this was my first full day in Dubai after arriving late last night from Bosnia and Herzegovina. i was really worried it was going to be ridiculously flames-flames-on-the-side-of-my-face hot — and it was, but as long as the wind is blowing and you’re in the shade, it’s not too bad, this 45°C (113°F) weather. not that i would prefer to spend all day out in the sun, but it’s tolerable, especially if you’re in the shade of the souks in Old Dubai.
a brief word about relying on Google Maps for driving directions around here, it’s best to have a navigator because the larger streets seem to constantly split into overpasses or left/right-turn-only lanes and i found myself always, always taking the wrong road. add to that the fact that the road signs never seem to match the names Google wants (even the English ones).
So lost. Pulled over to study map because SIGNS DON'T MATCH pic.twitter.com/6PhwMcoUaP
— Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) August 12, 2014
the last time i was in Dubai (about a year and a half ago) i didn’t get a chance to make it to the older part of town, except for Bastakiya, so being able to spend time at the gold and spice souks and on the creek itself was a good thing.
a word about transportation on Dubai Creek
there are several different boats on the creek, and as such, different fares and payment methods. we took two today:
- the motorized abra (the last picture above) which basically crosses the creek, and costs 1 dirham each way (pay the driver on board).
- the water bus — which on the transit website looks like a more modern boat, was served by an abra today. this route goes further and costs 2 dirhams, but you will need to get a reloadable Nol card, which also costs 2 dirhams, so 4 total at a ticket booth. NOTE that the red Nol card you get will only be valid for water transport — it’s labeled as such on the back — despite looking like a Metro Nol card on the front. i tried to use the water bus card on a regular bus and the reader said it was an invalid card, but the bus driver let me on anyways (phew). (for more about Nol for metro, see the last section of a previous post.)