Tag Archives: travel

The Dubai Creek

Sunset Cruise

Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek) is the local name for the saltwater creek that separates Dubai into two main sections – Bur Dubai and Deira Dubai.  It is of great significance to the UAE, because it was here that trading first started between Dubai and traders from India and Africa, – as early as the beginning of the 20th Century. Although not deep enough for large vessels to enter, this creek became the first harbour that Dubai had. Dubai’s “Pearl Industry”  which formed a major section of the country’s economy was based on the trading that happened here.

Since then, this creek has had several changes, it has been dredged to accomodate larger vessel, and is today a major hub for the Dhow traffic that carries almost all forms of cargo, and Personal Effects from Dubai to the neighbouring countries. With the introduction of major ports like Port Rashid, Port Saeed and Jebel Ali, the significance of this route has diminished, but it still remains an important port for the Dhow traffic.

Today the Dubai side of the creek hosts the bustling Textile market and the Museum, while the Deira side has the traditional Spice market, the Gold Souq, the Dhow harbour, several impressive buildings, and a busy trading centre slightly inland.

The easiest, and probably the most enjoyable way, to cross the creek is by the “Abra”, – a traditional wooden craft, powered by an engine. It has a sunshade to protect you from the heat of the day, but thats about it !  You have to sit on a small raised platform in the middle of the Abra, as it makes it way across the creek. There are two points on either side of the creek that are connected via the Abra’s, and this mode of transportation is used by thousands of commuters daily.

The best time however to visit the creek is in the evening. Just as the sun is about to go down, take a stroll along the quay, and you see a flurry of activity as people hurry to get back home, and prepare for the next day. If you are patient enough, you get the whole creek turning a deep blue, reflecting the colours of the sky, as the day slowly turns into night, marking the end of another day.






An evening in the Land of Kings

A fun evening

Jaipur, the capital of India’s largest state is a city filled with forts and monuments,  by virtue of  its Rajput Rulers. One of the largest tourist centers in India, this city (also known as the “Pink City”) allows you to experience the culture, heritage and grandeur of days gone by; and there is no better place in Jaipur to experience this than the “Chowki Dhani” village.

Half an hour of driving through the crowded streets and you find yourself at the  entrance to the Chowki Dhani Tourist Village. As soon as you enter the doors, you pass into another place and time. Brightly painted haveli’s, colourful costumes and rich colours, traditional music and dance forms, pottery and handicraft, handprinted block printing, rides on colourful camels, puppet shows in the most basic form, traditional musicians and dancers; – all this followed by a sumptous Rajasthani Thali – makes your trip to Rajasthan truly unforgettable.

But thats not all; after you have dined; (I must warn you here…it involves sitting cross-legged on the floor, on large cushions, which is uncomfortable for those not used to it, but its when you have to get up that you really have a problem), you take a stroll acroos the open sands, and you will come across many traditional coir strung beds. Stretch out on these crude but extremely comfortable platforms, enjoy the gentle warm breeze as it travels over the hot desert sands, and gaze up at a sky full of stars. Its another world !

One can easliy spend a whole evening in this place without being able to fully participate and take in all the excitement and activity that it has to offer. You generally leave wishing this magical evening does not have to end !