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Dubai Creek in 1964.

Dubai Creek or Khor Dubai ( , ) is a saltwater creek located in Dubaimarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker (UAE). Some sources say that the creek extended as far inland as Al Ainmarker, and that the Ancient Greeks called it River Zara. Historically, the creek divided the city into two main sections – Deiramarker and Bur Dubaimarker. It was along the Bur Dubai creek area that members of the Bani Yas tribe first settled in the 19th century, establishing the Al Maktoum dynasty in the city. In the early 20th century, the creek, though incapable then of supporting large scale transportation, served as a minor port for dhows coming as far away as Indiamarker or East Africa. Although it impeded the entry of ships due to current flow, the creek remained an important element in establishing the commercial position of Dubai, being the only port or harbour in the city. Dubai's pearling industry, which formed the main sector of the city's economy, was based primarily on expeditions in the creek, prior to the invention of cultured pearls in the 1930s.

Fishing, also an important industry at the time, was also based along the creek, whose warm and shallow waters supported a wide variety of marine life. Dhows used for purposes of fishing were also built on the foreshore of the creek. The importance of the creek as a site of commercial activity was a justification to introduce improvements to allow larger vessels to transit, as well as to facilitate loading and unloading activities. This led, in 1955, to a plan to develop the creek, which involved dredging shallow areas, building of breakwaters, and developing its beach to become a quay suitable for loading and unloading of cargo. The creek was first dredged in 1961 to permit draft vessel to cross through the creek at all times. The creek was dredged again in the 1960s and 1970s so that it could offer anchoragemarker for local and coastal shipping of up to about 500 tons. The dredging opened up the creek to much more continuous traffic of merchandise, including the development of re-export, and gave Dubai an advantage over Sharjahmarker, the other dominant trading centre in the region at the time. Al Maktoum Bridgemarker, the first bridge connecting Bur Dubai and Deira was constructed in 1963. Although the importance of the creek as a port has diminished with the development of the Jebel Ali Portmarker, smaller facilities, such as Port Saeedmarker, continue to exist along the creek, providing porting to traders from the region and the subcontinent.

Including the most remarkable buildings alongside the Deira side of the Creek are the Deira Twin Towersmarker, Dubai Creek Towermarker, Sheraton Dubai Creek, National Bank and Chamber of Commercemarker. Dubai Creek Gigapixel. Highly detailed view of the Creek on a length of 3 km from Al Sabkha Rd to Chamber of Commerce

The creek's initial inlet into mainland Dubai is along the Deira Corniche and Al Rasmarker areas of eastern Dubai and along the Al Shindaghamarker area of western Dubai. It then progresses south-eastward through the mainland, passing through Port Saeed and Dubai Creek Park. The creek's natural ending is at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuarymarker, from its origin at the Persian Gulfmarker. The traditional form of transport between the eastern and western sections of Dubai via the creek was through abra, which continue to operate in Dubai. In addition, the eastern and western sections are linked via four bridges (Al Maktoum Bridgemarker, Al Garhoud Bridgemarker, Business Bay Crossingmarker and Floating Bridgemarker) and one tunnel (Al Shindagha Tunnelmarker).

New developments

An extension of the creek has recently been approved. The extension, which is part of the Business Baymarker development, will bring the creek all the way around Bur Dubaimarker and into the Persian Gulfmarker. The expansion will initially add to the creek, which will eventually be increased to by November 2010. The 10 km extension (which was nearly completed in late September 2007) costs Dhs. 484 million (US$ 132 million).

Additionally, a new project consisting of seven islands known as The Lagoonsmarker was proposed to be built on Dubai Creek. The center piece of this project will the be Dubai Towers Dubaimarker, a set of towers of which the tallest will top while two others will exceed .


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  2. Doing Business with the United Arab Emirates. Terterov, Marat. GMB Publishing Ltd. 2006
  3. . Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. Government of Dubai
  4. Ruling Shaikhs and Her Majesty's Government, 1960-1969. Joyce, Miriam. Routledge. 2003
  5. Negotiating Change: The New Politics of the Middle East. Jones, Jeremy. IB Tauris. 2007

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