Which are the best souks in Dubai?

Souk or also spelled as souq means in the Arabic market. Markets in Dubai and in the Middle East are very traditional and different from other markets worldwide. They usually consist of ales with little shops where people sell their goods, from gold, spices, textile, souvenirs, handbags, watches, perfumes, and many more.

When you are visiting souks in the Middle East, you should be ready to haggle in order to get the best price. If they don’t have fixed prices of course. Not only that, but the sellers expect you to bargain, as this is traditional Arabian culture and keeps the social interaction.

When you have seen all the glamorous about the new Dubai and visited shiny clean shopping malls, clubs, and sights, it is time to see the old part of Dubai. Deira is a more traditional, not glamorous part of Dubai where you can find most of the souks. So would you like to know which are the best souks in Dubai? Let’s explore.

 

Types of souks in Dubai

There are two types of souks in Dubai.

Traditional Dubai souks – are located in the Deira district, which is close to Dubai harbor and this takes us back in time, where the trading of goods was concentrated. Now there are ships from Africa and India anchored when coming with the goods.

Modern Dubai souks – can be found in the new Dubai close to tourists’ point of view. These souks remind shopping malls, they are clean and shiny and the prices are fixed.

So let’s first see the Traditional ones.

 

Dubai Gold Souk

1. Dubai Gold Souk

Dubai Gold Souk is probably the one you should visit. At the entrance, you can see a big wooden gate that leads you to the covered walkways with about 300 shops that sell shiny gold, diamonds, silver, platinum, and other precious stones. You can find there necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings in all kinds of forms and shapes that you can’t even imagine.

Whether you are planning to buy something or not, window shopping is an amazing experience as you can see the grandest heavy gold pieces of jewelry that are normally seen only in museums.

When buying gold in Dubai Gold souk you can be sure it is genuine gold as it is regulated by the government of the UAE so the products sold here are guaranteeing authenticity and purity of gold.

Before going to buy any gold jewelry here, check the market prices of the gold on that day as the price of the gold is changing. Also, compare prices in different shops.

Where is Dubai Gold Souk located:

It is located at Al Khor Street, Deira. You can access it by taxi or take a metro to Al Ras metro station, from where you walk for 10 minutes to the souk.

Opening hours:

Dubai Gold Souk opens from 10 am until 10 pm, except Friday when it opens at 4 pm. To experience the traditional Arabic culture, it is better to come in the afternoon when the markets are more crowdy.

 

2. Dubai Perfume Souk

Dubai Perfume Souk can be found close to the Dubai Gold Souk, however, it is a little bit different. It is more like a long street with shops.

Arabic perfumes are normally stronger than western ones. The scents are mostly spicy and woody. I’m personally in love with Arabic types of perfumes, but not everybody likes them.

Arabic perfumes don’t consist of alcohol and are oil-based. Some of them can be sprayed directly on clothes or skin, and some of them apply drops of oil on your skin. You can choose from ready perfumes or you can make your own based on your preferences and skin type with help of an experienced retailer.

Other types of Arabian perfumes need to be burned and used as incense to perfume your home and also clothes and hair.

Where is Dubai Perfume Souk located:

It is located east of Gold Souk on Sikkat Al Khait Road, Deira. You can get there by taxi or take a metro to Al Ras metro station and walk to Sikka Al Khait Road.

Opening hours:

From 10 am to 10 pm, except Fridays it is open at 4 pm.

 

Dubai Spice Souk

3. Dubai Spice Souk

Dubai Spice Souk is an amazing experience of colors and aromas. Whether you love to cook and use spices in your kitchen or you would like to know and learn about some spices, you will definitely get it here. So many different kinds of spices from countries like India, Turkey, Iran, and Africa. You can get here saffron one of the most expensive spices. Except for spices you can buy different herbs, teas, dates, dry fruits, and nuts here.

Where is Dubai Spice Souk located:

It is also located in Deira and you can reach it by taxi or take a metro to Al Ras metro station. Alternatively, you can take Abra, which is a small boat like a ferry to transport people across Dubai Creek.

Opening hours:

From 10 am to 10 pm, except Fridays it is open at 4 pm.

 

4. Grand Souk Deira

Grand Souk Deira is located right next to Spice Souk with a huge wooden entrance. It is a big souk with a wide range of goods mainly household, souvenirs, ceramic art, traditional Arab shoes and clothes, Persian rugs, and toys.

Where is Grand Souk Deira located:

You can find it between the Gold and Spice Souk accessible by taxi or Al Ras metro station

Opening hours:

From 10 am to 10 pm, except Fridays it is open at 4 pm.

 

5. Textile Souk

The Textile souk bursts in colors with textiles and prints wherever you look. You can get different fabrics like cotton, silk, satin, cashmere, and more. Except for fabric you can get the traditional clothes abaya and kandura, as a souvenir you can buy caftans, scarfs, embroidered lady slippers, and dresses.

Where is Grand Souk Deira located:

The textile souk is located on the other side of the creek in Bur Dubai and you can get there from Deira by Abra. Other ways are by taxi, Big Bus or metro stations Al Fahidi or Al Ghubaiba.

Opening hours:

From 10 am to 10 pm, except Fridays it is open at 4 pm.

Some other old souks are Al Karama Souk and Naif Souk. Al Karama Souk is selling a lot of different things, mostly copies of branded handbags, suitcases, watches, sunglasses, and others. I didn’t really like this souk, it is like small shops next to each other. However, someone may like to get some cheap things there.

Naif Souk is the oldest souk in Dubai which started in the past as a market to sell camels. Due to an accident in 2008, part of the souk burned down and it lost its traditional charm. Now you can get handbags, clothes, jewelry, souvenirs, and other things there.

So these were the old souks. Let’s have a look at the modern souks that are located in the new glamorous part of Dubai.

 

Souk Madinat Jumeirah

1. Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a mixture of Arabic tradition, modernity, and luxury. Stony clean floors on narrow alleyways with glass Arabic-style lamps and fixed prices bring a relaxing experience to the market. You can buy many different souvenirs at this market, for example, Persian carpets, miniature Alladin lamps, kaftans, colorful textiles, jewelry, coffee pots, and other products.

The best thing about this souk is the complex outdoor area. There are several cafes and restaurants designed in the Arabic style surrounded by twisting waterways embellish by small cute bridges. From here you can go for the traditional Abra tour. While enjoying your food, drink, or coffee you have a stunning view of Burj Al Arab which is located close by.

Where is Souk Madinat Jumeirah located:

Souk Madinat Jumeirah is along Al Surfouh Road, close to Mall of the Emirates. If you don’t have a car, you can take a taxi from the Mall of the Emirates.

Opening hours:

From 10 am to 11 pm daily.

 

View of Souk Al Bahar, Dubai

2. Souk Al Bahar

Souk Al Bahar is the second modern souk in Dubai. Even though it has some Arabian style, it reminds more of a shopping mall than a souk. Souk Al Bahar sells high-end jewelry, clothes, perfumes, and souvenirs.

There are beautifully designed restaurants and cafes around that will bring you beautiful views of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain.

Where is Souk Al Bahar located:

Souk Al Bahar is very easily accessible as it is right opposite Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. So if you are already in downtown, you can just cross the small bridge from the Dubai Mall and you are there.

Opening hours:

From 10 am to 1 am daily.

 

Conclusion

Now you have more information about which are the best souks in Dubai. Are you planning to visit any of them? I really recommend visiting at least one traditional and one modern souk while visiting Dubai. Whether you want to buy something or just to look around. However, if you going to shop, don’t forget to check the VAT refund for gifts and souvenirs with the shop.

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