Souks In and Around Dubai That Will Fulfil All Your Shopping Needs
Dubai is like a treasure chest when it comes to buying precious metals, spices, dry fruits, perfumes and other interesting things. The best place to get your hands on these goods in the city are the souks. So what are these so-called souks in Dubai, you may wonder? Souks are Arab market or marketplace, a bazaar to be specific. They are spread all over the city. While glitzy jewellery and lustrous gold bars would attract you to the Gold Souk, soothing aromas of scents would guide you towards Perfume Souk. Let's look deeper into what Dubai's fascinating souks have got to offer.
1. Gold Souk
Arguably the best place to purchase gold, Dubai's Gold Souk is a place where all that glitters is gold! The beautiful jewellery on display would surely mesmerise you and convince you to make a purchase. There are hundreds of shops and vendors next to each other on the street selling premium quality gold. 18K, 20K, 21K, 22K, 24K are available as per requirement and are sold at the current market rate mentioned outside the stores. Shopkeepers tend to raise the price when they see a tourist so bargain all you can. While the gold would be sold on the market price, you'll be able to haggle on the working charges. Keep in mind to not purchase from the vendors as they don't follow all the legalities in selling goods. Even if you are not interested in buying gold, this Gold Souk in Dubai is a major tourist attraction to experience the liveliness of a gold market.
Location: Deira, Near Al Ras Metro Station Timings: Open all days: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Some shops are closed for lunch breaks between 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Make sure you give them a call before visiting) Timings on Friday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
2. Perfume Souk
Scents mean a lot to the Arabs and it speaks a lot about their luxurious lifestyles. Located just next to the Gold Souk at Sikkat Al Khali Street, the Perfume Souk in Dubai has scents and aromas that are enchanting enough to make you check them out, let alone buy them. The shops here have perfumes that date back to ancient Arabic civilisation to modern branded ones, covering both ends of the spectrum. While you're shopping for charismatic perfumes and Attars, you can also indulge in incense sticks, crystals, and powder. While you are at it, learn more about the materials oud and Bakhoor used in these perfumes. To top it all off, you can also get a personalised perfume created just for you, according to the type of scent you are looking for and the one which suits your skin. Prices are not fixed. Bargain all you can to get the best deals! Looking for the perfect souvenir to take back? Dubai's Perfume Souk is the place to be.
Location: Deira, Sikkat Al Khali Street, Near Al Ras Metro Station Timings: Everyday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and then 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM Timings on Friday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
3. Spice Souk
Let your nose guide you to yet another fascinating souk in the city – Spice Souk. Located beside the Gold Souk, it is an ancient market filled with exotic and homegrown spices. You'll be greeted by a rich palate of spices sourced from organic farmers and enthusiasts. Talk with the friendly vendors to know about the spice, where it originated and how you can use it to spice up your taste buds! Also, you will find several nuts, dried fruits, oils, and saffron being widely sold in the market. You can purchase the spices by weight or in packets. The vendors will surely lower the price if you buy in bulk. Not sure about love but the flavour is definitely in the air at Dubai's Spice Souk.
Location: Deira, Near Al Ras Metro Station Timings: Everyday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and then 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM Timings on Friday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
4. Textile Souk
In a mood for a wardrobe change? Head over to the city's famous textile souk in Dubai located near the Creek in Bur Dubai. Familiarise yourself with the distinctive Arabic fashion by looking overprints and feeling the premium quality silk, cotton, and other materials.Here's a fun fact, this is the oldest souk in Dubai. Try on stitched outfits prepared by local artists and designers or buy a raw fabric, the clothes here would not disappoint. Along with fabrics, there's a wide selection of stones, laces, buttons, sequins and another add ons for you to remind you of the Arabian panache.
Location: Bur Dubai, Near Bur Dubai Abra Station Timings: Everyday 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Timings on Friday: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
5. Souk Madinat
While souks all over Dubai are about local and low-cost goods; Souk Madinat combines the ancient feel of a souk with luxurious goods. Located in Jumeirah, one of the poshest areas of the city, Souk Madinat is all about narrow lanes filled with designer stores, rare art pieces, souvenirs, sculptures, and more. Relish at a 5-star restaurant, grab a drink with the iconic Burj Al Arab in the backdrop, or catch a live show at Madinat Theatre after your shopping spree to end the day perfectly.
