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Local Knowledge
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Travel to Dubai


Creekside, Dubai

23 December 2015

Art, culture and heritage combine with locally inspired food at Creekside, an ambitious cafe concept alongside the historic Dubai Creek

Creekside, a contemporary cultural space and café located by the Dubai Creek in Bur Dubai, combines Emirati influenced cuisine and an extensive arts programme in the busy heart of old Dubai.

With a focus on architecture, art, culture, design and heritage, Creekside’s programme manager, Rania Jishi, says the cafe aims to be a place for not only good food but one of artistic expression, debate and knowledge exchange.

“Creekside aims to make what’s foreign, familiar. Whether by embarking on an abra for a vivid tour of the creek, or journeying through the entwined alleys of the old city to find its hidden gems or simply picking up a new skill such as Arabic typography, our programming will be sure to carry you outside the walls of this establishment into a world of cultural discovery,” says Jishi.

“Whether someone is to attend a workshop or simply indulge in our contemporary local cuisine, Creekside will always leave its visitors with food for thought.”

Bur Dubai is the city’s historic trading centre. The winding cobbled stone streets, or sikkas, and the colourful souk of its old town bear witness to centuries of sea-faring traders and visitors.

At the same time, the nearby modernist and brutalist concrete structures of Bur Dubai’s more modern, frenetic streets highlight the trading successes of the United Arab Emirates’ oil-boom period. Flowing gracefully in contrast is the Dubai Creek, alongside of which Creekside benefits from a prime waterside position, a calm oasis amongst the hustle-and-bustle.

Rania adds: “Bur Dubai is known as a trading hub. You’ll find yourself crossing many food stops as you walk through the souq, from small cafeterias to some nice low budget restaurants. Tucked away you’ll also find some hidden gems with restaurants that serve local dishes in an innovative way. Creekside for example is only seen once you reach the waterfront, which is located right behind Dubai museum.” Inspired by the locale and the team’s own nostalgic need for soul food, Creekside introduces Emirati cuisine with a modern twist and has developed a menu that aims to “water your mouth and lead you into a palatable cultural experience.”

Popular dishes include The Ouzi Burrito and the Lamb Burger. An all-day breakfast menu, including fruit topped French toast is also regularly ordered. For dessert, sweet treats on offer include a red velvet luiqumat and milkshakes.

On the arts and culture front, Creekside’s weekly workshops include pottery, painting and jewellery design, open mic nights, not to mention markets and film screenings by the water on its terrace.

Due to the surrounding busy, winding streets, many of Creekside’s visitors find it easer to arrive by one of Dubai’s historic abras, paying a one dirham fee to experience a crossing of the Creek from the city’s spice souk to Bur Dubai souk’s abra station, just metres from the café and culture hub.

Of Creekside and its neighbourhood, Jishi says, “Visiting this side of Dubai is a must. It will surprise you in every way; you will travel back in time and disconnect from all of the daily clutter in your life. Everything is moving around you but all you’ll want to do is sit and stare at the waves as they carry the busy abra from one side of the creek to the other.”

Words / Images: Sandra Tinari