Bur Dubai is in essence downtown Dubai. It stretches from the southern side of Dubai Creek to 2nd of December St or D 73 Rd, formerly Al Dhiyafa Rd. It has experienced the most development in the past decade. Jumeirah is to the south, and Deira to the north, across the Creek.
Dubai airport is in the neighbouring district of Deira and if you're flying to Dubai, that is where you will touch down. Bur Dubai and rest of Dubai is connected to Deira by five crossings over the Creek, namely Al Maktoum Bridge, Floating Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Business Bay Crossing and Al Shindagha Tunnel. All the crossings charge the Salik road toll.
The Metro Green and Red Lines run through Bur Dubai, as does Sheikh Zayed Rd.
Small ferries called abra cross the Creek from Deira. One route is from near the Spice Souk in Deira to the west end of the Textile Souk in Bur Dubai. The other main route is from Al Sabkha station, further up the Creek at Al Sabkha Rd in Deira, to the middle of the Textile Souk. The trip costs 1 dirham, payable to the driver after the boat has left the station. Abras set off very regularly, and the service is available round-the-clock.
- Bastakiya District, east of the museum. One of the last remaining pockets of Old Dubai, home to many reconstructed buildings in the traditional style. While information on the structures is slim here (see the museum in preference), the atmosphere is very evocative and there are plenty of delightful art galleries and cafes to explore.
- Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Al Musalla Rd, ☎ +971 4 353 6666. If you want to learn and understand the customs and traditions of UAE, this is the best place to go. The Centre hosts cultural meals for between 70 and 95 AED, with discussion of UAE culture, customs and religion. They runs walking tours through the Bastakiya district for 60 minutes (35 AED) and 90 minutes (55 AED), starting at either 9 or 10:30AM daily except Friday.
- Creek Park, Al Riyadh St (between Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud Bridge). A great place to hang out in the evening when the park is visited by people of different nationalities, all looking for calm place to enjoy the time. It has all the facilities of a modern park and is one of the best parks in Dubai.
- Dubai Dolphinarium. The only indoor dolphinarium in the Middle East offers live shows of dolphins and seals.
- Dubai Museum, Al Ibn Abi Talib Rd, ☎ +971 4 353 1862. Sa-Th 8:30AM-8:30PM, F 2-8:30PM. A must-see for anyone interested in the social history of the Emirate (and indeed the country). Located in and under al-Fahidi fort. The fort itself has a few examples of the traditional reed houses and other artifacts, but isn't much to look at. The more interesting parts are the modern galleries beneath the fort, showcasing Dubai's history using the latest technology and culminating in a reconstructed souq from the pearling days, complete with authentic sights and sounds. It is quite fascinating to see the speed at which the transition from poor pearling village to modern metropolis occurred. Admission 3 AED.
- Grand Mosque. Its large minaret is the imposing feature of this large mosque. It is popular for being quite close to a Hindu temple and one can see followers of both Islam and Hinduism gathering at the same place for prayers.
- Heritage Village, Shindagha District, (near the mouth of the Creek). Home to the open museums of the Heritage and Diving Villages, and the houses of the late Sheikhs Saeed Al-Maktoum and Juma Al-Maktoum.
- Iranian mosque, Ali Bin Abi Taleb St (not far from 34th St). A very colourful and attractive tiled mosque; quite a contrast to the other much more plainly decorated mosques. Can be viewed from a carparking area off the north (Creek) side of the street.
- Sheikh Obaid bin Thani House, ☎ +971 4 39 33 240. a historic building home to royal family members built in 1916 and now converted into a museum. It provides good glimpse to old infrastructure of Dubai.
- Saeed Al Maktoum House, along the Dubai Creek in Al Shindagha. Sa-Th: 8:00-20:30; Fr: 15:30-21:30; Ramadan Sa-Th: 09:00-17:00 Fr: 14:00-17:00. Another very historic building built in 1894 now converted into a museum and contains artefacts and images of the old town of Dubai. It was the residence of the Saeed bin Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum, the former ruler of Dubai.
- Bur Dubai Souk, between the Creek and Ali Bin Abi Taleb St. Also known as the Textile Souk. A few of the shopkeepers can be quite forceful in trying to get you in to their shop.
- BurJuman. A 4-floor shopping mall housing more than 300 stores. It is one of the oldest, and still one of the largest, malls in Dubai, but has become less popular.
- Computer Plaza @ Al-Ain Centre, Mankhool Rd (along from the Ramada Hotel, heading towards the Creek). A mall specializing in computers, laptops, computer parts and computer add-ons like monitors, VoIP phones, hard drives, etc. Prices aren't particularly low, even after haggling, and choices are limited (for example very few shops sell AMD hardware). There used to be an internet cafe here and it may return in 2014. Other malls in this area are also good for computers and computer equipment.
- Lamcy Plaza. A 3 story shopping mall housing more than 150 stores. One of the oldest malls.
- Wafi Mall, Oud Metha Rd. Includes Marks & Spencer, Goodies. Focus is almost entirely on luxury brands, jewellery and expensive boutiques. Many upmarket restaurants and bars, many of which serve alcohol. A luxury spa is attached to the complex. The Egypt-themed architecture, which includes quite beautiful stained-glass pyramids, is worth seeing.
