The souks in Dubai are famous the world over, and a visit to the City of Gold can never be complete without venturing into these amazing relics of yesteryear.
Dubai has a lot to offer visitors, whether they’re in search of an historical journey through time; an unforgettable desert experience, or whether you just want a taste of unimaginable luxury. Dubai has after all become synonymous with luxury and extravagance. It’s hardly surprising that many people have started calling it the City of Gold.
Nonetheless, despite all the luxury and the countless futuristic buildings, Dubai has also successfully managed to retain at least some of its historical charm. For example, visitors can head to the center of Bur Dubai, to an area called Bastakiya. From the minute they arrive, it will feel as if they’ve suddenly stepped into a different world, living in a different time zone.
Discover the Magic of the Souks in Dubai
To say that the souks in Dubai have remained unchanged of the years would be very misleading. Nonetheless, they have certainly retained their unforgettable charm. To this day, people from all around the city visit the souks where they bargain and haggle for the best possible prices.
In years gone by, traders would moor their dhows at the many ports that once lined Dubai Creek, and their wares would be offloaded and sold in the nearby souks. If you would like to compare the souks of the past with those which you’ll see today, a short visit to Al Fahidi Fort and Dubai Museum is all that is required.
Gold Souk – One of the Most Famous Souks
Located in the heart of Dubai’s Deira District, the gold souk is a sight to behold, and one which not many visitors can ever forget. It is the most famous of all the souks in Dubai, and home to around 300 traders which include many of the well established brand names, along with smaller family run businesses. At any given time, there is an estimated 10 tons of gold jewelry on display.
The gold trade is worth several billion US dollars annually, and despite the state of the world’s economy, the gold souk is as busy now as it has ever been. Interestingly enough, Indians account for nearly 70% of Dubai’s gold trade.
A Visit to the Unforgettable Spice Souk
The spice souk is a far cry from the opulence you’ll come face to face with at the gold souk, but it’s certainly got tons more charm. Thousands of locals flock to the souks in Dubai every day to stock up on spices of every description, while visitors flock to the souk to soak up the fascinating atmosphere.
Whichever way you turn, there are people bargaining and haggling for the best possible prices, while bags full of spices spill out on to the floor. Haggling is always done in a friendly manner, and it’s simply a part of daily life when you visit the souks in Dubai.
Many tourists also stock up on spices while they’re there since many of the spices are virtually unheard of in their own countries. Even if you don’t like haggling, you’ll still be expected to try and get a bargain, and you’ll almost certainly end up leaving with a smile on your face, and yet another good memory.
How About Fish; Vegetables, and Even Textiles?
Of all the souks in Dubai, the fish souk or fish market is best visited early in the day when it’s at its liveliest. If you’re expecting to see something along the same lines as a typical fish market in your home country, you’ll be in for a big surprise. The assortment and variety of fish available at the fish souks in Dubai is quite simply mind boggling.
Even if you don’t intend buying any fish, the souk is definitely still worth a visit. It’s a great place to take pictures, and even a better place to stroll around observing how the locals go about their daily activities. In short, it offers you a taste of the real “street level” Dubai.
The vegetable market and the infamous textile souk are also great for photo opportunities and to experience the chaotic buzz of haggling vendors and buyers. Like most of the souks in Dubai, the textile souk is likewise highly recommended for anyone who simply wants to do some fun shopping outside of the city’s luxurious shopping malls.
To get a real taste of the souks in Dubai, and to explore many of the other awe-inspiring marvels of this spectacular city, please visit our Egypt and Dubai Tours to secure the deal of a lifetime, and a holiday you’ll never forget.