Dubai has a brand new cultural district, and you can check it out now
Floating restaurants, old-style architecture, and an authentic souk…
Dubai Creek is already one of the city’s most popular tourist areas, with its abra rides, bustling souks, and historic vibes. And now, there’s another reason to visit – with the opening of a brand new cultural district on its shores.
Al Seef is the latest project from Meraas, the developer behind the likes of The Beach at JBR, Boxpark, and City Walk (and also the upcoming La Mer and Bluewaters Island projects). The first phase of the project is now open to the public.
The developer says the new destination, which is located adjacent to the Al Fahidi historical district and stretches 1.8km along the Creek, aims to tell the story of Dubai through architecture and unique experiences, paying homage to the traditions of the UAE.
Here’s a map that shows exactly where it’s located along the Creek:
According to Meraas, Al Seef has been designed to “bring to life the traditional Emirati culture that underpins Dubai’s iconic heritage”.
The district consists of two main areas: A heritage area, inspired by old architecture in Dubai, and a more contemporary area featuring modern design elements.
This is how it has been described: “Bridging the gap between the old and new, Al Seef will bring to life elements of old Dubai by recreating experiences rooted in local cultural and heritage, while revitalising the tourism experience around one of the UAE’s most popular locations”.
So, what will I find there?
Al Seef is a shopping, dining, entertainment and tourism destination covering 2.5 million square feet and housing nearly 500 shops, art galleries and eateries – including a selection of floating restaurants, as well as a floating market.
This model shows what it is expected to look like when complete:
A few of the vendors that are currently open include Lebanese-Armenian restaurant Mamikonian, The Brass Coffee & Community, and the flagship Bellamia gelato store.
Al Hamidieh Restaurant & Cafe will also be opening there soon.
The destination has three hotels, each with its own unique appeal. There will be one heritage hotel, offering an Arabian experience, and two modern hotels in the contemporary area.
The next phase of the project, which is set to open next year, will feature an authentic souk, similar to those that were common in Dubai in the 1950s. Visitors will be able to explore an open-air market, full of hand-crafted goods, textiles, accessories, and more.
How do I get there?
If you’re arriving by boat, there’s a marina for private yachts. Al Seef is also served by water taxis and abras that run along the Creek.
It’s also within walking distance of Al Fahidi Metro Station and Burjuman Metro Station. Or if you’re driving, there is valet parking and plenty of underground parking spaces available.
We’ll let you know as soon as we know more of the vendors that are coming to Al Seef, but it already looks like a lovely place for a Creekside stroll.