Deira district in Dubai: what tourists need to know about it
Deira is the area of Dubai located between the east bank of the Creek Canal and the border of the Emirate of Sharjah. It is where the history of Dubai as both a city and an emirate began.
Despite the rapid development of new modern districts and plans for the construction of further bulk islands, the impact of Deira on the life of the city has not diminished.
As a developed commercial center, Deira houses almost all of the emirate’s main markets. Some museums and monuments are located in the immediate vicinity of the Creek.
It was in old Deira that the new and main airport of Dubai, DBX, was built. In general, in one way or another with Deira literally every tourist will have to face, regardless of the thickness of his purse and interests.
Shopping in Deira: markets and shopping malls
One could say that the whole of Deira is one big bazaar. At the beginning it is hard to know where to look for things. But only at first.
By the end of the trip tourists begin to understand where the “car street” is and sell different car accessories, where the street of fabrics, where the incense and where the jewelry. Well, if you don’t have time to look around or if you generally live in another area, then go straight to the “souk” (from the Arabic word “Souk” – market).
In the traditional markets in Deira, it’s hard to go without shopping.
Tourists almost always think of just three markets: the gold market, the perfume market and the spice market. And by the way, there are more.
First, there is the fish market, the best place in Dubai, where you can buy the freshest seafood. Secondly, the old (textile) market, the way to which by boat across the bay is an adventure, as much as a walk through it.
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Bargaining at markets is not only appropriate, but also very welcome. Bargain, knock down the price – do the seller a favor. They will instantly and gladly join the game, shake their goods in every possible way, extol them, offer you some tea, ask “where are you coming from”, and drop the price if you behave correctly.
Deira City Center
The shopping experience doesn’t end at the markets alone. There are more than enough shopping malls in Deira. The most popular is Deira City Centre.
The galleries of this mall are closed in an endless ring and everything is so cleverly arranged that a person who looks here to buy just a toothbrush, spends all day here. It’s not until 10 p.m., just before closing time, that one leaves with a pile of completely unplanned shopping.
One often hears about this shopping center that it offers the most democratic prices for all groups of goods in comparison with other malls. It is not as pompous as, for example, the famous Dubai Mall or Ibn Battuta, but still convenient for shopping.
High-end brands (Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Christian Dior, Dolce Gabbana) at Deira City Centre are more modest than at other malls, but you can find a wide range of inexpensive young brands.
Nasser (Bani Yas) Square
Nasser Square is a famous shopping district with hundreds of stores, stalls, souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes for every taste. In addition to clothing and souvenirs, Nasser Square offers exotic foods, fruits and vegetables.
Deira District in Dubai.
The most frequent tourists in Nasser Square are guests from the former CIS countries. Russian-speaking visitors to the stores here the most. On many signs and advertisements you can see words in Russian, and the sellers have already managed to learn some key expressions.
Not so long ago Dubai authorities decided to rename Nasser Square into Bani Yas Square. But despite the new name, tourists still call the neighborhood by its old habit.
Attractions and entertainment in Deira
They come to Dubai for the ultramodern skyscrapers, shopping and numerous amusement parks, and therefore Deira is not particularly interesting to the guests of the city. There are not too many interesting sights in it. However, it is worth spending a day on it, if you live in another area. Those planning to stay in Deira should know where to spend their evenings or where to go at their leisure.
Deira is famous for its architectural masterpieces, which are beautifully photographed both day and night:
- The Etisalat Tower, topped with a golf ball-like ball;
- The National Bank of Dubai building, whose design is inspired by doo-doo schooners;
- The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry with its bright blue facade;
- The Department of Economic Development building with its elaborately designed window grilles.
If you have time, take a stroll along Al Rigga Boulevard along the Creek Canal. Locals and guides call it the Champs Elysees of Dubai. Al Rigga Street is full of cozy cafes, restaurants, trendy boutiques, malls, and hotels.
Public transport in Deira
There are serious problems with transport in Deira. The narrow streets of the historic center of the city are not conducive to active traffic, so the transport in Deira mostly stands still. Literally. In traffic jams. In the morning. In the afternoon. In the evening. Renting a car while living in the old neighborhoods is a lost cause. With traffic jams like this you’ll never get further than Creek Bay.
But public transport in Deira is OK. Bus service is excellent! Another thing is that the buses also occasionally get stuck in traffic jams, even with the traffic lanes. Tourists will need buses mainly only to go to the beaches. Predominantly these are the routes of the C10 and C28 buses.
Traditional Abra boats.
To see the “new Dubai” with its modern skyscrapers and shopping centers is more convenient to use the subway (red line).
In addition, to get to Bar Dubai (on the opposite side of the Creek, where the main historical sites of the emirate are located), it is easier to get on the traditional water transport – Abra boats.
The Beaches of Deira
Unfortunately, even the closest beach, Al Mamzar, is at least 7-10km from the popular hotels in Deira. Other beaches are even further away. This is one of the reasons why hotels in Deira are the cheapest in the city.
