Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make-up the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is known for its amazing markets and gold shopping destinations. Economically, the region has grown exponentially in the past decade to become the most innovative, modern, and progressive emirate of the seven. Having developed at an unbelievable rate of growth, especially in the tourism and trade sectors, it is more like an independent city-state. The primary allure for international travelers and tourists visiting Dubai is the shopping that is available as the region is synonymous with retail shopping.
photo by mckaysavage
Of particular interest to both locals and tourists alike are the souks or traditional Arabic marketplaces where all types of goods are both purchased and sold. The two predominant shopping areas in the region are Bur Dubai and Deira while the five most common types of souks feature fish, gold, perfumes, spices, and textiles. Here is a listing of the most popular ones in each category to explore while visiting Dubai.
Dubai’s primary fish souk is located in Deira. It is always crowded and extremely noisy so be prepared for that. Although this souk is not one of the more conventional tourist attractions, it is well worth visiting just to see the numerous varieties of fish that can be purchased there. Early morning and late evening is the best time to shop this market.
If there is one aspect of Dubai that it is famous for worldwide it is their gold souks that are located in the heart of Deira at Al Dhagaya, the commercial district. It will take more than a day to explore this market area as there are over 300 gold souks located here, most of which specialize in gold jewelry.
The perfume souks are evidence that Arabian lands have a flair for the exotic. Located on the Deira side of Dubai, you will find the best perfume souks on Sikkat Al Khail Street. Contrary to popular belief, the perfumes sold here are not flowery and light as you would expect. Instead they have an extremely strong scent that lasts a long time after the person wearing them leaves your side.
Also known as the Old Souk, the Dubai spice souk is comprised of fragrances that constantly tease the senses, meandering narrow alleys, and the shrill cries of the market vendors displaying their wares. Arab and South Asian herbs and spices are abundantly available here which attracts food lovers from around the world.
For people whose love is fabric and fashion, there is no better location for this in the area than the Dubai textile souk. The area is renowned as being the hub of Middle Eastern fabrics as it is frequented by international travelers and visitors from the entire world. It is crowded, hectic, and noisy, but there is no better venue for purchasing some of the finest fabrics found anywhere in the world.
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