Dubai has become the city of landmarks. From massive skyscrapers to uniquely designed buildings, Dubai has a long list of remarkable structures to see and experience.
But before the Burj Khalifa, the Museum of the Future and the Dubai Frame, there was the Deira Clocktower, a monument that holds significance to Dubai’s history and growth over the years.
In this travel guide, we’ll explore this historical structure in the city’s old town, the story behind it and everything you need to know for a memorable visit:
What is Deira Clock Tower?
The Deira Clock Tower is a monument that sits on the crossroads of Al Maktoum Road and Umm Hurair Road in the historical district of Deira.
The landmark offers access to Al Maktoum Bridge, one of the biggest bridges in the city and the first land crossing between Deira and Bur Dubai.
Before the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Road was completed, the Deira Clock Tower was the connecting point for those traveling from outside the city into Dubai.
The clock tower was built in 1963 to celebrate the country’s first oil export, a turning point in its history, and as a symbol of Dubai being its major route.
The Story of the Deira Clock Tower According to Engineer Edgar Bublik:
“Sheikh Ahmed of Qatar was Sheikh Rashid’s son-in-law. In the early 1960s, Sheikh Ahmed gave Sheikh Rashid a clock as a gift. It was a very large clock.
Sheikh Rashid did not know what to do with such a large clock! My predecessor Mr. Bulard had just completed building Zabeel Palace for Sheikh Rashid, so he made a sketch of his idea for a clock tower.
Mr. Bulard gave the sketch to his engineer to make the structural calculations and produce a design.
The shape and design of the clock tower was from Mr. Bulard’s own ideas and did not represent an oil drilling bit or any other object.”
The final design was created by Architect Ziki Homsi and it was originally made from steel reinforcements.
The tower is 25 meters tall and it combines both traditional Arabic design and modern architectural elements. The clock that’s placed at the center of the structure has four faces with a diameter of about 5 meters.
Unfortunately, the original structure underwent corrosion because of the material used and had to be replaced with concrete materials when the structure was refurbished in 1972.
The clock face was also replaced with Omega models that came with GPS to make them more accurate in telling the time.
Because of its simple elegance, the Deira Clock Tower has been named as one of the most beautiful clock towers in the world by several publications.
Best Time to Go
The Deira Clock Tower is open to the public every day. But since it’s in a roundabout, the roads can get busy during peak hours. The heat may also be unbearable during the summer.
So, if you want to spend time exploring this landmark without worrying about the heat, it’s best to visit in the afternoon until the evening.
Things to Know
The Deira Clock Tower is one of the most important historical landmarks in Dubai. So, if you want to make the most of your visit, here are things that you need to know:
- The site is free. You don’t need to pay anything to visit the Deira Clock Tower and it’s open to all ages.
- Parking can be challenging. Deira is a busy part of Dubai, so finding parking during peak hours can be challenging. This is why it’s best to plan your visit ahead and find parking in nearby areas.
- Dress appropriately. Deira is a more conservative part of the city. So, make sure that you dress modestly when visiting the clock tower.
- Be mindful when taking photos. Remember that it’s a criminal offense to take photos of locals and post them on social media.
How to Get Around
Trains: If you prefer to take the Metro to the Deira Clock Tower, you can stop at the Al Rigga Metro station where the monument is just a few minutes walk away.
Buses: Since the clock tower is a major route in Dubai, you can take any of the buses under Emirates Express and stop in one of the stations nearby.
Taxis: You can easily book a taxi through Uber or Careem to take you to and from the Deira Clock Tower.
Car service: If you prefer to travel more privately, there are many private car services around Dubai that you can rent for the day or the entire duration of your trip.
Where to Stay Near the Deira Clock Tower
Novotel Dubai Deira City Center Hotel
Address: Front of Deira City Center Mall – 8th Street – Port Saeed – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 292 5200
Located in the historic district of Deira, Novotel Dubai City Center Deira offers a modern ambiance with its fully fitted rooms and suites.
The hotel also has its own restaurant, swimming pool and bar as well as accessibility to the best spots in Deira including the Deira Clock Tower.
Address: 67 Al Rigga Road – Deira – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 297 0808
A modern hotel in the Deira district, Avenue Hotel offers some of the best accommodations that you can find in this part of the city.
