Tonight we went to one of my favourite areas of Duba – Al Seef. Al Seef is on the Bur Dubai side of the Creek, opposite the Gold Souk and the Perfume Souk which is on the Deira side. There is a large heritage section of the city preserved around Al Seef but the actual shoreline part of the district is a very clever recreation of what Dubai was like 50 or 60 years ago. It was little more than a trading outpost on the creek in those post war days. The modern city as we see it today has really grown up in the last 30 years. Even in the 90s, Dubai was still largely confined to the Deira area and Bur Dubai.
Anyway, Al Seef is a warren of small streets and shops, restaurants, coffee houses, antique shops, art displays….. all running down to the creekside where there are house boats and small water taxis waiting to ferry you on a joy ride, or just across the river.
I like to get there for that Golden Hour, the last part of the day ending at sunset. Which tonight was at 630. We got there a few minutes after 6 and got a table at an Egyptian restaurant which we’ve visited before, Khofra. It commands a wonderful creek view and we enjoyed some cardamon Arab coffee as we enjoyed the views of the sun setting over the creek as the boats plied their trade up and down…..
After our coffees, we wandered around enjoying the shops and the atmosphere – there was a traditional band playing in one of the little squares. There’s a Jordanian shop I like to visit down there. They sell amazing Medjool dates and also some lovely oud perfumes very well priced. The young salesman sprayed me with every oud perfume in his collection!!!!! I bought 3 different ones. They’ll keep me going for a while……
After our shopping, we had dinner at Al Fanar, right at the water’s edge. Al Fanar is a traditional Emirati restaurant. Very quaint, full of quirky antiques. They specialise in “trays” of mainly seafood, spiced with oriental flavours and served with rice and breads. We chose the Al Fanar tray which was enormous and contained, spicy king prawns, fried fish roe, calamari, prawn biriani, a grilled sea bream. It came with jugs of a spicy tomato sauce. We also had a plate of mutton biriani and some flatbreads. It was all delicious especially the prawns. None of the restaurants in the area serves alcohol so we washed it down with soft drinks and a mint lemon sherbert.
A lovely evening and I do recommend Al Seef for a view of a “different” side to Dubai.
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