Dubai Souqs, UAE
Traditional Arabian markets are a crucial part of life and trade in Dubai, and a wander through one of the city's bustling souqs (markets) is an essential experience. Whether you're after some lavish gold jewelry, hand-woven fabrics or traditional oud fragrances, treasures await at the souqs in Dubai.
Arguably the best known of the Dubai souqs and a twinkling star in its shopping activities, the Gold Souq is a must-see for serious gold traders, visitors hunting for that special memento, or travelers in search of a shiny trinket. It is a traditional market since generations.
Although not as old as in some other Arabic countries, the gold market is from the more populous markets in the region and attracts shoppers from all over the World. The hundreds of vendors, selling mainly jewelry, ensure unique pieces, statement gemstones and alluring Arabic designs with prices that aren't set in stone.
Wandering in the market along the chains, rings, bracelets, rings and more; it is the perfect place to buy a gift for the loved ones or finding valuables or search for precious wedding bands or just wandering around and enjoying the unique atmosphere. This souq is located in Deira, the heart of Dubai's commercial business district. By some approximations, 10 tons of gold is available in the market at any time.
Follow your nose to the Spice Souq next door that will provide you with insights into Arabic trading, with top chefs, home cooks and savvy expats purchasing from the colorful sacks of spices, herbs, rice and fruit. Dubai Spice Souq is one of the oldest and most popular markets in Dubai and is one of the tourist attractions in Dubai due to the ancient heritage and all the varieties and types of spices it contains from around the World. It is also the center of attraction for tourists and wholesalers. Here you will find high-quality saffron strands at local prices, fresh A-grade dates and exotic spices, dried fruits and nuts. You're sure to discover a new taste - and yes, you are encouraged to sample before you buy.
More of a fragrance fan? Up the road from the Gold and Spice Souqs is Deira's Perfume Souq on Sikkat Al Khali Street. 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.
From the Perfume Souq, catch an Abra (wooden water taxi) across the creek to explore the Textile Souq in Bur Dubai. Find tiny shops filled with rolls of lux imported fabrics, including fine silks, airy cottons and dazzling sari fabric. Pick your favorites and pop into one of the surrounding tailors to have a dress, abaya (traditional womenswear), kandora (traditional menswear) or suit specially made. It's only a short walk from there to historical area of Al Fahidi.
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, jewelry, 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.
A 15 minute ride away from Downtown, the magical Souq Madinat Jumeirah is your place to find the perfect souvenirs, art, sculptures, fashion, and jewelry in a traditional Middle Eastern ambience. Dining options include Lebanese cafes, Western-style eateries and high-end restaurants with front-row views of the meandering waterways. End your night with an Abra (wooden water taxi) ride and relax as you take in the surrounding beauty. Read more in Madinat Jumeirah.
Prepare to be dazzled by a glittering expanse that is symbolic of the opulence of "The City of Gold" at the Dubai Mall Souq which hosts more than 40 different jewelry stores and watch shops. Modernized and on par with international standards this is a vivacious gold and diamond jewelry shopping experience and your chance to grab that style that has never been seen before. Click here for more information.