It also has its own swimming pool, lounge and bar, and fitness gym to make sure that you have everything you need to have a relaxing stay during your holiday.
Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga
Address: Al Rigga – Deira – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 608 1234
True to the Hyatt name, the Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga is known for its luxurious guest rooms that are fitted with the signature Hyatt Luxury Eurotop Mattress.
The hotel also has a 24-hour fitness gym, outdoor swimming pool and a sumptuous breakfast buffet.
Marriott Executive Apartments Dubai Creek
Address: Riggat Al Buteen – Deira – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 213 1000
Located a few minutes away from the Deira Clock Tower is the Marriott Executive Apartments Dubai Creek.
These luxury serviced apartments are fitted with the best amenities including a fully equipped kitchen and luxurious bedroom to make you feel at home.
The Marriott Serviced Apartments is a smart choice if you’re traveling with the family or you simply want the comforts of home while you’re in Dubai.
Where to Eat Near the Deira Clock Tower
Address: Mezzanine Floor – Centurion Star Tower – Deira – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 600 57 7776
If you’re craving for kebabs and barbecue, Absolute Barbecues offers a unique buffet experience where you can grill your food on the table.
The restaurant also serves a wide range of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes to make sure that you enjoy a full dining experience after exploring the Deira Clock Tower.
China Sea Restaurant
Address: Al Maktoum Road Near Deira Clock Tower – Deira – Al Rigga – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 295 9816
Are you craving authentic Chinese food? China Sea Restaurant is right near the Deira Clock Tower and it’s one of the best in the area to serve Chinese cuisine.
Here, you can enjoy everything from handmade dumplings to hotpots in a restaurant that will surely take you back to China.
The restaurant is also just a few minutes away, so it’s a good choice if you don’t want to go far after exploring the Deira Clock Tower.
What to Do Near the Deira Clock Tower
Go on a Dhow Cruise
Address: Dubai Creek – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 50 915 3339
After visiting the Deira Clock Tower, you can board a dhow cruise that traverses through the Dubai Creek while you enjoy a sumptuous buffet.
A dhow cruise is a must-try for anyone visiting Dubai since it offers a unique perspective of the city while you’re on board a traditional Arabian boat.
Dhow Star is the most popular dhow cruise line in the area, but you can also search for other companies that offer dhow cruise packages along the Dubai Creek.
Spend the Afternoon at Al Mamzar Beach Park
Address: Al Mamzar – Deira – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 2966 032
One of the best spots in Deira to enjoy Dubai’s beach community is the Al Mamzar Beach Park.
Here, you can enjoy a picnic with the family, take a dip on the beach and try different water activities before you head to the Deira Clock Tower.
You can also dine at the many restaurants and cafes in the area or just people watch, especially during the winter when more people love going out to the beach because of the fair weather.
Where to Shop Near the Deira Clock Tower
The Gold and Spice Souks
Address: Deira – Al Ras – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: 04 226 5461
You can’t be in Deira and not shop at the many souks in the area. The gold souk is a must-visit since it’s one of the best spots in the city to buy gold at a lower price.
Here, you can find a wide range of local artisan shops where you can buy different gold and diamond jewelry pieces. You can even have your jewelry customized according to your liking.
Of course, you don’t want to miss shopping for authentic Middle Eastern spices like cardamom, cumin and saffron.
The Dubai spice souk is filled with all sorts of spices, dried fruits and other local products that you can take home to commemorate your trip to Dubai.
City Center Deira Dubai
Address: 8th Street – Port Saeed – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 800 226 255
City Center Deira is the biggest mall in the district boasting over 370 shops selling both local and international products.
The mall is also home to over 58 restaurants including China Tims, Texas Roadhouse and Chili’s.
What to Expect from the Weather at Deira Clock Tower
Winter: The months of December to March are the best time to visit the Deira Clock Tower and the rest of Dubai. This is because the weather is colder making it the perfect time to explore the monument and the rest of Deira.
Summer: Summers in Dubai are extremely hot. From June to September, temperatures in the city can get so high that it’s not advisable for tourists to stay outdoors for a long time.
Transition period: Between the two seasons, Dubai goes through two transition periods – from April to May and October to November. During these times, the weather can switch from cold to hot unpredictably.