Skip to Content

Al Seef, Dubai: A Complete Guide [2023]

Everything you need to know about Al Seef, Dubai, to enjoy its various attractions and make the most of this fantastic neighborhood is in this very comprehensive guide. Check it out!

Have you ever heard of Al Seef, Dubai? Probably not, and it’s a shame, because visiting Al Seef is one of my favorite things to do in Dubai.

This area by Dubai Creek opened just before the pandemic, and Al Seef is still quite off the beaten path… but it should definitely be on your Dubai itinerary! Discover why.

Woman strolling along the waterfront promenade in Al Seef, Dubai.

Al Seef, Dubai: An Introduction

Al Seef is a wonderful destination by the Dubai Creek developed by Meraas, a holding company with several projects in the city.

This creekside area combines the modernity of high-end amenities, buildings, and services with history and traditional Emirati culture, featuring old-looking structures that recreate the city’s past so that the visitors feel like they have stepped back in time. 

The development also pays homage to Dubai’s first source of livelihood, as the Dubai Creek was the coastal pearl diving base, the industry on which was based the founding of the city. 

The blend between the old and the new perfectly reflects Dubai’s identity, with its not-so-distant past and the futuristic modernity it’s famous for, so visiting Al Seef is a great way of understanding the city. 

There are many restaurants and stores in the area, which has become a favorite destination for dining, shopping, and sightseeing, and Al Seef location by the creek offers some very beautiful views that add to its charm. 

Practical Info

How To Get to Al Seef

Al Seef Dubai location is in Bur Dubai, right by Dubai creek. 

▶ You can get there by metro, taking either the Red or the Green Line to the Burjuman stop, and then walk around 15 minutes.

▶ If you’re coming from Deira, you can take an abra from Baniyas Station to Al Seef. 

Opening Hours 

There are no Al Seef Dubai timings, as the area is open 24/7, so you can take a stroll around at any time of day. 

The retail stores, however, are open from Monday to Thursday from 10 AM to 10 PM, and Friday to Sunday until 11 PM. 

The restaurants in Al Seef are open Monday to Thursday from 10 AM to 11 PM, and Friday to Sunday until 12 AM. 

Things To Do in Al Seef

Stroll around its alleys and the Al Seef Promenade

Al Seef extends for almost 2 kilometers and the traditional, old-looking site offers plenty of alleyways, narrow corridors, and stalls for you to explore and wander around. Be sure to have your camera or cellphone handy, because you’ll want to take tons of pictures during your sightseeing!

The Al Seef Promenade, which overlooks the creek, also offers fantastic scenery to enjoy as you stroll along it, and it’s especially beautiful in the evening when Deira lights up across the water. In fact, it’s walking on the promenade is one of my favorite things to do in Dubai at night!

You’ll get to see the bright and modern buildings illuminated, contrasting the traditional structures of Al Seef Dubai at night, and the area will appear even more magical

Have a Coffee at the Old-Looking Starbucks

Starbuck in Al Seef in Dubai.

The Al Seef Dubai Starbucks is possibly the most popular shop in the area, but not necessarily for being a well-known brand. This modern coffee shop is in fact located in a very old-looking building over which the logo stands out, and it’s really something to have an Iced Caramel Macchiato in such a place! 

The building’s exterior looks rustic and from another time, and it makes a great setting for pictures, so don’t forget to snap one for your Instagram! 

Buy Traditional Carpets at Magic Rugs – PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Magic Rugs is one of the utmost shops in Al Seef, and you’ll be amazed at the amount and variety of beautiful rugs on display. Most of the rugs are handmade, which is impressive due to the intricate designs and patterns, and you can even watch the weavers work their magic when you visit! 

If you’re not that into rugs (or they don’t fit in your luggage) you can still get traditional dresses, bags, and Arabic crafts as souvenirs. 

Have Fun at the Museum of Illusions

Being the perfect blend of old and new, Al Seef is also home to the modern Museum of Illusions, a place that challenges your brain with puzzles, optical illusions, and mind-blowing brain teasers

From staring at your million reflections in the Infinity Room to getting some fantastic pictures in which you’ll be hanging from the roof or look like a giant or a dwarf, depending on where you locate yourself, and you can even take home some Dilemma Games to continue sharpening your mind. 

This museum delights children and grown-ups alike, as there really is no age for having fun, right? Plus it offers a sweet respite from the heat if you’re visiting Dubai in the summer.

➤ The Museum of Illusions Entry Ticket allows you to skip the line so you can start having fun as soon as you arrive. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

READ ALSO: Museum of Illusions, Dubai: Tickets & Info

Take an abra to Deira and the Gold Souk

Being right by the creek, what better opportunity than your visit to Al Seef to ride a traditional abra and cross the creek to Deira, the district in which you’ll find the famous Dubai Gold Souk (market), along with the Spices and Textile souks?

An abra is a traditional sailing vessel made of wood, and the primary means of transport to cross the creek. Once in Deira, the old commercial district of Dubai, be sure to visit the iconic Gold market, one of the largest in the world and home to hundreds of stalls, all of them selling gold pieces! 

When you’ve had enough of the shiny metal, head to some of the other souks in Dubai. Check out the Spices Souk to keep learning about Dubai’s cuisine, or to the Textile Souk right next to it for some traditional garments. 

