Dubai Old Souk Marine Transport Station
United Arab Emirates
Coordinates: 25.264788, 55.294060
Walking along the Textile Souk to its end took us right to the Dubai Creek where for 1 Dirham we get to ride a motorised Abra (wooden boat taxi) across to the Deira at the other northern end.
Let us repeat that in case you missed it: it costs 1 Dirham equivalent to RM1.15 which is practically a quarter for the Americans or twenty pence to the British to ride an Abra across the Dubai Creek.
|a forlorn looking mannequin|
|the Old Souk station|
|Emirati flags flying proudly|
|not sure if he's a passanger?|
|the Deira on the other side beckons|
|you would not believe the fare|
|all ready to go (and can be chartered as well)|
|collection of postcards|
These motorised Abras ply two main routes across the Dubai Creek. The route we opted for was which was nearest to us was the one from the Bur Dubai Abra Station to the Deira Old Souk Abra Station. However Abras do not ply this route round the clock and services are from five in the morning till midnight only.
|and here we go|
|it's our first time|
|riding an Abra|
|across the Dubai Creek|
|another tug and pull|
|and we're off!|
|Brendan's tattered jeans caused an old man to curse at him!|
|view of the Old Souk from the Creek|
|we're making good speed|
|headed to the Deira|
|I know it looks repetitive|
|but don't focus on the bow of the boat|
|focus on the horizon and landmarks to the left and right|
If you plan to take the motorised Abra in the wee hours of the morning the second route from Dubai Old Souk Abra Station to the Sabkha Abra Station which is the busier of the two routes and accounts for around seventy percent of Abra rides.
Interestingly enough, Sern met an old varsity mate when we visited the old historical quarter earlier. He was in the UAE accompanying his wife here for work (I think?) and in his spare time provided tour guide services to Malaysians who came here for a holiday.
We met him again at the Abra Station with his group of Malaysian tourists and he suggested that we join him in chartering an Abra all to ourselves. Sounds good, and we quickly agreed to split the fare.
|an approaching Abra|
|coming up to the Deira|
|while the Old Souk is in the distance|
|the motorised boat taxis of Dubai Creek|
|the sun was high by the time we crossed the Creek|
|but the weather was lovely|
|we're almost there|
|Sern and his varsity buddy|
|this is the other Abra Station at the Bur Dubai side, we believe?|
|but we could be mistaken|
We reached the other side and proceeded to explore the Deira where Cat stood transfixed by the wealth of gold and jewelry on display at the Deira Gold Souk.
All done, we headed back to the Deira Old Souk Abra Station to catch another Abra across the Dubai Creek to head back to the Old Dubai Souk area, and back to Sern’s car.
|leaving the Deira Station|
|heading back to Bur Dubai|
|this time we got on an Abra will everyone else|
|we will come again|
|and visit your display of gold and jewelry, and spices!|
|that's a much larger boat, possibly a dinner boat?|
|Sern getting in some shots as well|
|a nautical festival where we were concerned|
|Deira in the distance|
|a boat race?|
|it's neck and neck|
|in capable hands|
|wonder what this is?|
|approaching the Station|
|about to dock|
We later learnt that if we had wanted a personalised cruise it's also possible to charter and Abra by the hour. Oh well, we'll keep that in mind if we do get the chance to come back to Bur Dubai.