- Gharana, Sheikh Zayed Road (Al Barsha), ☎ +971 4 323 4333, e-mail: email@example.com. 7PM-11:30PM. Gharana an Indian Restaurant in Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha hotel brings you flavors of various spices and herbs with live entertainment.
- Basta Art Cafe, Bastakiya, ☎ +971 4 3535071. Set in a lovely garden courtyard in a restored house. Great place to take a breather with a cold drink and write some postcards. The sandwiches-and-salads menu is aimed squarely at tourists, but if you are sick of kebabs, they will cater to your salmon-avocado wrap and mango smoothie cravings. The "Basta Special" drink of mint and lemon is also excellent. 50 dhs.
- Gazebo, Al Mankhool Rd, Kuwait St, near Sharaf DG, opposite Oman Insurance Company, ☎ +971 4 3598555, +971 4 3599712, fax: +971 4 3599713. noon-midnight. Very nice and warm welcome given by the waiters. Food as good too. Not so expensive when compared to the quality of food. 35 AED per person.
- Ravi Restaurant, two locations: Satwa roundabout; and near Mussala Tower, ☎ +971 4 3315353. A Pakistani restaurant that provides cheap Pakistani & Indian food. Good for anyone with a spicy tooth. 20-25 AED per person for a good meal.
- Student Biryani, Kuwait St, Al Karama, ☎ +971 4 3369992, fax: +971 4 3666649. A Pakistani restaurant serving the country's most popular biryani. About 100 AED.
- Al Haj Bundu Khan, Lamcy Plaza, Oud Metha, ☎ +971 4 3709881. Indian and Pakistani food. About 100 AED.
- Pars Iranian Kitchen, Shk Zayed Rd (in the residential area of Diyafah Rd next to the Rydges Plaza Hotel), ☎ +971 4 398 4000. This is an open air Iranian restaurant where one can sit in traditional machans (large bed-like seating) and enjoy a fine Iranian meal. The speciality is the mixed grill which is served with live coal. After the meal, you may smoke a traditional sheesha pipe. No alcohol served. Around 150 dhs per person.
- Wafi Gourmet, Wafi Mall, Oud Metha, ☎ +971 4 324 4433. Excellent Lebanese cuisine and ambience. In the cooler months the outdoor verandah is a pleasure. No alcohol served. About 100 AED.
- Yakitori House, Century Hotel, Khalid Bin Walid St, Bur Dubai, ☎ +971 4 205 7333. Japanese cuisine, very popular with the Japanese expat community.
- Asha's, Wafi Centre, ☎ +971 4 324 0000. Indian cuisine. Run by Asha Bosle. Good food but a little expensive
- Manhattan Grill, Grand Hyatt Dubai. Fine dining restaurant, specialising in steak. A suitable venue for romantic dinners and family gatherings. 30-300 AED.
- Jockey's Pub, Panorama Hotel, Omar Bin Al Khatib Road, Al Mankhool Road, PO Box 14703, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, ☎ +971 4 351 8518. With leisure amenities and friendly bar and nightclub, this restaurant bar is a comfortable and modest place during vacations. Loud night clubs music is played up until 3 am. Food is good with specialization in Indian food.
- Barrels Pub, Majestic Hotel Tower, Bur Dubai, Dubai, ☎ +971 4 359 8888. It is a bar is a clean, quiet and bright venue with large variates of snacks options. Every wall is mounted with screen playing number of sports games. The interiors looks good with polished timber tables and benches all around and wall cladding.
- Bollywood Café, D 79, Regent Palace Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai, ☎ +971 4 396 3888. 9.30pm-2am. Excellent DJ, Live music and indian food. It is a Bollywood-themed glamorous bar and nightlife with elegant to casual laid backs and pleasant musical twists, mostly Indian music.
- Chill Rooftop Lounge, Royal Ascot Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai, ☎ +971 4 355 8500. 12:00-02:00. Dance floor with excellent DJ. It is an expansive rooftop venue painted in pink surrounded with fake grass. An outdoor seating place with good food.
- Marine's Club, Seaview Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai, ☎ +971 4 355 8080. A lively bar and nightclub with 80's music most of the time. It is a budget friendly venue with great service and superb bouncers.
- Ascot Hotel, Khalid bin Al Waleed Rd, ☎ +971 4 3520900, fax: +971 4 3529819, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Has Russian, Irish and Thai themed restaurants. Rooms from AED $180.
- Highland Hotel, Khalid bin Al Waleed Rd, ☎ +971 4 3939773, fax: +971 4 3937399, e-mail: email@example.com. US$108.
- Grand Hyatt Dubai (by Dubai Creek), ☎ +971 4 317 1234, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 15:00. A resort style hotel with extensive conference facilities.
- Raffles Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Rd (next to Wafi Shopping Centres), ☎ +971 4 324-8888, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 3PM. Attached to Wafi Mall. Egyptian themed.
There are a number of Internet cafes on Al Musalla Rd/Al Mankhool Rd, including one at 38 Al Musalla Rd and one on the corner of 41st St (10 AED per hour, minimum 1 hour).