ABRA ka dabra! The traditional Abra ride, Dubai.


“Abra” comes from the ancient Arabic word abra, meaning “to cross”. It is a traditional wooden boat that is used for crossing the Dubai Creek since ancient times. The small boats are well suited to transport goods and people as compared to other boats. These water taxis are operated by the Government of Dubai and are affordable. There are different types of Abras. The fares for a trip differ according to the type of boat and the location of the ride. 

The origin and history of Abra in Dubai

All cities in history have grown around a water source. Civilisations consider rivers to be their mother. For Dubai, Creek has been that water source. Dubai grew from the shore of Dubai Creek, and two neighbourhoods – Deira and Bur Dubai came into existence. Until the construction of the Maktoum bridge in 1963, there were no means of transport between the two shores of Creek other than Abras. 

Abras were also used for trade purposes back in time as traders from different places would spend time at the Old Souk doing their business. They were the oldest form of transport in Dubai. They are still in use in some parts of Dubai to preserve the heritage and for tourist value.

Locations and stations

These traditional boats are functional in many parts of Dubai but are significantly functional at the Dubai Creek. Both tourists and locals use it for transport across the two shores of Dubai Creek. Abra Ride is an important tourist attraction in the Bur Dubai area. The motorised Abra only runs between Deira and Bur Dubai shores while the petrol Abras runs on the following stations:

Types of Abra

The traditional Abra we can see everywhere in Dubai, is a motorised version of the actual Abra used back in time. The ride fares are quite affordable for diesel Abras. It only costs 1 AED per trip, per head in the Creek. Some modernised Abras, particularly the electric ones operate exclusively in the Global Village Lake, Dubai Fountain Lake, Madinat Jumeirah and Al Seef. The fares of these rides differ according to the location.

There are petrol Abras that cost a little more than traditional ones. Moreover, there are Air Conditioned Abras in the Creek that have glass windows for observation and are bigger than the traditional ones. For AC Abra, the driver cabin is in the front while in traditional ones, it is in the centre with passengers on both sides. The ride cost of AC Abra is comparatively higher as it offers better seating and heat protection in summertime. 

Experience the Magical Time Travel

Abra ride is a magical experience one should not miss. It takes you back to the ancient times when the people of Dubai were completely dependent on Abras for transportation. An old school themed trip must have Abra rides on the list. Sailing on the Creek waters with mesmerising views and cheap fare tickets will take you back in time for sure. 

Visit the nearby tourist attractions like the Bur Dubai Souk, Meena Bazar, Golden Gate Dubai, Zabeel Park, Zabeel Palace and Al Seef. Take Travel Saga’s full day Dubai City Tour and explore the most of Dubai in just 8 hours. We offer tailor made travel packages with custom inclusions as needed.

Visit our website www.travelsaga.com to learn more about the full day Dubai City Tour or contact us at +971 4 268 4645/ +971 50 914 3707 or leave an email at info@travelsaga.com


Q. How much does the Abra ride cost at Dubai Creek?

The traditional Abra ride only costs 1 AED per head per trip. However, charges differ with the types and locations of Abra rides.

Q. What are the prime locations of operation of Abra Rides?

The most important location of the Abra Ride is Dubai Creek. Additionally, it also operates at the Dubai Fountain Lake, Al Seef, Global Village, Dubai Canal and Dubai Marina.

Q. What other forms of transportation are available to cross the creek other than Abra?

The Maktoum Bridge, since 1963 is a form of road transport for crossing the Dubai Creek.

Q. What are the places to visit near Bur Dubai Abra station?

The Bur Dubai Souk, Meena Bazar, Zabeel Park and Al Seef are some nearby places one can visit near Bur Dubai Abra Station.

Q. Are the ancient Abras and the present day Abras the same?

No, the traditional Abras that operate in Dubai Creek are motorised versions of the old Abras. Though in appearance, they look the same.