Traditional Arabian markets are a crucial part of the life and trade in Dubai. Dubai’s reputation as a center of commerce was well established by the late 19th century with these souqs attracting tourists across the globe. Known for their bustling atmosphere, eccentricity variety and for giving an authentic flavor of Arabian Culture, the souqs of Dubai are picture perfect and are a must visit. With that in mind, here are 5 Souqs to visit in Dubai.
One of the best souqs in Dubai, the Gold-Souq is a must see for serious gold traders. This souq consists of covered walkways lined with hundreds of jewellery shops selling ornaments made with gold, silver and precious stones. The hundreds of vendors ensure unique pieces, statement gemstones and alluring Arabic designs. The souq is monitored by the government which helps to maintain standards and ensure the gold is consistently genuine. The souq is renowned as the best place to source great-value gold and can generally provide you with a happy shopping experience.
The Spice souq is one of the most popular souqs in Dubai. Its narrow passages are lined with small stores selling every herb and spice under the sun. The strategic position of the souq, close to the Persian Gulf, has filled it with exotic spices from across the Middle East for centuries. The spice stalls are easily identifiable not only by smell but by the jute sacks full to the brim with colored powders and leaves. The sheer number of spices on offer is somewhat daunting, from Persian oregano and bay, to Indochinese Kaffir lime and curry leaves.
The perfume shops on Sikkat Al Khail Street, just east of the Gold Souq, are collectively called as the perfume souq. These shops specialize in strong Arabic perfumes, typically sold in beautifully decorated bottles. Dealing in everything scented, from pure perfume to essential oils, incense sticks and the ever-popular traditional oud. You can buy oils in wholesale bottles or smaller ornate vials. You can even have your own scent created by experienced perfumers.
Located in the creek of Dubai, the old souq/textile souq, is a traditional souq with a large number of small stores selling a wide range of products including fabrics, clothes, footwear and souvenirs. The textile stalls are filled with a range of colorful and patterned fabrics, with hand-spun pashminas being among the best-selling items. As well as an area to buy traditional Arabic clothing, the souq also houses some of the most skilled tailors in Dubai, who make affordable, beautiful and high-quality attire. The drapers in the souq sell silks and cottons off the roll by the yard. The souq occupies a traditionally restored bazaar and with a wooden roof, makes shopping a good and pleasant experience even on the hottest days of the year.
Souq Al Bahar
A short walk over the footbridge that cuts across the Burj Khalifa lagoon and housed in the world’s biggest mall, Souq Al Bahar isn’t exactly your traditional Arabian marketplace. Traders sell their wares across from the gleaming Chanel and Valentino boutiques. Stock up on fragrant oils, jewellery, scarves, abayas, brass lamps and fresh Emirati pastries and cakes. Upstairs, there are some of the best vantage points to watch the evening light show at Dubai Fountain and one of the best in the world.
The Souqs are only one of the things that define Dubai. But exploring them provides for an experience in its own right. Plan your trip to Dubai with Cozmo Travel. Read more travel related content here.