Deira feels like a cross between Cairo and Karachi. Dusty, crowded and chaotic, it’s a world away from the slick and sanitised new districts that have mushroomed along Sheikh Zayed Rd. Along the Creek, colourful wooden dhows engage in the time-tested trading of goods destined for Iran, Sudan and other locales. Nearby, the bustling souqs are atmospheric ancestors of today’s malls, where you can sip sugary tea and haggle for bargains with traders whose families have tended the same shop for generations.
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