The Spectacular Souks of Dubai
Dubai is the shopping hub of the world. This city is most known for its Souks. Over time they have evolved from the more traditional open air bazaars into modern retail shopping centers. Souks are always bustling with life whichever one you choose to go to.
They are an ideal focal point to immerse in the Middle Eastern culture while having an enjoyable shopping experience. Depending on what you have in mind we can definitely point you in the right direction. Dubai has a Souk for practically everything under the sun. Gold, jewelry, spices, fruit and perfumes are some of the notable market places you should make sure to visit.
Colorful Middle Eastern fabrics with intricate embroidery and versatile patterns make great souvenirs to take home. Go to the Bur Dubai Souk for the best scarfs and shawls in the city. Raw silk, pashmina, satin and velvet are all popular textiles available at reasonably affordable prices. Be sure to check out the famous Meena Bazaar.
If fabrics aren’t really your thing you can also pick up some iconic belly dancing apparel, a glass hookah or antique lanterns. Bur Dubai Textile Souk is located between the Bur Dubai waterfront and Ali bin Abi Talib Street. After a fulfilling shopping spree, you have the benefit of treating your tired feet to a relaxing water ferry taxi along Dubai Creek while taking in a fantastic view.
Whether you’re a local or just passing through the Gold Souk is a great place to shop. As the title suggests this market place is for buying gold and other stylish jewellery. Be wary of street hawkers who will try to sell you the “real deal”. It’s better to opt for the reputable brand name stores, which will offer you an authentic variety of pearls, gold, diamonds and silver.
Even if you’re not looking to do any shopping it’s definitely worth just browsing through the elaborate window displays of 24 karat gold jewelry. One of the stores even showcases the Guinness Book of World Record’s largest gold ring. The Gold Souk located on Sikkat Al Khail Street in Deira.
East of the Gold Souk you can head over to the Perfume Souk. A variety of incense and Arabian perfumes are available in this marketplace. Most of the internationally famous designers try to come up with luxurious perfumes that emulate the scents of these Arabian fragrances.
What makes them one of a kind is they are oud based. Oud is a type of fragrant wood. The more oud a fragrance has the more of a lasting effect it will have on the user. The Swiss Arabian Perfumes are an ideal range to consider if you ever want to indulge in a reputable Arabian brand.
The Spice, Perfume and Gold Souks are relatively near each other making it extremely convenient to check out all three places in one shopping trip. Persian saffron is a popular commodity to purchase here, which is used, often in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.
You can also find a variety of herbal teas, oils, nuts and flavored tobacco for hookah. Avoid going between noon and 2 pm as most of the shops will be closed. The prime time to visit the Spice Souk is either in the morning or evening until 10 pm.
If you want to experience the less touristy side of Dubai make sure to take a stroll through the Fruit Vegetable Souk as well as the Fish Souk. These places you will get to see more of the local Dubai life. These Souks offer a variety of fresh produce and seafood.
Fruits are literally stacked to the ceiling with vendors ready to slice and dice on the spot. Dried figs, dates and honey are also tasty delights available for your enjoyment. Dried fish, sharks, shellfish, and barrels full of the fresh catch of the day await you at the Fish Souk. The friendly locals are pleased to have their picture taken alongside their fresh catch of the day. There are also small eateries within the Souk if you work up an appetite for a quick bite.
We hope you now have an idea of the Souks to explore for a lasting impression of Dubai!
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