Karama & Bur Dubai

They may not offer too much in the way of spectacular modern developments or five-star luxury, but for a dose of interesting street life, plus a real flavour of the Indian subcontinent and the Philippines, Karama and Satwa are well worth a visit.

Karama mainly consists of low-rise apartment buildings, but is also home to a range of shops selling all kinds of cheap clothing and goods – not always the genuine article. Karama’s merchants are a far cry from their mall counterparts, and you can expect to have to haggle to get your bargain. The other big draw for Karama is the range of excellent, low-budget south Asian restaurants, serving fiery Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistani fare. Highlights include Saravana Bhavan and Karachi Darbar.

Satwa’s character shines through on its busy main thoroughfares, 2nd December Street, Plant Street and Satwa Road. 2nd December Street is the heartbeat of the area, where people go to eat, socialise, shop and be seen. Satwa Road branches off this road, and Plant Street runs parallel; here you’ll find pots and plants, pet shops, fabric shops and hardware outlets, and a small area full of car repair shops. It’s also a great spot to find a bargain tailor. Head here on a Saturday evening to soak up the atmosphere, but women are advised to dress modestly to avoid being stared at.

Cheap Eats
Satwa is renowned for its fast food outlets and reasonably priced restaurants. Ravi’s is an institution in Dubai, serving good Pakistani food at incredible prices; Mini Chinese has been going for years and Rydges Plaza Hotel has a number of popular, licensed bars and restaurants. Al Mallah, a popular Lebanese restaurant on 2nd December Street, is highly recommended (arguably the best falafel and shawarma in Dubai).

Cheap treatments
Satwa is also home to some great salons, where you can get various treatments at low prices. They might not be as smooth as the upper-end salons, but they are great for a quick fix.

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