Ready to fall in love with this historic neighborhood?
Discover the epic spiritual landmarks and the commercial favorites of Deira.
Dubai is constantly evolving, but alongside this expanding metropolis sits Deira, a historic neighborhood that’s still holding onto its cultural roots. There’s a reason locals lovingly refer to it as ‘Old Dubai’. This characterful district offers a glimpse into the city’s past and is home to some of the most iconic landmarks and spaces that promise to broaden your mind. Whether you’re staying at one of the many hotels located in Deira or would like to spend a day haggling your way through the souks while drinking in the majestic atmosphere – this list will show you how to experience Dubai’s unique and beloved ancient quarter
1. Explore the Deira Souks
Looking for an authentic shopping experience in Dubai? The Deira Souks are traditional marketplaces known far and wide for their lavish jewels, colorful spices, lush fabrics, and unique souvenirs. It’s a literal feast for the senses.
Here, you’ll find a variety of souks that locals and tourists love.
The Gold Souk
There’s no place like it for jewelry enthusiasts. With over 300 shops selling their dazzling wares: gold, diamonds, and precious gemstones. Even if you aren’t in the market for some gleaming treasures, the beautiful displays are worth a trip.
The Spice Souk
There’s something special about choosing your spices from the vibrant and informal displays at the Spice Souk in Deira. Immerse yourself in the aromas of exotic spices and pick up gifts that your friends and family will adore.
Other souks in Deira include the Perfume Souk, Textile Souk, and Fish Souk.
2. Visit the Deira Museums
Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum
Travel back to ancient Dubai, no time machine required! This museum houses artifacts and discoveries from the Bronze Age site of Saruq Al Hadid and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts or anyone interested in the story behind one of the most mysterious archaeological sites to be discovered in the UAE.
Women’s Museum Bait al Banat
A historically valuable and well-preserved site, Bait al Banat proudly displays the fascinating role women played in shaping Dubai’s society. From traditional clothing to inspiring stories, this museum is a must-see for all visitors.
3. Take an Abra Ride from Deira
After meandering the souks, an “Abra” ride from Deira is the perfect way to relax while soaking up the creek. This traditional wooden boat will ferry you across Dubai Creek, a quintessential Dubai experience. It offers stunning views of the city’s skyline and a glimpse into the neighborhood’s busy waterfront. As you cruise along the creek, you’ll hear the sound of the water lapping against the boat and the call to prayer from nearby mosques.
4. Discover the Al Ahmadiya School
Starting in 1912, this was the first school in the city and played an important role in Dubai’s education system. The school building itself is a stunning example of traditional Arabian architecture, with intricate details and a beautiful courtyard. It’s considered to be an important cultural landmark in Dubai and has been restored to its former glory after years of neglect.
5. Visit the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
The Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House is located in the heart of Deira and was originally built in the late 1800s as the home of the ruling Al Maktoum family. It has since been restored and converted into a museum. The house is a stunning example of traditional Arabian architecture, with wind towers, courtyards, and intricate details that showcase the region’s rich heritage. This is another one for the list if you’re interested in history, architecture, and culture.
6. Explore the Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek is a historic waterway that has played an important role in the city’s development. It was a vital hub for trade and commerce in the region and continues to be an important part of Dubai’s cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the creek and its surroundings by taking a leisurely boat ride, where they can see the traditional dhows, or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants along the water’s edge.
7. Visit the Jumeirah Mosque
The Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most iconic landmarks in Dubai and a beautiful example of Islamic architecture. The mosque is made entirely of white stone and features intricate details and geometric patterns. It can accommodate over 1,000 worshippers and is one of the few mosques in Dubai that is open to non-Muslim visitors. Guided tours are available where visitors can learn about the significance of the mosque and the role it plays in the community.
8. Enjoy local cuisine of Diera
From high-end restaurants to humble street food stalls, traditional to fusion – Deira has it all. Some of the most popular local dishes include machboos, a flavorful rice dish that’s typically made with chicken or fish, and luqaimat, a sweet and sticky dessert that’s made with dough balls and drizzled with date syrup. You can also sample karak tea, a strong and milky tea that’s an Emirati staple.
Food plays a central role in Emirati culture, and sampling the local cuisine is a great way to connect with locals and learn about their traditions.
Ready to discover the cultural charm of Deira in Dubai? Book your hotel stay at Rove City Centre Hotel. It’s the perfect location to access Deira and the Dubai airport.