Dubai Water Canal Overview

Snaking its way through the city, the Dubai Water Canal is one of Dubai’s newest and most ambitious achievements. Inaugurated in 2017, this unique canal is designed after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and stands proudly in Sheikh Zayed Road, one of the busiest streets in the city centre. Apart from its striking grandeur, the Canal is also popular as a free attraction in Dubai, which does not require an entry fee.

The waterfront beauty of Dubai Canal is flanked by a promenade, which when lit up in the later hours, forms quite the spectacle. Five pedestrian bridges hang across the canal’s length at equal distances and offer great vantage points to enjoy the city’s skyline from. A majestic artificial waterfall nestles at the foot of the Sheikh Zayed Bridge intersection, which remains operative for two hours in the night each day.

There are a great many ways to enjoy the beauty of the Dubai Water Canal, and taking a cruise is the best of them. There are several tours offered here- the dhow cruise is an excellent way to taste the local culture here, while the Abra boat ride can be a great family activity.

On the other hand, the luxury yacht cruises here offer a premium experience that combines dining, cultural performances and a romantic tour of the canal. If boating or cruising is not your thing, you could easily spend time idling along the canal’s promenade. The canal is flanked by a 3kilometer long-running track, frequented by regular joggers and pedestrians. A winding cycling track sidles along with it as well. Additionally, the canal area is crowded by a series of luxury diners that combine the delight of Canal views with the experience of fine dining.

Also Explore: Restaurants near Dubai Water Canal


• The canal is a great photo stop, offering panoramic views of the city’s skyline.
• One of the biggest attractions here is the artificial waterfall on the Sheikh Zayed pedestrian bridge, lit up at night each day.
• The Canal offers several luxury cruises along its length, with the sunset cruise being an excellent way of exploring the beauty of the place.
• Well paved cycling routes line the canal’s promenade, inviting bikers to itself.
• Surrounded by luxury as well as casual eateries, the Dubai Canal also be a great place for one to explore the local cuisine here.

How To Reach

By Car: If you’re driving to the canal, you would need to travel along Sheikh Zayed Road towards the Trade Centre. Those taking a hired cab or a taxi can alight at the Canal itself, while personal cars need to be parked under the Sheikh Zayed Road Bridge.

By Metro: This is the easiest way to reach the Dubai Water Canal. One would need to take the red line towards the UAE Centre and get off at the Business Bay station. From here, one would need to cross a bridge towards Sheikh Zayed Road, which would take them directly to the canal.

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to plan a visit to Dubai Water Canal is early in the morning or during the evening hours. This is the time when the crowd is less and you can take part i various activities which happen around the canal.

Also explore Five Palm Jumeirah, it offers laid-back or high-energy options from breakfast to the early hours as you tailor your vacation, whether you want a luxury food experience or want to party the night away. 

Other Essential Information

Places to Visit near & Things to Do near Dubai Water Canal 

1. Al Habtoor City: Often called a ‘City within a City’, Al Habtoor stands proudly on the banks of the Dubai Water Canal. A one stop luxury destination, Al Habtoor features three of Dubai’s largest hotels- St. Regis, Al Habtoor and Westin Dubai.

Apart from the luxury housing here, the Al Habtoor city also features a host of upscale restaurants and bars, and one can spend an entire day here simply exploiting the culinary options. At the heart of Al Habtoor stands La Perle, a performing arts theatre hosting a live performance on a regular basis.

2. La Perle: Offering a breathtaking tribute to the country’s history of pearl diving, La Perle is an exclusive performance theatre nestled in the heart of Al Habtoor city. Designed by Franco Dragone, La Perle hosts the country’s first and only permanent show – a novel ‘aqua theatre’ that combines traditional dances with water acrobatics.

Replete with daring stunts and dives, the show promises to keep you on your edge throughout your stay here. The theatre, designed solely as a setting for this one performance, is adorned with gushing waterfalls and artificial rain that stops and starts on whim.

3. Safa Park: Located in the very heart of the city, the Safa Park is a leafy sanctuary for weary travellers. Lined with clear stretches of natural grass, the Park offers the perfect location for strolls and picnics, making it a great place to visit for families and holidaying couples alike.

Occasionally, one can find a little Japanese garden or a permanent barbecue system set up by the walkway. The Park features several sports courts as well, such as those for tennis or badminton.

4. Dubai fountain: The world’s biggest performing fountain, the Dubai fountain is one of the country’s proudest attractions. Located at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the fountain sways to popular international tunes in an elaborate combination of light and sound.

The spectacle spreads across 30 acres, which is equal to two football pitches. The Fountain now has a platform as well, allowing spectators to come close to the Fountain.

Click here to Book: Dubai Fountain Lake Ride Tickets

5. Visit The Dubai Mall: The largest shopping mall in the world, Dubai Mall is the go-to place for shoppers coming to the city. The dizzying variety of high-end retail outlets here is bound to leave you mesmerized and busy throughout your stay. Accompanying its stores is a variety of luxury dining options, bringing global cuisine under the same roof.

