Dubai City Information Site

Bur Dubai

Great History in a Great Location




Hi, Kish & Sunil here to discuss Bur Dubai, one of the oldest and historic areas of Dubai

You won’t find this in our popular areas of Dubai section because it didn't make it to our must see place list for a tourist or someone new to Dubai. Bur Dubai (pronounced "Bar" Dubai) is a heavily populated area.

It is one of the oldest and most historic places in Dubai.

It was there before most of what you will see there today was build.

The streets, buildings and the overall atmosphere will show you that as soon as you hit the area.

The area is interesting because it is old and yet very new.

We say very new because there have been so many recent developments in the area without getting rid of the old ones.

So you have an interesting fusion of old and new going on, all coexisting in one small area. The Bur Dubai inner area is mostly populated with old residential apartment (also called "flats") buildings and the marketplace beneath them.

Towards the outskirts you will find some very nice hotels and shopping malls (also called shopping centres in Dubai). The area is located west of the Dubai creek, from where you can see Deira. You can get to Deira by taking an Abra (water taxi). Or you can swim across :)

Bur Dubai

Some locals taking the Abra to go to Deira.


Aside from the Abra (our favorite), the main attractions of Bur Dubai include its hotels, shopping centres and the local marketplace shopping experience.

Bur means "mainland". This area got its name because it borders the Dubai creek. So when the area was named, it was in reference to its separation from the city of Deira. Basically, Dubai City starts where Bur Dubai starts.

Rule #1 of shopping in Bur Dubai – Never agree to the first price the vendor mentions

Bur Dubai is a great place to stay at because of its central location. The marketplace is a fun place to visit in your down time. Here you can shop for some of the best deals in Dubai. Why? Because unlike shopping malls, the small market vendors will negotiate with you.

There are not many instances we can remember where we haven’t been able to buy something at a price we were willing to pay and not the price the store wanted to charge us. It’s so funny how it works.

If you are willing to walk away from the deal, we guarantee you that you will find the best bargains there. We should be charging you $10 for this great tip alone :)

When we were shopping for bangles and earrings for Kish before her sister's wedding, we went to one store after another because we couldn’t find the shade of orange to match her outfit. When we finally found one store that had what Kish wanted, the store wanted too much for the earring.

Bur Dubai Creek View

This is a view of The City from the Dubai Creek side.


If I (Sunil) remember correctly they asked for 150 Dirhams (Dhs) which is roughly $50 USD. I saw a big smile on Kish's face when she heard this price. 15 minutes later (and some tough nose haggling) we walked out of the store with the earrings and 2 bangles all under $30 USD (around Dhs. 90).

For me (Sunil) it was so much fun watching the negotiation process and Kish's threats to walk away from the store. It was great!

There are Shopping Malls If You Prefer the More Sophisticated Style

Though you could find literally anything you want in the Bur Dubai market area, there are also higher end malls or shopping centres that you can visit to shop.

Some of the shopping centres in the area are: Al Khaleej Centre, Al Rais Centre, Lamcy Plaza, Wafi Plaza, Mazaya Centre, Jumeira Centre, Jumeira Plaza and the famous and one of the oldest Burjuman Centre.

Many of these are brand new and even the older ones are maintained so well. You will love the shopping experience in Dubai. Take any mall, big or small, and it seems like it is much better than some of the best malls we have here in the US.

They are just so good at the upkeep and maintenance of all the buildings.



Come have a look at Bur Dubai (Old Dubai)

Hotels

Many Dubai hotels are also located in the Bur Dubai. Many tourists choose to stay in this area because of its easy access and central location. You can get to a lot of places by walking or a maximum 10 minute cab ride.

There are also a ton of hotels in this area which makes it easier for you to find a room. Rooms are also a bit cheaper on average than some of the hotels closer to the inner city and new Dubai.

The Grand Hyatt is a real popular one in this area. There are also two Golden Sands hotel franchises here, in which my friend Sunil’s (yes his name is Sunil too) dad owns ownership shares.

My Family

My (Sunil) mom’s sister and her family live in one of the old residential apartment buildings in Bur Dubai. When I was in Dubai back in 2007, my mom asked me to visit them. So I called my "uncle" and asked him to pick me up.

The ride to his apartment was very interesting, especially once we got deep in the area. Their apartment complex was located in the heart of the marketplace so weaving in and out of traffic felt like I was in an obstacle course.

The ride reminded me of India, where you have humans, bikes, three-wheelers, cows, dogs, and big trucks all sharing the same road surrounded by small merchants all over the place.

A great experience – considering that I don’t have to do it everyday! But definitely worth seeing and experiencing at least once in life if you haven’t yet.


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