Deira

Dubai's origins can clearly still be felt in the Deira neighbourhood of the city, which combines heritage with the stunning luxury the emirate has come to symbolise. Whether it is browsing in the Gold Souk or eating on a floating restaurant, Deira has plenty to offer the traveller.

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Discover Dubai from this luxury hotel in the historic heart of the city

Discover Dubai from This Luxury Hotel in the Historic Heart of the City

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Impeccable service combined with comfort and luxury at Hyatt Regency Dubai

  • Located in the heart of the historic Deira with walking distance to the gold souks
  • More than ten different Food and Beverage Outlets for your choice
  • Try something absolutely unique on Dubai's only Ice Rink
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Traditionally, Deira acted as the commercial centre of Dubai, due to its location sandwiched between the creek to the south and the border with Sharjah to its north. Port Saeed in Deira has lost its strategic importance in recent years due to the development of the Sheikh Zayed Road, but dhow cruises and a few small shipping vessels still depart from the location.

Overview

Modern Deira can be split into two distinct parts, with the waterfront area featuring the gold and spice souks and everyday life as it has been lived for generations. Much of the inland area is taken up by the International Airport, making Deira well-connected with the rest of the world.

There are currently five crossing points spanning Dubai Creek from the Deira side to Bur Dubai, with two more being built. These four bridges and a tunnel make travelling across the waterway easy, although using a water taxi dhow is a more romantic way to complete the journey, as these traditional vessels have been used in this part of the world for centuries.

Where to stay

Visitors who stay in Deira will find their accommodation is well placed for a number of reasons. It is not only convenient for transfers from the international airport, but close to the lively atmosphere of the souks, and many of the hotels offer world-class views over the Dubai Creek waterfront. As well as a great selection of hotels, the area is also home to some stunning modern architecture; most notably the Deira Twin Towers and Dubai Creek Tower.

-Crowne Plaza Deira – there couldn’t be much better than lounging in the heated rooftop pool at this wonderful hotel overlooking the iconic Dubai skyline. Complete with a spa and a wide selection of restaurants and bars, indulgence and relaxation are certainly on the cards. Stylishly decorated and kitted out with all mod-cons, this hotel within walking distance of the gold and spice souks will not disappoint.

-Movenpick Hotel Deira – a slice of Swiss elegance and efficiency right in the heart of Deira, this five-star choice lives up to expectations. A temperature-controlled rooftop pool, male and female saunas and the Socrates beauty lounge make it a great place to unwind. The two onsite restaurants and lounge are chic places to dine and meet friends.

-Coral Deira Dubai – the distinctive coral colour of this hotel may make it instantly recognisable from a distance, but it is warm and welcoming inside too. Each room has been individually styled, with the four-star quality reflected in the furnishings throughout. Onsite facilities include a pool and Jacuzzi, gym and spa and the hotel’s restaurants have even won awards.

Where to eat

Deira is home to some of the best places to eat in the whole of Dubai and those serving up the most flavoursome dishes are not always the most expensive. There are some wonderful fine dining options and also punching-above-their-weight budget choices, but the skill lies in identifying which ones are worth trying.

-Rustar Floating Restaurant – being on the water offers some of the best views of Dubai and this teak dhow is no exception. Diners can opt to sit outside on deck or inside and will be welcomed with the best Arabian hospitality and entertainment. From henna painting to Arabic dates and coffee, an evening here is the full package.

-Traiteur – to really push the boat out opt to eat at the award-winning restaurant inside the Park Hyatt Dubai Hotel. Its chefs are positioned in an elevated show kitchen so that diners can see all that goes into making their dishes. The gastronomic French cuisine is accompanied by wines from one of the most impressive cellars in Dubai. Traiteur’s Friday brunch packages are also legendary.

-Habiba Al Nabulsi – it may be much more humble than some of the eateries on this list, but situated right on Muraqqabat Street is this wonderful local restaurant. This thoroughfare is right at the heart of Deira and its population’s hearts. Enjoy regional favourites cooked in a time-honoured fashion.

What to do and see

As the oldest part of Dubai, Deira is a fascinating place to explore, from its bustling souks and narrow alleyways to the glitzy modern buildings constructed within its vicinity. Eat, shop, discover and relax in this incredible part of the emirate.

-Al Ahmadiya School and Heritage House – among all the glitz and glamour of modern Dubai it is easy to feel removed from its history. Remedy this with a trip to the first school ever to be founded in the emirate, which has been lovingly restored with an exhibition of reed pens and diplomas on display. Within the same complex is a typical house from the region, which was built in the 1890s and is now open to the public.

-The gold and spice souks – these Arab markets have all the hallmarks of traditional trading places and should feature on any trip to Dubai. The majority of the gold sold in the souk is 22-carat quality and has been worked by skilled craftsman. It is a glittering place where window shopping is as fun as buying, but bartering skills should definitely be employed if engaging in the latter. Meanwhile, let the fragrant air transport you to a time long ago in the Spice Souk.

-Deira Clocktower – the design of the Deira Clocktower cannot be described as anything other than unique. Having been constructed in 1965, it predates the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) independence and was put in a strategic position in Deira. It sits at one end of the Al Maktoum Bridge, which was the first crossing point to Bur Dubai.

Conclusions

Experiencing the oldest area of Dubai is an important way of understanding the city. It allows visitors to contrast the modern image of the emirate and all it has developed with the dhows, souks and narrow alleyways from which it emerged. This is why Deira should be included on an itinerary of Dubai.

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From £389 per person
hyatt regency dubai

Hyatt Regency Dubai

5.0 stars

Located in the historic district of Deira, the heritage hotel Hyatt Regency is within walking distance to the famous...

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From £389 per person
hilton garden inn dubai al muraqabat

Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Muraqabat

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Located in Deira, within old Dubai, the Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Muraqabat offers a prime opportunity to explore the...

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crowne plaza deira

Crowne Plaza Deira

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The Crowne Plaza Diera is located in the heart of Diera which offers an ideal location for business or pleasure with...

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landmark grand hotel

Landmark Grand Hotel

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Landmark Grand Hotel is a 4 star deluxe hotel which combines a perfect combination of modern facilities, stylish design...

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ramada deira

Ramada Deira

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The 4* Ramada Deira hotel boasts comfortable, modern and grand interiors and facilities, as well as easy access to the...

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Carlton Palace Hotel

Carlton Palace Hotel

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Whether on a relaxing holiday or on a business trip, the Carlton Palace Hotel in Dubai is the ideal spot for you to...

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