Dubai //

The inner suburbs

Fringing the southern and eastern edges of the city centre – and separating it from the more modern areas beyond – are a necklace of low-key suburbs: Garhoud, Oud Metha, Karama and Satwa. South of Deira, workaday Garhoud is home to the Dubai Creek Golf Club, with its famously futuristic clubhouse, and the adjacent yacht club, where you’ll find a string of attractive waterside restaurants alongside the lovely Park Hyatt hotel. Directly over the Creek, Oud Metha is home to the quirky Wafi complex and the lavish Khan Murjan Souk, while north of here the enjoyably downmarket suburbs of Karama and Satwa are both interesting places to get off the tourist trail and see something of local life among the city’s Indian and Filipino expats, with plenty of cheap curry houses and shops selling designer fakes.

A handful of additional attractions can be found slightly further afield. Just beyond Oud Metha the suburb of Jaddaf is home to the city’s last surviving traditional dhow-building yard, while over the Creek rises the shiny new Festival City development. A few kilometres further along the Creek, the Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary protects a rare surviving patch of undeveloped wetland, home to colourful flocks of flamingo, while a short drive southwest from here brings you to the spectacular Meydan Racecourse, home to the Dubai Cup, the world’s richest horse race.