Famous Souks in Dubai A Reflection of Arabic tradition

The traditional Arabian markets known as souks forms an essential part of Dubai attraction. The traditionalistic air of these places forms the essence of the Arabic trading style of the bygone era. Wandering through these souks is essential to understand the earthiness of the city amidst its ultra modern setup and sky high architectures.

The traditional souks in Dubai are not the ones with air conditioned showrooms with salesman dressed in uniforms ready to lure you with so called masterpieces. These souks are always bustling with small stall type shops in the narrow streets selling the best of products at prices determined by a mutual negotiation. There’s certain truthfulness about these souks in Dubai that’s infectious.
Here’s a list of the top six Dubai souks you must visit while in the city.

Gold Souk
Gold Souk in Dubai
The traditional gold souk in Dubai is one of the most famous markets for gold in the world. It is also arguably the best known of the souks in Dubai and is a reason for many visitors to visit this beautiful city. The shiny trinkets lure the gold traders, glitter shoppers and even the non- shoppers. It’s interesting to see how one of the most treasured metals on earth is available in almost every possible design and budget in these small shops.
The authorities in Dubai keep a sharp eye to ensure the gold bought and sold here are of top quality. The covered walkways lined with jewellery shops selling precious stone jewellery and gold in different colors of pink, white, green etc offers you an indulgence like no other.
Location: Diera. Nearest metro station Al Ras, Palm Diera
Timings: Saturday to Thursday- 10am to 10pm; Friday- 4pm to 10pm

  • Gold is available in denominations of 24, 22, 21 and 18K gold per gram
  • Bargain on the workmanship prices. They can be bargained to as high as up to 30%
  • While they accept cards, better bargains can be done if you offer cash transactions

Spice Souk
Spice Souk in Dubai
Once you are out of the gold souk, all you have to do is follow your nose and you’ll reach the zesty Spice Souk. While it has exotic spice collection brought from almost all over the world, the spice souk is a treasure of mainly Asian spices. A regular spot for top chefs, expats, home cooks and food lovers, the spice souk is the best place to get high quality saffron, A- grade dates, dry fruits and nuts too.
Location: D-85, Diera, Near Gold Souk
Timings: Saturday to Thursday- 10am to 10pm; Friday- 4pm to 10pm

  • Ask for samples before buying anything
  • It’s hard to find toilets here, so make sure you go to restroom beforehand.

Perfume Souk
Perfume Souk Dubai
Whether or not you are into buying too many perfumes, the mesmerizing fragrances oozing from the Perfume souk is sure to bring you here. Just up the road from Spice and gold souk, is the perfume souk housing innumerable variety of exotic fragrances, rarely found anywhere else. From incense sticks, to essential oils, pure perfumes and traditional Oud; Perfume souk has everything that pleases your smell sense.
Location: Sikkat Al Khali, Diera
Timings: Saturday to Thursday- 10am to 10pm; Friday- 4pm to 10pm
Tip: Don’t forget to ask the seller to create your own scent. He will guide you in creating scents using your favorite fragrances.

Textile Souk
Textile Souk dubai
While on your traditional expedition, catch a conventional ‘abra’ taxi and reach the other end of Dubai- Bur Dubai where the textile souks awaits you. Form fine silks, to comfortable cottons, and heavy brocades; the Textile souk is your place to be for abaya, kandora, shawls and tailor made garments suiting the likes of both men and women.
Location: Bur Dubai. Nearest metro station- Al Ghubaiba
Timings: Saturday to Thursday- 10am to 10pm; Friday- 4pm to 10pm
Tip: Don’t forget to buy some Arabic style shoes, of course after bargaining the prices.

Souk Madinat
Souk Madinat Dubai
A perfect place to satisfy your hunger pangs along with some great souvenir shopping experience, Souk Madinat boasts of interesting artworks, sculptures and fashion jewellery. The dining options are wide and includes a lot of variety of cuisines including Lebanese, traditional Arabic, European and more. It has some great roadside cafes for travelers interested in people watching and some amazing fine dining options too. The souk is too beautiful and authentic to be called a recreation of the traditional souks style in the bygone era.
Location: Jumeirah Road
Timings: 24 hours Souk shops are operational mainly between 10am till midnight
Tip: Most of the restaurants here are licensed to serve alcohol so don’t hesitate to ask.

Souk Al Bahar
Souk Al Bahar in Dubai
Well, it isn’t your traditional Arab marketplace, but Souk Al Bahar is every bit a great souk to visit. Offering an amazing shopping experience, Souk Al Bahar houses Valentino and Chanel boutiques and a range of high end shops. A great stock of fragrances, jewellery, lagoons, and brass lamps give Souk Al Bahar an exquisite look. The souk specializes in postcards souvenirs, t-shirts with logos of Dubai tourism, and stuffed toys in shapes of Sheikhs. The interiors of the market are as admirable as the products in it.
Location: Downtown Dubai, Near Dubai Mall
Timings: Saturday to Thursday- 10am to 10pm; Friday- 4pm to 10pm
Tip: Haggling is not entertained; however you can find many discounted stuff here.

Colossal complexes with eccentric varieties of intriguing products and a bustling atmosphere, is the best way to describe these best souks of Dubai. The atmosphere here is unlike anywhere in the world which makes them a must visit. Move a little ahead of Dubai and you can find a specialized Camel souk in Al Ain, Carpet souk in Abu Dhabi, the Central souk in Sharjah. These are just some of the great experiences you can enjoy in the various amazing souks across UAE.


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