Saturday, March 17, 2018

1 Dirham Abra Ride | Creekside, Old Dubai

"We are not makers of history. We are made of history."
-Martin Luther King Jr.-

       How far can you 1 dirham go? Well, you can buy a bottle of water to quench your thirst. That's one thing. You can also buy a chai and pair it with another dirham worth of cheese samosa or a plain parata as your snacks. Not bad isn't it? And not so long ago, I can still have a waffle cone vanilla ice cream from Burger King but they doubled the price now after the implementation of VAT across the UAE. It seems like 1 dirham nowadays will not take you further. But what if you cruise the Dubai Creek via the traditional abra for just 1 AED? Why not!

       Payday has come so me and my good friend Florence, who's on the stage of recuperating from a heartbreak, who needed to unwind more than me, decided to try the ride en route to Rolex Tower where we plan to eat later on. We agreed to meet directly in Al Ghubaiba since we're coming from different places. Let's get cruisin'!

Old Dubai
       While waiting for my friend to arrive (shes getting a tattoo), I roam around the area first and to my surprise found a lot of interesting places that truly defines Dubai's glorious past. It wasn't my plan initially but when I saw all the old buildings and museums, I know it will be worth it.

Me doing some drama.

House of Sheikh Khalifa bin Saeed Al Maktoum

        Below is the House of Sheikh Khalifa bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It basically is a museum which depicts what life was for Emirati long time ago. I'm not sure though whether this is an actual house of the Sheikh converted into a museum. Anyhow, it's free entry so you can go have a look.

Al Shandagah Watch Tower
       Al Shandagah Watch Tower was built in 1939. The Dubai Municipality had restored it in 1994.

1 Dirham Abra Ride
       I'm so ready and stoked to take the abra ride but my friend is still not done with her tattoo and it's almost sunset so I decided to go by myself. It's just a dirham anyway and we can do it again together once she arrive. The boat used is called abra, a traditional boat used by the emiratis long time ago before they acquired yatches and luxury ships. They can hold around twenty people and is the cheapest means of traveling between Deira and Bur Dubai. Good thing they are still using it for after all, it's a reminder of their glorious past to make them appreciate how great they've accomplished.

       On either side of the creek, you will see some of Dubai's old building. They are the mute witnesses of the transformation the city has made in the past years. Cruising on the creek got me feeling like travelling back in time and while doing so, I kept on asking myself what life was here centuries back. Looming behind are the city's new wonders. The place is truly an intersection of Dubai's past and present days.

       There are also lots of restaurants and shops to choose from along the creek. People from all around the city flock in the area not just to enjoy the vibe of the place but to see what they can get there out from their money. And know that you can always get something more at a lower price.

       Not everything in Dubai is expensive after all! What other fun activity out there that cost only a dirham? Probably none.

       Oh by the way, you can watch those hundreds of seabirds hovering around the creek while you cruise.

Any problem bai?
       It's already dark when Florence arrived. Lamps posts and building lights are lit up and the place is alive once more. Wait, let me ride again.

How's your tattoo, my friend?
Meet Florence! She made me wait for several hours!
Just lovely!
       Shops. souks and restaurants abound on either side of the creek. Not only residents but tourists alike find this place the best place to be if you're looking for souvenirs and all the things that are so Arab in nature. And if you get hungry, you can just walk around the area and there's plenty to choose from. You can also have a shisha while enjoying the view of the creek. How cool is that?

Look at these cute, dazzling lamps!

       The prices are pretty low and if you're good at haggling, you can have it lower.

       The fare is only1 dirham and you will pay it directly to the driver. No tickets are to be issued and no need for prior booking.

Motorised abras currently ply two main routes across Dubai Creek. There are four stations; two on the Deira side, to the north of the Creek, and tow on the souther Bur Dubai side.
Route 1 goes from Deira Old Souk Abra Station(near the Spice Souk) to Bur Dubai Abra Station (west of the Old Souk).

Route 2 runs from Sabka Abra Station (southwest of Baniyas Square) to Dubai Old Souk Abra Station (at the Old Souk). 

How to get there?
       While there are so many ways to get to each stations, I'll tell anyway how did we get there. The nearest Metro Station is Al Ghubaiba (Green Line). If the nearest Metro to you is the Green Line, alight at the Union or Burjuman Station then take the Green Line.

       So there you have it friends, with a dirham, we were able to cruise the old Dubai the traditional way. How about you, what can your 1 dirham do? -Jon-

K, bye :)

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