Set on the waterfront, Deira is one of the oldest and most enchanting neighbourhoods in the United Arab Emirates. It’s a stone’s throw from Dubai but feels worlds away from the gleaming skyscrapers and glitzy shopping malls of the city. Get lost in bustling souqs, admire the centuries-old architecture and watch colourful wooden boats sail into the harbour.
Things to do in Deira
Deira is famous for its labyrinth-like souqs, some featuring stalls that have been run for generations. In the Gold Souq, you’ll be tempted by shimmering jewellery and sparkling souvenirs, while stepping into the Spice Souq you’ll be intoxicated by the enticing scents and colours. Browse everything from cardamon, cinnamon and saffron to medicinal herbs and incense.
Walk down to the waterfront to see dozens of colourful wooden cargo boats known as dhows. They’ve been sailing across the Gulf for hundreds of years and continue to transport goods between India, Iran and other countries.
Fringed by sugar-white sand, Al Mamzar Beach Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Cool off in the swimming pool and enjoy a picnic on the grassy lawn or splurge on a private cabana.
Built in 1890 from coral, teakwood and gypsum, Heritage House is an architectural gem. It was commissioned by a wealthy pearl merchant and recalls life in 19th century Dubai. Museum of the Poet Al Oqaili is tucked away down a narrow alleyway and celebrates the legacy of the iconic Emirati writer. The excellent Women’s Museum pays tribute to some of the most accomplished scientists, artists, politicians and writers in the United Arab Emirates.
Getting around Deira
Deira is compact and easy to get around on foot. The district is serviced by several metro stations, including Gold Souq, Baniyas Square and Union. Taxis are a quick and comfortable way to get around and Dubai International Airport is a 15-minute drive away.