All that glitters…

Photos from a visit to the souks on a hazy day.

The Gold Souk

Relaxing before the shops open

I love these beautiful bright colors.

Around the Spice Souk

dubai spice souk


dubai spice souk (2)



For such a modern city, the shipping/cargo area of the creek is unequivocally old world.  In my opinion, this is the most fascinating part of Dubai and the one place I don’t mind sitting in traffic or idling at Dubai’s ridiculously long red lights.  This area is a narrow strip of concrete lined by the water and boats on one side and a continuous flow of traffic on a major thoroughfare on the other.  Refrigerators, air conditioners, bicycles, tires, diapers, soft drinks, powdered milk, mattresses, steam irons , chairs, tables, scooters and countless boxes storing who knows what are just resting there, covered by plastic tarps, waiting to be transported.  It seems so easy to just go and pick up a refrigerator to take home, but I guess there is some sort of system for preventing theft.

Is there any rhyme or reason to this crazy assortment of goods?

These guys are everywhere.

The smaller boats are called abras – used for ferrying people across the creek.  The larger boats on which the cargo is loaded are called dhows.


dubai c reek abras

Several times, I thought I would be taking a picture of a boat when a previously busy worker would stop to smile or wave.  Sometimes they would appear out of nowhere!

here’s another one

Sorry for all the pictures of boats, but here are a few more.  By the way, have you noticed how they love to fly the UAE flag?  Just like in Texas!

According to this article in the Gulf News, the items shipped from here are usually going to other small ports in Iran, Somalia and India and are used for retail purposes.  The big container ships that normally come to mind when I think of transporting goods internationally leave out of Jebel Ali or Port Rashid.

This map shows how Dubai Creek leads straight into the Persian Gulf (or the Arabian Gulf – depending on which map you look at.)  You can see how the souks line both sides of the creek.

map via

map via

I took an abra to cross the creek.  These are my fellow passengers and the driver.

Dubai abra ride

Taken from my abra ride.

Textile Souk

This street is lined by buildings with wind towers.  These are a common architectural feature here in the UAE and are designed to catch cool air and channel it to the interior of the building.

I was wondering why people were walking around barefoot in this part of the souks! Then I saw the sign designating this area as the Shiva Temple for Hindus.

Pretty doors


dubai door 1 dubai door 2 dubai door 3 dubai door 4


Last photo of the day

About Lynda

Longhorns and Camels is a blog about exploring Dubai from the perspective of an expat from Texas. It features stories about living in Dubai including descriptions of local culture and popular activities in the region. It also includes photography of the UAE and other countries abroad. It has been recommended by several well-known guides for expatriates: InterNations, ExpatWoman and Expat Focus.
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