United Arab Emirates: Souk Madinat Jumeirah


One of Dubai’s most attractive developments, Madinat Jumeirah is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional Arab village, complete with a souq (market), palm-fringed waterways and desert-colored hotels and villas festooned with wind towers. It’s especially enchanting at night, when the gardens are romantically lit and the Burj Al Arab gleams in the background. There are exquisite details throughout, so if you see some stairs, take them – they might lead you to a hidden terrace with a mesmerising vista of the sprawling complex.

Architecture of Madinat Jumeirah

The architects of this luxurious resort village at the foot of the Burj Al Arab looked to Dubai's original creekside settlement in Bur Dubai for inspiration. Wind towers, traditional wooden boats used as water taxis, waterways and even a market create modern Arabian flair in this complex that comprises three palatial hotels and dozens of private villas set in a richly landscaped garden.


hopping at Souk Madinat Jumeirah

At the heart of the complex lies Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a maze-like bazaar with around 75 shops lining wood-framed walkways. Although the ambience is too contrived to feel like an authentic Arab market, the quality of some of the crafts, art and souvenirs is actually quite high. For a bit of Western culture, see what’s playing at the Madinat Theatre. There are numerous cafes, bars and restaurants, the nicest of which overlook the waterways and the Burj Al Arab.

Riding an abra at Madinat Jumeirah

Explore Madinat Jumeirah's 2.5-mile-long network of winding waterways on a leisurely 20-minute cruise aboard a traditional-style abra (a motorized wooden boat) with cushioned benches. The desert seems far away as you glide past enchanting gardens of billowing bougainvillea, bushy banana trees and soaring palms, all set against the dramatic Burj Al Arab backdrop. Tours leave from the Souk Madinat waterfront (near Trader Vic's). No reservations are necessary. If you are staying at a Madinat hotel or eating at one of the restaurants, your abra shuttle is free.

Have great time!

With love,




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