The area known as Dubai Dhow Wharfage is one that will provide you far more than a traditional sightseeing experience. It is one that will give you an adventure that is full of the rich history and stretches north of Maktoum Bridge where wooden dhows are traditionally moored while the unload cargoes from around the region.
At first glance, it may look like total chaos as pallets of goods cover the banks, but on closer inspection, it is an organised melee where spices, food, colourful clothing goods all come together in an old-world style market. It is a way of life most have not seen but will be enlightened by the hub of activity that takes place day after day.
At first, the activity seems almost haphazard, but the flow of activity is easy and based on old-time traditional customs. Visiting the area will expose you to delightful treats, cups of tea and if lucky, a tour of sailors dhows. The area provides many wonderful photo opportunities, especially for those who venture off and take a trip on one of the Creek ferries or traditional abra’s.
The variety of colourful dhows are photogenic and provides multiple countless opportunities to get up-close to the rich culture that makes up the Dhow Wharfage. Sitting back and watching the hive of activity as workers unload everything from car tires to gum, clothing, air conditioners and all thing in-between will give you a true sense of what this area means to the economy.
The long flat cargo boats made of wood have traversed the waters of the Indian Ocean for centuries as the trade with countries like Somalia, Iran, Omen and Iraq. The majority of the wares that arrive has come from China, Singapore and South Korea and the mornings and afternoons will see deckhands and sailors off-loading goods or loading others to be exported.
By the middle of the day, if you are may be able to sit down and chat with one that may share your native language and will give you insight into what it takes to navigate dhows in what can be troubled waters. Some have been known to share tea and even tell stories of their times on the high seas with pirates they come across from Somalia. All of this makes for interesting stories back home as you learn about the plights they take to make a success of their travels.
Sightseeing Bus Tours
Those who prefer the comfort of air conditioning may prefer to take a bus tour. These are offered seven days a week and include multiple stops along the way included. There are four routes, and each offers its own special stops and pick up points. A few main attractions include the Dubai mall, a star attraction for anyone looking to see the progress Dubai has made in the last decade.