Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Dubai Orientation: Dubai's Districts

For a quick guide about Dubai, I have here the districts of the city. Because I only had a day to experience Dubai (there will be another time I am sure, when it is not summer and Ramadan!) I settled to explore where my heart’s desires were leaning towards to, and that is the old part of Dubai. What can I say, I am a full-pledged culture freak and it is important for me to see the remnants of the real Dubai before all these modern-day Disneyland infrastructure was put in place. I however managed to venture out to Jumeirah area and Dubai’s Downtown Centre, so that’s a plus.

Dubai in a nutshell is evolving. The city is a neverending contruction site, a constant work in progress, although it is currently going through a tough time with the financial crisis since the credit crunch (staging a comeback somehow?) and the current political instability in the Gulf Region. So it is just a matter of project, an economic boost, some militant investor willing to throw money in, and time obviously, that the city will have another enclave, or district or better yet, an artificial island.

I found this map in Dubai Mall but couldn’t take a whole shot of it as it it too wide, so I cut them into 3 shots. These are the popular districts of the city and the map goes from left to right:


BUR DUBAI – Dubai’s historical district situated on the Dubai Creek. This is part of Old Dubai where Bastakiya (old Dubai Ruins) is located, the Dubai Creek Walk, Dubai Museum and the Textile Souk.

DEIRA – Dubai’s old financial centre and the old downtown Dubai. It is separated from Bur Dubai by the Dubai Creek. This is where the Gold and Spice Souks are located.

KARAMA – A mixed commercial and residential district, somewhat a Little India and Little Manila because of the high concentration of Indians and Filipinos living in the area. Lots of cheap  retail shops here and international food places.

MIRDIFF – A commercial and residential district for the well-to-do.


DOWNTOWN DUBAI – Dubbed as the ‘New Dubai’ and home to the biggest mall in the world, the Dubai Mall and the stunning previously tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa (she is indeed very stunning, much stunning than the Petronas Towers in KL, Malaysia), and the biggest dancing fountain as well in the world, the Dubai fountain (bigger than the one in Las Vegas, USA).

INTERNATIONAL CITY – A residential area in the middle of the desert next to Chinatown (construction currently undergoing, it is said that the project includes a Forbidden City).

SATWA – Another of Dubai’s Little India and Little Manila due to the high concentration of Indians and Filipinos living here. I cannot stress this enough... there are so many Indians (and Indian-looking, Pakistani, Bangladeshi?) and Filipinos in Dubai! It’s like everywhere I turn to I bump into an Indian or Filipino.


DUBAI MARINA – Hosts the Jumeirah Beach Walk and is home to the largest concentration of western expatriate. I wanted to go to Madinat Jumeirah after my afternoon tea at the Burj al Arab but did not have the time anymore.

JUMEIRAH – Home to the famous Jumeirah Beach and the Dubai Mosque (northern part). Along this beach you can find the Palm Jumeirah (southern part) and other artificial archipelagos such as The World (not totally completed, project put on hold) and The Universe (project put on hold). Oh, care for a trip around the Universe my dear? It cannot get any crazier than this in Dubai! lol

JEBEL ALI – A new area developed located after the Dubai Marina with equally mind-blowing projects.

So that's it! If you are reading this and have been to Dubai or are from Dubai and I have made some mistakes (or would like to add another district that I have not written), please let me know and I shall correct this entry.

Shukran! Assalaam Alaikum =)

Travel Period: July 2013
Destination: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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