Dubai Mall, however, is best known for offering some of the country’s most exquisite entertainment options- from an ice-skating rink, to an underwater aquarium and even a karting zone, the Mall has it all. 

Must Explore: Best Things to Do in Dubai Mall

6. Go To Pier 7: A one-stop dining destination, Pier 7 delivers a dining experience spanning across the globe. Spread across seven tiers, each floor in Pier 7 offers a unique dining destination, ranging from fine dining to casual lounges. The cuisine served on each tier is distinctly different, each authentic and prepared by the finest and most experienced hands.

7. Visit Jumeirah Public Beach: One of Dubai’s most popular public beaches, Jumeirah Beach is a must visit when in Dubai. With its golden white sands blending effortlessly with the sea beside it, the beach is quite a spectacle.

While one can spend a hefty time here wading through its waters or merely lounging in the sun, Jumeirah Beach offers a variety of water sports as well. The beach also features a number of barbecue areas and children’s playgrounds.

Also Checkout: Best Things to Do in Jumeirah Dubai

8. Explore the Green Planet: A treat for nature lovers, Dubai’s Green Planet is a rainforest cultivated and nurtured in an indoor space. The rainforest functions as a thriving ecosystem within the four glass walls, and is home to over 3,000 species of naturally grown plants.

The Green Planet is divided into four elaborate: the canopy, the mid-story, the forest floor and the flooded rainforest. At the heart of the Green Planet is an impressive 82-feet tall tree that stands tall amidst the surrounding canopy. 

Book The Green Planet Dubai Tickets and visit Middle East's first bio-dome of its kind and immerse yourself with the tropical rainforest.

Restaurants Near Dubai Water Canal 

1. Manga Sushi: Designed as a funky spaceship, this Avant Garde restaurant proves to be a delight for anyone looking to explore the Japanese youth culture. The kitsch decor at the diner imbues the place with a funky charm- one can find several screens playing anime hits, while bookshelves stack rows of manga comics for diners to peruse through. The menu here is authentic Japanese, and prides in a variety of sushi.

Suggested Read: Japanese Restaurants in Dubai

2. The Rose and The Crown: Bustling with buzz and banter, The Rose and the Crown is your quintessential British pub. The delightful interior here invests the ambience here with a sense of coziness, while the menu is both hearty and wholesome.

3. Karachi Grill: An authentic Pakistani diner, Karachi Grill offers a fine assortment of traditional rice, meat and kebab preparations. The fine dining restaurant promises a variety of buffet options, along with a comprehensive a la carte menu.

Recommended Read: Best Pakistani Restaurants in Dubai

Places to Stay near Dubai Water Canal 

1. Westin Dubai: A short walk away from Jumeirah Beach, Westin is an upscale high rise directly overlooking the Dubai Water Canal. The chic rooms and suites at the resort come fitted with all modern luxuries, while club level rooms add a private lounge with snack services. There are six separate restaurants at the Westin, along with a glam bar. Other luxury facilities include six outdoor pools, a gym, a spa and a yoga studio.

2. Habtoor Palace Dubai: Set in a beaux-arts style building, Habtoor Palace is one of Dubai’s most luxurious offerings. The ornate hotel features well-furnished rooms with all modern facilities. Upgraded suites add personal studies, dining rooms and rooftop plunge pools. Added amenities at the hotel include a rooftop pool, bar and a spa. The hotel also features 7 separate diners.

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3. Regent Beach Resort: Nestled by the Jumeirah Beach, this affordable beach resort is an ideal choice for those looking for pocket friendly stays. The casual stay offers modern rooms with a relaxed vibe, along with two restaurants, a gym, a spa and an outdoor pool.

Also Explore: Dubai Vegetarian Restaurants

Tips for Visting Dubai Water Canal

- The best time to visit Dubai Water Canal is between 08.00PM- 11.00PM, when the artificial waterfall here is operative

- It’s always helpful to carry a camera along, for one can get really great shots of the city from here 

- Sunsets at the canal are best enjoyed from any of the five pedestrian bridges that run across it

- Do not forget to carry a jacket or shawl along if you visit the canal on winter evenings 

- A sunset cruise might be one of the best ways to enjoy oneself at the canal

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Point of Interest for Dubai Water Canal
Dubai Canal Abra Ride

Dubai Canal Abra Ride

To get a taste of the local culture here, try taking an Abra ride across the Dubai canal. The ‘Abra’ is a traditional Arabic boat made out of wood. The Abra canal sightseeing tour ferries one along the length of the Canal, offering brilliant views of the skyline as it unravels alongside.

If you book a ride during sunset, you might also get to witness the sun setting behind the Burj Khalifa. The Abra rides take off from the Festival City Mall every day. Each Abra can fit about 20 people at a time, making it an ideal family activity. The ride lasts about an hour, and takes one across some of the city’s best landmarks by the coast.

Also checkout & book Burj Khalifa Tickets and enjoy 360-degree views of the city and the Arabian Gulf from the world's highest observation deck at 148th level.