Shop at the Al Seef Heritage Souk

The Heritage Souk is the perfect place to find some authentic souvenirs, get a henna tattoo, or buy jewelry, home decor, and handicrafts that are unique and traditional. Walking around the souk is, like most of Al Seef, enlightening about the area’s past and heritage. 

Be sure to take your time in the souk so you can explore all of its stores, from clothing (both traditional and contemporary) to the work of artisans, and plenty of gift options.

Visit the neighboring Al Fahidi Neighborhood 

Al Fahidi is a historic neighborhood built in the early 1900s, which also feels like stepping back in time. This is one of the best places in Dubai to learn about the city’s origins, history, and culture

It’s no wonder that this is where the Dubai Museum is, housed in Dubai’s oldest building, Al Fahidi Fort, which dates back to 1787. The museum showcases life in the UAE before the oil boom, and features recreations of houses and mosques from that era. 

After your visit, you can continue strolling to the Coffee Museum, where you’ll understand the country’s coffee culture, and learn about this beloved beverage’s history, the different coffee styles, and ways of making it. You’ll also find a display of coffee-related artifacts and a gift shop. 

Also in Al Fahidi is the Center for Cultural Understanding, founded by His Majesty Sheikh Mohammed as a place where tourists, ex-pats, and other foreigners can be introduced to the religion, history, and customs of the UAE. Here you’ll learn everything from the impact of Islam to Arabic greetings and expressions, so it makes for a very interesting visit.  

Al Seef Mall 

The Al Seef Mall Dubai, which is not to be confused with Abu Dhabi’s mall Al Seef Village, is the perfect place for your shopping experience.

It houses plenty of stores that include a perfume house, a beauty center, handcrafted homeware items with details that showcase the country’s culture, shops entirely dedicated to gifts and souvenirs you’ll want to take home, and clothing, accessories, and jewelry stores. 

There are also a ton of restaurants where you can stop for a quick bite or a substantial meal by the creek, enjoying the area with all of your senses.  

Best Al Seef Restaurants

Dukkan Burger

Dukkan Burger is probably the best place in Dubai to eat burgers… or at least it’s one of my very favorites! They are SO good!

The American-Arabian fusion creates a really delicious savor twist, and you can enjoy both beef and chicken burgers, as well as hot dogs, fries, and even Mexican bites. But if you want to try something unusual, go for their camel burger!

Sabaa Restaurant

Sabaa is among the most recommended Al Seef Dubai restaurants for authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. This is the place to try the traditional flavors of the Middle East, and a true Emirati breakfast with Arabic coffee if you happen to visit in the morning. 

Yuki No Hana

This Japanese dessert house is a must-try while you’re in Al Seef village Dubai. The delicious ice cream (kakigori) is the absolute star of the place, but there are quite a few other sweets and dessert treats, along with smoothies, waffles, and crepes. 

Al Fanar Seafood Market

If you’re in the mood for seafood, there’s no better place in Al Seef than Al Fanar Seafood Market, a place with an authentic Arabic ambiance that recreates Dubai in the 1960s, maintaining the illusion of having traveled back in time. You can also get some Emirati traditional dishes and all-time classics. 

Where To Stay in Al Seef

Al Seef Heritage Hotel – This 4-star hotel combines luxurious amenities which include fully equipped bathrooms, tea&coffee facilities, and room service, with the old-looking trend of Al Seef, so that the rooms and common areas appear to be from a distant era, giving it a unique charm.

It’s truly unlike any other hotel you may have stayed at – I LOVED our stay and already thinking of planning another vacation there.

Hilton Canopy Dubai Al Seef – This hotel features large rooms overlooking the creek, an infinity pool, a rooftop bar and restaurant, a fitness center, and a spa. All rooms have fully-equipped bathrooms, a minibar, and tea&coffee facilities, and breakfast in the room is included. 

Al Seef FAQ

Is Al Seef worth visiting?

Al Seef is probably my favorite part of the city! The old-looking buildings and the incredible amount of stores, eateries, and things to see make this area a must-visit for anyone in Dubai. 

How old is Al Seef Dubai?

Al Seef was launched at the end of 2017.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

Dubai Gold Souk: All You Need to Know [2023]

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

[…] you’re visiting in the afternoon, afterward you can take an abra ride back and enjoy Al Seef at night (strolling around here and having dinner on the creekside is one of the best ways to enjoy […]

Souks in Dubai: A Guide To The Best 10 Markets

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

[…] Souk may seem like an old, traditional souk. And it’s supposed to mimic one! But like the Al Seef neighborhood, it’s actually a modern attraction that pays homage to the heritage […]

WHERE TO STAY IN DUBAI: 8 Best Areas by an Expat [2023]

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

[…] architecture of Al Seef resembles that of old times and pays tribute to Dubai’s history and Arabian traditions. […]

39 Best Things to Do in Dubai by a Local [2022] - Every Steph

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

[…] Al Seef, Dubai is the place where the new meets the old, blending traditional buildings and streets that make you feel like you’ve stepped back in history, and elements of contemporary life.  […]

Traditional Emirati Food: 15 Dishes You Need To Try in Dubai

Monday 25th of April 2022

[…] the most popular restaurant is in Al Seef, you can also find it in Time Out Market and in Al Barsha Pond […]