Dubai in United Arab Emirates is known to be a luxurious city. With continuous developments here and there, one might get a bit discouraged to visit on a tight budget. While it is indeed true that accommodation can get pricey, a good number of places within the city can be visited without having to spend much.
Old Dubai is a great spot to visit while in the city. It is a breath of fresh air from all the business in central / downtown Dubai. It is in there that you would be able to see the preserved old Dubai.
Going there, I and my sister went down to Al Ras Metro Station. From Al Ras, we walked our way to the Old Souk near the docking area of the boats.
Old Souk is a long array of small stores selling different kinds of local products — from food to home materials to clothing. It is the best place to get a peek of the local culture, mingle with the local people, and of course buy very affordable souvenirs (or pasalubong as Filipinos call it).
The vendors are very friendly. They could easily spot the nationalities of the people going around the market. As for our case, they automatically addressed us with, Kabayan, Ate, and Mare. So nice of them to exert effort to make the visitors feel welcomed.
We purchased few clothing items from the market. As a way of keeping the budget at minimum level, we managed to negotiate the price down. After it, we went straight to the docking area of the boats located just across the street.
Each boat could accommodate approximately 20 persons, and each is charged with 1 AED for the ride. Yes, only one freakin’ dirham.
There are a lot of tourists taking turns — some in group tour, and some in solo journey. For around five (5) minutes, you get to explore the other side of Dubai you often do not see — the Dubai far different from its tall buildings, jampacked roads, and lit streets downtown. This part is well-preserved. The vibe is just chill and laid-back. The time just doesn’t run fast here.
This is just a speck of the totality of Old Dubai. There are still a lot of areas I have yet to visit and explore. During this quick visit, it sparked something within — the urge to get to know the city even more. I hope these kinds of areas get preserved. I hope they stay like these forever. I hope that the next age will still get to see these places in the future. It is a reminder of the humble beginnings of what is now one of the top cities in the world.