, with kayaks, canoes and all manner of seafaring toys visible from the city's best beaches. Dubai’s coastline also has a couple of breaks that surfers should take note of. Throughout the winter season, you will find the best waves at Sunset Beach. To take advantage of the regular north-westerly winds creating swells at Nikki Beach and Pearl Jumeirah island, Surf House Dubai has set up board hire at both locations. Apart from renting out gear, the team also arranges lessons, contests and other fun events, while the cafe guarantees a healthy breakfast.


New adventures at The World

Cruising along the Arabian Gulf, drop anchor at the World Islands – a stunning manmade development that is designed to loosely resemble the world map. Make your way to the 'Lebanon' island where the popular Island Beach Club awaits. Here you can soak up some sunshine or simply enjoy a delicious Mediterranean-inspired lunch by the waterside at Toro Blanco. As the sun sets, catch the vivid Arabian sunset reflecting off the city's mirrored skyscrapers in the distance.


Dining delights by the water


It’s no accident that some of Dubai’s best restaurants come equipped with a serene, coastal view. Choose from Ossiano at Atlantis, The Palm with its giant aquarium, Fish Beach Taverna in Dubai Marina with stunning sea views, and Thiptara in Downtown for front row seats to The Dubai Fountain. One of the most coveted – and romantic – dining venues in the city, is Pierchic at Al Qasr, located on its own pier that stretches out to the Gulf.  

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