Souks are the Arabic Markets where all kinds of goods are bought sold and exchanged.
Traditionally, dhows from the Far East, China, Ceylon and India would discharge their cargoes and the goods would be haggled over in the souks adgacent to the docks. Over the years, the item on sale have changed dramatically from spices,silks and perfumes to include electronic good and the latest kitsch consumer trends.
Although Dubai’s Souks aren’t as fascinating as others in the arab world, such as Marrakech in morocco or Martha in Oman, they are worth a visit for their bustling atmosphere, the eclectic variety of goods and the traditional way of doing business
The myriad of Souks are located on both banks of the Creek,but predominantly in Deira (it’s worth exploring both sides if you have the time). One can cross between the two banks of Creek in about ten minutes on one of the many abbras (small wooden dhows) that line of Creek, it only costs 50 fils.Alternatively, most taxi drivers knows where to go if you ask for a specific souk and the fares are reasonable.If you have the time,why not brave the public transport. Buses run frequently throughout the day and stop all of the souks, both side of the Creek.
When To Visit A Souk Market?
It is wise to visit when the weather is a little cooler in the late afternoon,but for early birds the souks open 07:00-12:00. They then re-open between 17:00-19:0, every day except friday,when they only open in the afternoon. Thursday and Friday evening are the busiest times as this is the weekend for many people. This is a great time to witness the souk trading at full throttle, but if you are more interested in exploring at a leisurely place, then these evenings are best avoided.
Smelly… but just the spot for the non squeamish seafood fanatics. The fish market is worth a trip for a few snapshots to show the folks at home.the variety of fresh fish is amazing and you will likely come across some species that you have never seen before. It isn’t just the display of fish; the cleaning and gutting activity and the bargaining process is quite fascinating too. The market has undergone a revamp in the bid to accentuate the fishing heritage of the region and also to educate tourists. Besides a seafood restaurant a museum explains the history of this past fishing village. The Al Hamriya fruit and vegetable market opposite offers tropical fruit;the variety is bountiful and the prices are ridiculously low,especially for the huge qualities you leave with.
video by Bahjat Sabri
This is what many people around the world primarily recognize dubai for-The city of Gold. As people race straight from the plane to the Gold souk, they are not disappointed (take your sunglasses the greeting glare is bound to the retina damaging!). Streets and streets of shops are aligned with sparking windows and the choice is impressive,as are the prices. The downfall could only be the difficulty in deciding where to start.for the mere windows shopper, the plan is simple- start from one end and walk to the other (set aside a whole day).
For the shopper with a purpose as well as those who’ve conned their partners into taking a cultural walk(but with ulterior motives),there really is no constructive strategy to tackling the souk.just close your eyes,point your finger and turn around in a circle five times to come to your starting point!
Gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, opals and amethysts line the windows in decorative display, and pearls are extremely cheap compared to western prices.
A wonderfully different experience,the spice Souk has narrow streets and an aroma so unique, it’s like walking into another era. The place seems to have downsized in the past year and the rows of stalls displaying spice laden sacks are fast diminishing. Although spices are available, a Far eastern influence seems to be setting in, with integrated shops of cheep electronic goods and wholesale shoes. Perhaps the slow demise is due to more and more supermarkets suppling a wider range of spices.
Carrefour in Deira City center has a separate section with colourful spices on show. The choice is great but the experience is a secondary alternative to that of souk. The seller at the Souk are only too happay to chat endlessly ,advising you on the various spices and herbs.Although most of the stalls have more or less similer stocks, expernsive than anywhere else in the world.
The shops in Bur Dubai’s Textile Souk are a treasure trove of textile, colors,textures and weaves from the world. Shimmering threads adorn thin voile, border anglaise, satin and silk tempt and velvets jostle with peach skin. Although good drill cottons are still hard to find. Shop around as the choice is virtually unlimited and prices are negotiable.sale occur quite frequently in this area, particularly around major holidays and Dubai Shopping Festival.
The souks, or traditional markets, are one of Dubai’s greatest attractions. They are located on both sides of the Creek, with the most impressive on the Deira side. The highlight is the colourful Spice Market, which abounds with exotic aromas and bustles with locals seeking bargains. Wandering around the atmospheric souks is a good way for visitors to get in touch with how life was in Dubai, before oil was discovered.
- Deira Covered Souk Al-Sabkha Road
- Deira Old Souk or Spice Souk, 67 Street
- Deira Gold Souk, Sikkat al-Khali Street
- Perfume Souk, Sikkat al-Khali Street
- Electronics Souk, Al-Sabkha Road and Al-Maktoum Hospital Road
- Dubai Souk, Bur Dubai
Bus 5, 16, 19 or 20 (all drop off at souks in both Bur Dubai and Deira).
Daily 0700-1200 and 1700-1900