Dubai Canal Yacht Cruise

Dubai Canal Yacht Cruise

There is little more romantic than to set sail in the waters of Dubai’s canal on a luxury cruiser, watching the city’s skyline pass you by. The canal’s Dhow Cruise is an attraction on its own- taking off in the evening hours, the cruise offers a luxury on-board dining experience along with a traditional dance performance.

Travellers on the cruise get to witness a mesmerizing Dubai sunset by the canal, as well as feast on elaborately planned Arabian and international spreads. The spectacle of the Tanoura Dance, a traditional dance style hailing from Egypt, adds to the magic of the evening on water.

Click here & Book: Dubai Marina Yacht Tour

Dubai Canal Dhow Cruise Dinner

Dubai Canal Dhow Cruise Dinner

The dhow boat was initially used as a vessel of trade across the Middle East. Today, the dhow cruise is one of the best luxury experiences offered across Dubai.

The 90-minute canal cruise sails lazy along the Dubai coast, offering marvellous views of the city as it stands tall in the night. The cruise is accompanied by a delicious international buffet menu, along with a host of snacks and beverages.

Also Checkout: Dhow Cruise Dinner Dubai

Tourism Board Alliances

Dubai Water Canal FAQs

How long is the Dubai Water Canal?

The Dubai Water Canal is about 3.2 kilometers long in length. It starts from the Old Creek in Dubai, and makes its way through Business Bay before finally emptying into the Arabian Gulf.

Know about Dubai’s Old Town is an area located in the shadows of the skyscraper city Dubai and is filled with low-rise apartments mostly of 5 to 7 stories portraying an exceptional classic Arabian style architecture that is one of its kind.

How do you get to the Dubai Water Canal?

1. By Car: If you’re driving to the canal, you would need to travel along Sheikh Zayed Road towards the Trade Centre. Those taking a hired cab or a taxi can alight at the Canal itself, while personal cars need to be parked under the Sheikh Zayed Road Bridge.

2. By Metro: This is the easiest way to reach the Dubai Water Canal. One would need to take the red line towards the UAE Centre and get off at the Business Bay station. From here, one would need to cross a bridge towards Sheikh Zayed Road, which would take them directly to the canal.

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When was the Dubai canal built?

Although officially unveiled in 2013, the Dubai Water Canal was formally inaugurated on 9th November, 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the emirates.

If you are a reader, you should definitely explore Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Dubai, as it contains more than 4.5 million volumes, 1 million audiobooks, and 2 million eBooks.

Why You Should Take a Dubai Canal Abra Ride?

The traditional Abra boat is a unique part of Dubai’s culture. The Abra Ride on the canal not only lets one explore the beauty of the canal, but also get a taste of the local culture here. Besides, the Abra Ride is a fun family activity as well.

Also Checkout & Book: Scuba Diving In Dubai

Why You Should Take a Dubai Canal Yacht Cruise?

The Yacht cruise on the canal is one of its most luxurious facilities. This elaborate cruise not only offers splendid views of Dubai’s canal, but also promises a fantastic traditional dining experience. It is also one of the most romantic ways of exploring the Water Canal.

Guide To Visit Al Seef Dubai

What are the Facilities Available at Dubai Canal?

Charging stations Shopping centre Wheelchair Friendly Stroller friendly Pedestrian bridges Marina stations.

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Can I take a boat or ferry to cross the Dubai Canal?

Yes, one can take either a ferry or a water taxi to travel along the Canal. There are three daily ferry trips leaving from the Jada Marine station each day- at 10.00AM, 12 noon and 05.40PM.

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What are the best adventurous activities in Dubai that you can book via Thrillophilia?

Dubai Water Canal Reviews

Abhay Hamigi
Reviewed: 26 Feb 2022
Booked the Water Canal Cruise for my parents while visiting Dubai. They were really happy with the overall experience, and the dinner and service were impeccable. I got a really great deal for booking through Thrillophilia as well. My partner and I booked a 90 minute cruise on Dubai Canal through ... Read More
Nagabhushanam Naik
Reviewed: 26 Feb 2022
Me and my partner had a very romantic time on this enchanting 2 hour luxurious dinner cruise. All the credit goes to Thrillophilia, thank you for making our honeymoon even more special!
Sudhanshu Chopade
Reviewed: 27 Jan 2022
One of the most romantic experiences that I had in Dubai with my partner was the dinner cruise on the Dubai Water Canal by Thrillophilia…... On this two-hour cruise, we enjoyed watching the different Dubai attractions, ate delicious food and were even given a royal treatment by the crew……
Bhadra Dhawan
Reviewed: 14 Jan 2022
I had a wonderful experience. Well organised tour by the team I had lots of fun. My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed this activity. The 2 hour cruise dinner on the luxury traditional boat and the view of the shimmering skyline of Dubai was just ecstatic! Thank you Thrillophilia for this!
Vikram Jadhav
Reviewed: 06 Dec 2021
I’d definitely recommend the Canal cruise for those looking especially for a romantic experience. The cruise comes with a dinner spread, prepared fantastically and served with finesse Well done Thrillophilia!!! the ticket price is cheaper and easy to use once reached the attraction

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