The Textile Souk is where you’ll find Bur Dubai’s two main abra stations: Bur Dubai Abra Station, just outside the main entrance to the souk, and Bur Dubai Old Souk Abra Station, inside the souk itself. From these stations, old-fashioned little wooden abras shuttle back and forth across the Creek at all hours of the day and night, operated by boatmen from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran. The boats’ basic design has changed little for at least a century, apart from the addition of a diesel engine (abras were formerly rowed) and an awning to provide passengers with shade. Up until the opening of Al Maktoum Bridge in 1963, abras provided the only means of getting from one side of the Creek to the other, and despite the fact that they are now effectively floating antiques, they still play a crucial role in the city’s transport infrastructure, carrying a staggering twenty million passengers per year for a modest 1dh per trip.
For longer trips, you can either charter your own abra or take a tour aboard the sleek new Dubai Ferry, leaving from its berth in Al Ghubaiba opposite Shindagha Tower.