Crossing Dubai Creek 1970s
Taking a trip on an Abra on Dubai's Creek is an unforgettable
experience for locals and tourists alike, particularly at night. Old Dubai Rowing Abras were the usual way of crossing Dubai Creek. Powered Abras only operated between particular crossings. Rowing Abras operated near the mouth of the Creek and went wherever their passengers wanted to go.
Waiting for an Abra
Rowing Abra would wait patiently alongside Dubai
Creek waiting for a passenger. Occasionally they waited by some
steps where boarding was easy.
Rowing Abras used to be the only way to Cross Dubai Creek!
More often they floated
near the Creek's edge so boarding involved a climb
across rocks. If the Abra was not where you were then
a wave to an Abra on the other side of the Creek would
soon have the Abra hauling its way to you.
Boarding an Abra
Boarding was a ritual with greetings exchanged, 25 Fils handed over together with instructions on where you wanted to go. The Abra was pushed off into the Creek with rudimentary oars then the Rower began the effort of getting you across the Creek. With one foot pushing against a cross beam and short, quick, strong strokes the Rower battled tide, dhows, barges, oil support ships to cross the Creek,
Local Arab Ladies owned the licences to operate Abras on Dubai Creek!
sometimes to the concern of his passengers! Tide and current took the Abra up or down the Creek before the Rower could line up with his destination. Crossing Dubai Creek by a rowing Abra was not the quickest means of crossing.
Disembarking involved farewells unless you were intending to make a quick return. In this case a simple instruction and the Abra would wait for your return, refusing all passengers. That service always cost a little more of course!
A Trip on an Abra should be part of any Dubai Holiday!
CLICK HERE for more about Abras...