Abra Ride across Dubai Creek
Taking an abra ride is the most cost effective and enjoyable ways to cross the beautiful Dubai Creek. An abra is a small motorized water taxi, which used to be the main mode of transport many years ago. It is now is a well respected tourist icon as well as a quick getaway from Bur Dubai and Deira especially when traffic in the Al Shindagha tunnel or other bridges is crazy. The abras are popular with tourists and commuters as they are a quick hop on hop off method and a therapeutic alternative.
An abra ride commences when the boat is full, normally about 20 passengers. The fare is collected during the journey which is about 1 Dirham per person. Abras are also available for private hire and whilst on a ride you'll experience of one of Dubai's most authentic journeys taking in sights such as the curvy National Bank of Dubai, Creek Park, Creek Club and the dhow harbour, plus all the other beautiful landmarks and souks.
If you are one of those tourists who simply like to immerse themselves in tradition then an abra ride tour is a must. As the abra follows the snake-like channel ancient traditional Arabian houses which pass by on both sides are strongly reminiscent of the architectural style of Yemen, Saudi Arabia and even Tanzania. There is a genuine feeling of history as you step on board.
Taking an abra exposes you to the lesser known side of a hustling and bustling city namely the variety of fishes, weeds and coral reef. It has been said that many have observed the waters to be home to a few variety of fish. Although, hard to believe as during the day, the waters can look quite filthy. If you're trying to take a peek, be careful not to slip in yourself!
Points to note –
- The best time to embark on an abra ride would be at dusk on a weekday as the air would be cooler, the abra would not be as crowded as it is on weekends and the light would be just sufficient to enjoy the sights.
- There are no life jackets so beware.
- As courtesy, it's best not to sit next to a women you don't know or if the boat is full, leave a small gap.
- Don’t stand up or you will get a rollicking from the captain.
When - The abras begin operating at 11 in the morning and a boat can be hailed every 20 minutes from the assigned station till 11 in the night.
How long - Each abra ride lasts for 10 minutes and the arrival and departure stations are fixed.
Location – Several Abra stations are dotted along on either banks of the Dubai Creek.
Cost – When travelling with other commuters, the cost is 1 Dirham per person but for a private ride you would have to pay 10 -20 Dirham’s. Likewise, an hour long tour would cost 50 Dirham’s and sometime worthwhile for the kids who love being on the boats.