The Creek, a natural sea-water inlet which cuts through the centre of the city, is the historic focal point of life in Dubai. An attractive way to view the Creek and the dhows is from an abra, one of the small water taxis which traverse the Creek from the souks of Deira to those on the Bur Dubai side.
Having expanded along both banks of the Creek, Dubai’s central business district is divided into two parts — Deira on the northern side and Bur Dubai to the south — connected by a tunnel and two bridges. Each has its share of fine mosques and busy souks, of public buildings, shopping malls, hotels, office towers, banks, hospitals, schools, apartments and villas.
Deira's many attractions include the historic quarter of Bastakia, as well as old souks and covered marketplaces. The old Bastakiya district with its narrow lanes and tall wind-towers gives a tantalizing glimpse of old Dubai. Bastakiya is currently undergoing renovation and preservation and will eventually becomes a small ‘tourist village’ with a museum, a cultural centre, restaurants and an art gallery. Walking along the alleys, you can explore the Spice Souk and the Gold Souk. The Dubai Museum is housed within the beautifully restored Al Fahidi Fort, and is a must-see for first time visitors to Dubai. Colorful and evocative dioramas complete with life-size figures and sound and lighting effects vividly depict everyday life in pre-oil days.
Dubai’s culture is rooted in Islam, providing a strength and inspiration that touches all aspects of every-day life. Virtually every neighborhood has its own mosque, where the faithful congregate for prayer five times everyday. One of the largest and most beautiful, Jumeirah Mosque is a spectacular example of modern Islamic architecture. Built of stone in medieval Fatimid style, the mosque is particularly attractive at night when subtle lighting throws its artistry into sharp relief.
About 115 Km south east of Dubai, in the heart of the rocky Hatta Mountains, is the 3000 year old Hatta Village, an important historical site for the region including the Houses of Traditional Handicrafts and Palm Products, The Castle Centre, and the 200 year old Sharia Mosque.
In contrast to the traditional attractions of Dubai and the surrounding areas, the city boasts world-class business and leisure facilities. Most of the new city's banking and financial centers were headquartered in the port area. The Burj Al Arab is the world's tallest hotel and the Dubai Marina, a residential district, is the world's second largest man-made marina.
The country boasts mountains, beaches, deserts, oases, camel racing, markets and the renowned duty-free shopping of dazzling Dubai
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