Where can your 1 dirham take you? If you’re looking for a different mode of transportation or if you’re just tired of seeing buildings after buildings in the modern side of Dubai, you can try riding the abra.
The abra is basically a boat powered by a small motor inside that can transport around 15-20 people at once. There is also an RTA regulated one which is much bigger and with more comfortable seats but this one feels more authentic.
There are two routes but the one we took was stationed near the old souk. It is a 5 minute walk from Al Ghubaiba station. You will pass by the souk where they sell everything from spices to shirts to souvenirs and some street food. The boat will then go to the abra station near Baniyas square which is very near the northern side of the creek.
For one dirham, it’s a great way to explore the other side of Dubai. You don’t need a ticket, just prepare a dirham and the driver will collect your payment before the boat leaves. You can also rent the whole boat, just talk to the driver as these are independently owned although they still wear uniforms. The water is of course not clear, it’s almost black or dirty brown and you can inhale the fume coming out of the motor so if you’re allergic or even fussy, you might not enjoy this.
As soon as you alight the boat and reach the other side, you will see a shawarma station just beside the station. And in this hot weather, it’s perfect to pair it with a smoothie or ice cold coconut juice. We tried it of course and for a few more dirhams, it sure did fill us up.
It was a fun ride and a great experience and you don’t even have to spend that much. But be advised that this is not recommended during summer, unless you want to sweat nonstop like a pig. This would be best tried during the cooler months starting around September so you will enjoy it more.
So where can your 1 dirham take you? The answer is to the other side of old Dubai. 😎