Location: Al Sufouh Rd, Jumeirah Timings: Everyday 10:00 AM –11:00 PM
6. Meena Bazaar
Not exactly a particular souk, Meena Bazaar is a combination of souks in Dubai with the best of textiles, perfumes, jewellery available at one market at prices cheaper than high-end malls. But here's the deal, you've got to be careful when it comes to authenticity because there are a lot of stores that sell duplicate products in the name of the original. Fake leather shoes, fake designer bags, Meena Bazaar, has got it all. That being said, once you are sure about the quality, you can haggle all you can and get a pretty reasonable price for the products you purchase here. Entering Meena Bazaar would make you feel like you are back to India. You would find mostly Indian sellers and vendors who would usually prefer talking to you in Hindi over other languages.
Location: Close to Khalid Bin Waleed Street, Bur Dubai Timings: Everyday 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
7. Global Village
Wouldn't it be perfect if you could find items belonging to different cities and cultures all over the world in one place? Now you can. At Global Village Dubai, 90 countries' cultures (including their food, merchandise, forms of entertainment, and retail shops) are spread over an area of 17,200,000 sq ft. Held in the winter months of October - April, Global Village is a seasonal shopping extravaganza mainly for the tourists. So you are bound to find burger joints at the USA pavilion, Turkish kebabs at Turkey, Indian ethnic wear and delicacies at India, and so on.
Location: Unnamed Road Timings: 4:00 PM to 11:30 PM (till 12:30 AM on Thursday and Friday) Entry Ticket: AED 15 per person
8. Flea Market
If you love shopping local and second-hand goods, the flea market is just the place for you. There are over 300 stalls of clothes, ceramics, furniture, antiques, music instruments, and more. Held over 2-3 times in a month over different locations in the city, the market involves residents wanting to part ways with their goodies in return of cash. It is always best to visit the market on day 1 to get your hands on the most useful items. If you can't find anything worthwhile, just getting to know the friendly locals would be an experience you would like to take back home.
Location: Multiple locations including Ibn Battuta Mall, Zabeel Park, The Greens, Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
Souks Near Dubai
Now that we covered the various souks in Dubai, let's span out a bit, shall we? If you are into souks and you love the experience of these lively markets, you can also check out some cool souks near Dubai.
Camel Souk, in a nutshell, is rich Arabs at a camel auction. It's bizarre but super fun to witness as a tourist and gives a true feeling of the old UAE. It's a unique take on a much followed Arabic tradition of trading camels. Camels are dressed up and presented while people bid on them. There's not much to do for tourists here other than just enjoying the scene. The camels here are used in races, tourism activities, and even as pets.
Location: Al Khair, Al Ain Timings: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM Distance from Dubai: 150 km approx. (2 hours)
UAE is known for its carpets and rugs, and the Carpet Souk in Abu Dhabi is the right place to see a good collection of this Arabic speciality. They are hand made, decked with vibrant colours (some are even made purely out of gold), and are sold at a premium price due to its authenticity and quality. Rugs are sold for home decor, prayer purpose and even for gifting purpose.
Location: 437 Al Meena St, Abu Dhabi Timings: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM Distance From Dubai: 150 km approx. (2 hours)
The Central Souk is a one-stop-shop for a variety of goodies including pottery, antiques, jewellery, rugs, fabrics, perfumes, and more. First established in 1979, the place is quite famous for its oriental carpets. As the market is not visited by tourists so much, the prices here are lower than the markets in Dubai, and you can easily haggle your way to a good deal. There are a few cafes in the market where you can sit back and relax after getting tired of all the shopping.
Location: King Faisal St, Sharjah Timings: Everyday 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Timings on Friday: 5:00 PM to 10:30 PM Distance From Dubai: 25 km (30 mins)
Dubai is known for its modern infrastructures and highly advanced technology, but its roots still lie in the ancient souks in Dubai, where communities come together and burst into lively crowds. Visit Dubai's vibrant and high spirited souks to get an up-close and personal experience with the city.