A unique feature of all Middle Eastern countries is their traditional market or Souks. Whichever Middle Eastern country you visit, whether it is in Asia or Africa, you are sure to come across Souks. Souks can be set up outdoor or indoor and usually trade on a range of products from textiles, to spices and in some cases gold.
A vacation to Dubai is incomplete without a visit to at least one of the traditional souks. Here are few of the famous souks in Dubai
- Dubai Gold Souk: This is one of the must visit souks of Dubai and is a part of most of the major sightseeing tours of Dubai. This souk is located in Old Dubai at Deira and houses a range of local and international jewelry shops. The shops in this souk sell a whole range of jewelry from Arabic to Indian and Turkish designs thus catering to the taste of one and all. In addition to gold, you can also find silver, platinum and diamond jewelry in this souk. Since the government regulates the price and quality of the metals sold here, you are assured of value for money investment.
- Spice Souk: This souk has small shops selling a whole range of spices from cinnamon to turmeric and dried flowers which are used in Arabic tea. What makes this souk unique is the pungent smell wafting from the spices. The souk has narrow alleys and taking a stroll through the streets is a pleasurable experience.
- Textile Souk: Located in Bur Dubai, this souk has shops selling a whole range of fabrics from silk, cotton and embroidered fabric. Special sequenced fabric ideal for stitching Arabic dresses are also common in this souk. You can buy beautifully printed skirts, palazzos and shawls from this souk at very cheap rate.
- Deira Perfume souk: Located next to the Gold Souk, the perfume souk has shops selling Arabic perfumes like Oudh. If you find the smell of local perfume to be too strong, you can mix and create a fragrance of your own. In addition to perfume, you can also buy incense sticks and frankincense from the shops.
- Bur Dubai Souk: This souk has a large number of shops selling souvenirs, textiles, footwear and other craft items. Bargaining is the norm in this souk and you can buy products at very cheap rate.
- Souk Al Bahar: If typical Arabic souk is not your preferred holiday destination, then head straight to Souk Al Bahar where you can experience souk in a more stylish way. This souk is located inside the Dubai Mall and has shops selling antiques, carpets and other lifestyle products. This souk even has restaurants offering international cuisine.
Though the souks are typical Arabic marketplace, most of the shops in this market are owned by Asians. They are well versed in English, Arabic and Hindi and few can even manage other foreign languages. Thus, shopping in this marketplace is never a tiresome or boring experience.