Crossing Dubai Creek and Exploring Dubai’s Souks

We will ride in a dhow across Dubai Creek and then visit the souks.   We think that means shopping and maybe a little snacking.   Let’s find the dhows, the traditional boats used to cross the creek.

This is where we get a dhow

Those tourists are crossing Dubai Creek and will dock near the souks.

Tourists crossing Dubai Creek on Dhow

We are on the dhow.   Mom has to be careful that I don’t fall into Dubai Creek.

From dhow, looking back

This is not the time to go swimming.   Arriving on the other side of Dubai Creek, we are greeted with wonderful souks.

Souk stall near dhow dock

Doesn’t this look like a perfect place to browse?   It was great for us.  And there is so much more.

Traditional souk with great lamps

We love this place.  And the spices.

Spice souk

The aroma was enticing and exciting.   We did some browsing and buying here.   Mom doesn’t cook much, so she didn’t get spices, but we purchased and enjoyed small pieces of chocolate candy made with camel milk.   Yum!  Also dates with almonds coated with this same chocolate. And camel milk soap.   They made unusual gifts for friends.  Mom drinks lots of tea, so she purchased a blend of loose tea that the owner recommended.   We liked it!  The dried mangos were great snacks also.  The aisles of the souk are rather narrow with stalls or booths on each side.

Inside traditional souk

There are so many things to see here.

So much available

Wandering, we saw these colorful dresses.   Don’t they seem cheerful.

Bright dresses

They may be for special occasions as we never saw the women wear bright colors.   Now, the souk we have all been waiting to see.   The gold souk.  Here in the window of Kanz store, is the world’s largest gold ring.

World’s largest gold ring

Next to the ring, in the window is the certificate from Guinness World Records.   This ring, Najmat Taiba (Star of Taiba), has 5.17 kg precious stones sitting on 58.686 kg of 21 carat gold.   The total weight of the world’s largest ring is 63.856 kg.   And do you know that the ring is still there.   Our moms did not try to purchase and bring it home.  The gold souk is newer than the other souks.   This souk is several blocks long, on a pedestrian street.   Much of the walkway is covered, again for comfort in the hot summer months.

Newer gold souk is covered to provide much needed shade

This window shows so many gold bracelets and gold chains.

Gold bracelets and gold chains

Aren’t they beautiful?   We, Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear, have never seen gold necklaces like these.

Gold necklaces

They are beautiful.   Could they be used for protection from arrows or spears?

Gold necklaces, bracelets and ring bracelet combinations

We are fascinated by these necklaces.   And, here is a necklace of pearls and gold.

Necklace of gold and pearls

This is a great opportunity for a duck, a bear and human moms to see gold necklaces like they have never seen before.   Isn’t Dubai great?   Again, all this shopping and looking makes us a little tired, a little warm, and a little hungry.   Following directions from people on the street, look where we went.  We were searching for a local ice cream store, but this is where we were directed.  And we love this, too.

Shopping still makes us hungry. We love Baskin Robbins!!

We may never be able to eat at Baskin Robbins again without thinking of Dubai.   While eating, the humans talked about their purchases.   They each bought about the same things at the spice store.  My mom also shopped at the gold souk.   We got a solid gold bracelet for Soapy Smith Duck’s mom, and a necklace of multiple gold chains for my mom.   Chanel’s mom later bought gold bracelets for her granddaughters, and one for herself, from a store in our hotel.   But no gold for Zeb and no gold for Chanel.

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Dubai’s Picturesque Heritage Area of Bastakia with Zeb and Chanel

Pearl boats sailed from Dubai, divers submerged and searched for the elusive pearls.   The people of the pearl industry lived here in the Baslakiya quarter.   Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear visited this picturesque heritage area.

Heritage area of Bastakia

This area of Dubai was established in the late 1800’s, by pearl traders and well-to-do textile traders from Bastak, Iran.   There are also many galleries and restaurants in this area, but we were eating elsewhere today.   This was just a stop to explore and see old Dubai, before oil and all the oil wealth changed things.   Here were learned what the inside of a Bedouin tent probably looked like.

Simulation of interior of Bedouin tent

The Bedouin people are nomadic, so they need to be able to move easily.   We like this tent area.   We can even imagine camels nearby.  Originally the walls were built with coral.   Later they were covered with plaster.

Walls were made of coral

Here some of the plaster has been removed and we can see the coral.   We like the coral.   It does get very hot here, in the desert during the summer.   This, a wind tower, was the original air conditioning.

Wind tower–original air conditioning

The tower was open on all 4 sides.  The wind came in and was forced downward.   Often the open areas were covered with wet cloth.   The wet air cooled the living space.   This seems rather similar to some coolers, used in the United States for cooling in areas of low humidity.   The buildings were tall and the walkways or alleys were narrow.

Narrow alley walkways

This provides shade during the heat of the day.   When we were there, in February, the temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s were comfortable.   According to our iphones, the temperatures are consistently in the 100’s now.   Shade was be needed.   Look at these old, heavy and very ornate doors.

Heavy ornate doors

Aren’t they wonderful?   We spotted this door, partly open.

Open door

We would never go inside or even peek into someone’s home, but this shows that the homes consist of long, narrow rooms.   Wandering through Bastakia, looking down the narrow alleys, we see modern Dubai.

Looking through the old to see the new

What a contrast!   We found this mural by Ruben Sanchez.

Mural by Ruben Sanchez

Nearby we spotted these words, Respect, Dignity and Giving.

Good motto

That seems to be a theme and ideal around the world.   Here is the coin museum.

Coins Museum

It was closed, but this old building became the coin museum in 2004.   It houses over 470 rare coins.   It is believed that some of the coins are from the time of Mohammad.   Chanel and I liked this resting place, so we decided to rest.

Peaceful area to rest

This is lovely and peaceful.   You will notice that Dubai Creek, a main waterway through the city is right here, by Bastakia.

Dubai Creek is right here.

Our guide, Tariq, says it is time to get back on the bus and see something else in Dubai.   I wonder we will go next.