New and exciting developments await you in the UAE — specifically, Dubai — so if the City of Gold is one of the places to visit on your bucket list, then this year is an ideal time to check it off. And out of the countless tourist spots to check out in Dubai that you should cover in your tour, Marsa Al Seef is an absolute must.

More popularly known as simply Al Seef these days, it is one of the highly recommended destinations for tourists. Originally Dubai’s traditional hub, this area was given a major facelift in the recent years. In 2017, the first phase of the development was completed and opened to the public. The transformation is stunning, and Al Seef now offers a perfect blend of “Old and New Dubai.”

So if you want a packed experience for your UAE trip, you shouldn’t miss Marsa Al Seef (it’s actually not difficult to do because Dubai is within close proximity to other places of interest, like Ras Al-Khaimah where you can try all kinds of tours).

Once you’ve settled into a great hotel, you can proceed to spend an entire day exploring Al Seef.

So, what is there to see and experience in the area?

1. The maritime heritage of Dubai

The development stretches 1.8km along the creek, which is among the key locations to accommodate the early fishing, pearl diving and trading industries of the city. As such, the developers of Al Seef made sure to highlight Dubai’s humble beginnings as well as the traditional local culture.

You can get a fascinating history lesson of Dubai through the open-air museum and the tours conducted here.

2. New retail stores and restaurants.

Marsa Al Seef also boasts of new and modern structures that fit the city’s current image. These structures hold retail stores and hip dining establishments that are familiar to everyone.

What’s more, popular dining chains are established here but some of been given a more traditional look, making Al Seef an even more interesting place to visit. Keep an eye out for the little Baskin Robbins store that has been given an old and authentic feel.

When you’re done exploring the outdoor market and you need to retreat from the hot Dubai weather, head to well-designed indoor restaurants within Al Seef. They have air conditioning and other modern features so you can cool down and relax.


3. Abra stations where you can board a dhow or private yacht.

You can explore the area more by “getting in the water.” Check out abra stations where you can easily join a tour of the creek. If you’re part of the tour, expect to get treated to even more information about the old Dubai as well as how it transformed into the “city where everything is possible” that it is now.

You can also board a floating restaurant at any of the abra stations. Enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee while being rocked gently by the soft and gentle waves of the creek.

The development of Marsa Al Seef is not yet complete. In fact, when you come to visit, you will see ongoing construction in certain sites. But the completion of the second phase of Al Seef is slated for March 2018. So schedule your trip to Dubai after the said date and you will see even more delightful attractions.

Making your Dubai trip a thoroughly fulfilling adventure will not be complete without exploring Al Seef. Coming here will allow you to experience the old and new versions of the City of Gold in the most convenient way. Al Seef is just a 45-minute ride via Metro or bus and a 17-minute ride via taxi from the Dubai International Airport.

4. Souks and floating markets for shopping.

Shop for souvenirs and other unique wares the olden way at the authentic souks and floating markets along the Dubai Creek. You can get everything here from Emirati clothing to spices, handmade goods, and all sorts of Middle Eastern wares.

And just like the practice of old, you can work out your haggling muscle to score the best deals.


Habib Khan

Habib Khan is a seasoned Hotelier, currently the CEO of Planet Hospitality and General Manager of Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa. Khan has more than 30 years of diversified international experience in the hospitality industry. He is an expert in developing, transforming, and managing hotels, with an ability to analyze and solve problems in a challenging work environment.

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