If low price is a priority, look for hotels with shuttle service to the beach. Mostly tourists are taken to Al Mamzar. You can get there on your own by bus C28 or by cab. But again, you need to spend a lot of money and have problems.
Hotels in Deira
Hotels in Deira are very popular among tourists because of the low cost of living. Unfortunately, none of the hotels in the area has its own beach or at least just access to the sea. Therefore, one of the decisive factors when choosing a hotel should be the availability of shuttle service to the beach.
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Also very important is the location near the red line subway station. The green line will also do, but it is an unnecessary waste of time transferring from one line to another to get to the main attractions of Dubai.
I’ll take the responsibility to advise you on a few options. I won’t dwell on mid to high price range hotels. The options below will suit tourists who don’t claim to be an aesthete and want to spend more money for entertainment and excursions than for a bed and breakfast.
Comfort Inn 3*
Comfort Inn 3* is one of the best budget hotels in Deira. It combines everything a tourist needs.
Comfort Inn 3*
Firstly, there is a shuttle service to Al Mamzar beach (AED 5 round trip, that’s about 90 rubles). A paid shuttle will definitely guarantee you a seat on the bus.
Secondly, it is the most touristy center: it is only 5 minutes walk to Union metro station, where both metro stations intersect; 15 minutes to Abra station; Al Ghurair excellent shopping center and Al Rigga Boulevard are almost opposite.
Thirdly, the food is geared towards the Russian tourist. The shuttle from the beach arrives back at the hotel by lunch, so you can take a package with half board (two meals a day), if the difference with “just breakfasts” will not be significant.
Узнать цены на туры в Comfort Inn 3* >>>
Ibis Deira City Center 3*
As you can see from the name Ibis Deira City Center is located next to the shopping center of the same name (everything mentioned above) and the metro station – Deira City Center (this is a red line – no need to change your route to all the major attractions of the city).
Ibis Deira City Center 3*
No swimming pool! This is compensated by free shuttle service to Al Mamzar Beach twice a day. If you can’t do without it, Ibis guests can use the gym, fitness center and swimming pool of the neighboring Novotel for free.
Ibis in Deira will be appreciated by tourists planning to rent a car as there are two bridges across the Creek with good interchanges – you won’t have to get into traffic jams in central Deira to get anywhere at all.
I love Ibis with a fondness. Ibis is an international budget hotel brand owned by AccorHotels, the Parisian hotel operator. In addition to Ibis, it operates five-star luxury hotels Sofitel, Mercure, Fairmont, and Pullman. And a company that knows how to do “luxury” cannot do badly. So, despite the low price, cleanliness and adequate staff are guaranteed in any Ibis.
Riviera Hotel 4*
Riviera Hotel 4* is a landmark hotel for Deira. I don’t really know why. But all the cab drivers know it. But by the way: Good quality hotel with friendly staff, spacious rooms and tasty food. Not new, but in many ways it is nicer than new buildings.
Riviera Hotel 4 *
Расположен прямо на набережной залива Крик, поэтому виды из номеров — лучшие в Дейре. Видно даже Бурдж-Халифу >>>. The rooms are few, some of them were renovated in 2017.
On foot you can walk to two metro stations: Baniyas (5 minutes, green line) and Union (8-10 minutes, green and red line), as well as to the pier boat Abra.
Shuttle service to Al Mamzar and Kite beaches is available.
Узнать цены на туры в Riviera Hotel 4* >>>
Cons and Cons of Deira
Deira is very contradictory. Someone can feel it and love it, someone will remember it as a bad dream. It all depends on the expectations of the tourists. Deira is the most economical area of Dubai.
It is here that the cheapest hotels, stores and cafes are located. Why? There are enough reasons:
- The large number of migrants from Southeast Asia: Pakistanis, Iranians and Indians, who bring to Dubai not only their culture, but the mentality and habits.
- Remoteness from the beaches. There is not a single beach hotel in Deira. Not even all of them provide a shuttle service.
- Remote from most of the major attractions in Dubai. You’ll have to take a cab and the metro regularly, which is an additional cost.
But there is a silver lining. The same disadvantages create the advantages of Deira:
- Huge shopping opportunities. Unless, of course, you are independent of the brands. For brands and “luxury” it is better to go to the malls in the new areas.
- Excellent public transport network: buses, subway, water and usual cabs.
- Budget rest. The cheapest tours offer accommodation in Deira. Meals, if you have a strong stomach – also for pennies (compared with other areas, of course).
As you can see, for every minus there is a plus. I’m ambivalent about Deira myself. I love Downtown and Marina. But there is also a lot of relaxation in Deira. What can you do, the salaries in the regions don’t dispose much to rest in the new Dubai. I state all the minuses to tourists in the forehead when choosing a hotel and tourists understand what they are buying. With few exceptions, everyone was satisfied.
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