Dubai Creek or Khor Dubai is a seawater creek located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It ends at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. Some sources say that the creek extended as far inland as Al Ain, and that the Ancient Greeks called it River Zara. Historically, the creek divided the city into two main sections – Deira and Bur Dubai. In the early 20th century, the creek, though incapable then of supporting large scale transportation, served as a minor port for dhows coming as far away as India or East Africa. Although it impeded the entry of ships due to current flow, the creek remained an important element in establishing the commercial position of Dubai, being the only port or harbor in the city. The creek is now an important support for tourism in Dubai due to the large number of hotels, resorts and romantic restaurants established on its banks. Dubai Creek is an attractive destination for tourists to spend fantastic evenings on the dhow cruises which sail along it passing between lots of Dubai glorious sightseeing.
Fishing, also an important industry at the time, was also based along the creek, which has warm and shallow waters supported a wide variety of marine life. Dhows used for purposes of fishing were also built on the foreshore of the creek. The importance of the creek as a site of commercial activity was a justification to introduce improvements to allow larger vessels to transit, as well as to facilitate loading and unloading activities. This led, in 1955, to a plan to develop the creek, which involved dredging shallow areas, building of breakwaters, and developing its beach to become a quay suitable for loading and unloading of cargo. Al Maktoum Bridge, the first bridge connecting Bur Dubai and Deira was constructed in 1963. Although the importance of the creek as a port has diminished with the development of the Jebel Ali Port, smaller facilities, such as Port Saeed, continue to exist along the creek, providing porting to traders from the region and the subcontinent.
The creek’s initial inlet into mainland Dubai is along the Deira Corniche and Al Ras areas of eastern Dubai and along the Al Shindagha area of western Dubai. It then progresses south-eastward through the mainland, passing through Port Saeed and Dubai Creek Park. The creek’s natural ending is at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) from its origin at the Arabian Gulf. The traditional form of transport between the eastern and western sections of Dubai via the creek was through abras, which continue to operate in Dubai. In addition, the eastern and western sections are linked via four bridges (Al Maktoum Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Business Bay Crossing, and Floating Bridge) and one tunnel (Al Shindagha Tunnel).