While the Marina and Downtown areas feel like a mix of Las Vegas and Singapore, the streets of Deira feel more like Kochi and Cairo – and nowhere more so than along the waterfront. Expect sensory overload with souks, cafés and a few modern twists.

1. Dine at… Pyongyang Okryugwan

Get quality North Korean fare and a fun tableside barbecue as the waitresses perform a variety show that the Supreme Leader would be proud of.

Business Village, Al Maktoum Road, Deira, Dubai, daily 10am to midnight. Tel: +971 4 298 1589. Metro: Deira City Centre.

2. Do… Ride an abra on the Creek

abra deira creek

For centuries, these rickety wooden boats have served as water taxis across the Creek, and it’s still an amazing trip. Go early, as there’s nothing quite like seeing the creek bathed in the morning light. Hop aboard, pay your dirham and take some snaps.

Deira Waterfront, Baniyas Road, Dubai, 24 hours, Dhs1. Tel: +971 4 284 4444. Taxi: Near Spice Souk. rta.ae

– Mirdif
– Downtown Dubai
– Al Quoz
– The Greens/Tecom

– Jumeirah
– Motor City & Sports City
– The Palm
– Arabian Ranches

– Discovery Gardens

 3. Shop at… Al Ghurair Centre

al ghurair centre

The first large shopping mall in Dubai, Al Ghurair Centre opened its doors in 1978, making it one year older than What’s On. Although it has undergone several renovations and expansions since, the original building still remains. We like that.

Al Rigga Road, Deira, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: +971 4 223 4223. Metro: Union.

4. Dine at… JW Steakhouse

JW steakhouse

The dark woods and juicy steaks at JW Steakhouse ensure people keep returning. It’s renowned for its quality and consistency, and it’s easy to see why.

JW Marriott Hotel, Deira, Dubai, daily 5pm to midnight. Tel: +971 4 607 7977. Metro: Abu Baker Al Siddique.

5. Visit… Al Mamzar Park

al mamzar park

This secluded and peaceful park sits on a headland at the mouth of Khor Al Mamzar near Sharjah. There are plenty of open spaces with barbecues that open on to peaceful, white beaches. Skaters will love the outdoor two-metre concrete half pipe too.

Al-Mamzar Creek, Deira, Dubai. Taxi: Al Mamzar Park