You’ve seen the glittering malls of Dubai and had a taste of the city’s luxury shopping experience. But it’s time to step back from the glitz and glamour – and take a look at where it all began: the souks in Dubai.
Souks have always been an important part of Arabic life, offering a unique glimpse into the country’s culture and history. Souks in Dubai are a fascinating slice of history well preserved, chockfull of culture and traditions. These humble souks in the bustling heart of old Dubai are where you might get your hands on a rare find and for an unbeatable price too. Read on to be transported through time as we explore some of the vibrant, colourful and best souks in Dubai.
Your Guide to The Traditional Souks in Dubai
Here is a list of the best Dubai Souks that guarentee an authentic and traditional shopping experience.
Dubai Gold Souk
You’ll want to start with the iconic Dubai Gold Souk, nestled in the heart of Deira. Whether you’re looking to purchase some of the exquisite jewellery or not, a visit to this is the best souk in Dubai. You’ll find rows upon rows of stunning jewellery and gemstones on display here at one of Dubai’s oldest and most famous souks. The dazzling array of jewellery here is crafted in a variety of karats and with influences from around the world. It’s the perfect memento to take from Dubai. But be sure to haggle for the best price – the shopkeepers expect you to!
Dubai Gold Souk Location: 54 Al Khor Street, Deira
Spice Souk Dubai
The buzzing and vibrant Spice Souk should be your next stop. Neigbouring the Gold Souk, the Spice Souk Dubai is another of the must-visit old souks in Dubai. You’ll be in awe of colourful and aromatic mounds of spices and herbs that line the front of the stores. Bring your camera along – you’ll want to take a picture of the rainbow-coloured spices on display. Wind down the narrow passageways to also find incense, tea, dried fruits, nuts and so much more at this Dubai souk. It’s a chef’s delight – and the perfect way to add some Arabian flavour to your life.
Dubai Spice Souk Location: 26 34 Street, Deira
Perfume Souk Dubai
As you make your way up from the Spice Souk, follow the sweet scents to the Deira Perfume Souk on Sikkat Al Khali Street. This is another old souk in Dubai where you can buy yourself incense sticks, essential oils, traditional Ittars or the latest perfume. You even have the option of buying wholesale sized quantities or a small amount in intricate, cut-glass vials that are mementos themselves. The best part? You can even create your own fragrance here – assisted by perfumers behind the counter – to take home with you. And as always, haggling is a given in these traditional markets in Dubai.
Location: Sikkat al Khali Street, Deira
Want to experience that vibrant energy that pulses through Dubai? Visit Naif Souk in Deira during the evenings – when vendors will line up outside their stores and shout their wares to you. But did you know that back in the day, this area actually served as a camel marketplace? However, today, you can find just about everything in this iconic Dubai souk, from souvenirs, leather goods, electronics, and textiles. Bargain hunters will be delighted by the unbeatable prices offered here – and will definitely find an impressive find to take back with them. You can also nab a gorgeous abaya, the traditional over-garment worn by local women, for yourself.
Location: Naif Street, near Naif Police Station, Deira
Textile Souk Dubai
Once you’re done with the souks in Deira, cross the Dubai Creek with an Abra ride to the Dubai Textile Souk. Trust us, the Abra is the best way to get a glimpse of old Dubai. In these unassuming line of stone buildings under wooden roofs, you’ll find some of the richest and most vivid fabrics you’ve seen. Fashionistas will love this traditional souk in Dubai with a massive variety of silks, prints and other fabrics on offer here. Take your time to look around the Dubai Textile Souk – there are hidden gems to be found here that you will prize. Afterward, check out the accessories on sale; you’ll find buttons, sequins, laces, and stones to jazz up your outfit.
Textile Souk Dubai Location: 57 Ali Bin Abi Talib St, Bur Dubai
Khan Murjan Souk Dubai
Inspired by the infamous underground souk in Baghdad, this souk in Wafi Mall is a splendid feast for the eyes. The themed décor and intricate architecture evoke the authentic setting of a fourteenth-century souk. The souk draws on influences from various corners of the Arab world – and is crowned with one of the world’s largest stained-glass window that spans the ceiling. This mesmerising creation was made using different types of glass, all handpicked from mosques and temples in the Islamic World. It’s worth a visit to see the ceiling alone but you can also browse the stores and purchase rich carpets, exquisite garments, and works of Islamic art.
Location: Wafi Mall, Dubai
Souk Al Bahar
A gorgeous blend of old and new, Souk Al Bahar is for those who want to experience the souk but with the comforts of luxury. Just across from Dubai Mall and connected by a footbridge, Souk Al Bahar is Dubai’s modern Arabian souk. Take back a piece of Dubai with traditional wares like carpets and handicrafts or treat yourself to intricate jewellery and enticing perfumes. But the real highlight of this Dubai souk are the extraordinary views of Burj Khalifa. Pro tip: book yourself an outdoor table for dinner at any of the restaurants in the souk that face the Burj Khalifa. You’ll have the perfect vantage point for the famous light shows at the Dubai Fountain – and can drink in the jaw-dropping views of the tallest tower in the world.
Location: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai
The Gold Souk, Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall takes shopping at The Gold Souk to another (stylish) level. Spoil yourself or a loved one with over 40 boutiques offering fabulous pieces of jewellery, precious metals, and glimmering gemstones. This souk in Dubai promises a luxury shopping experience like no other. Situated in the heart of Dubai Mall, this souk features a traditional theme and detailing that traces the journey of Arabian merchants who crossed vast deserts to trade gold. How to know when you’ve arrived in this magnificent souk? Look out for the three life-sized bronze camel sculptures sitting under a starlit sky at the north entrance!
Location: Dubai Mall, Financial Centre St., Downtown Dubai
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
High-end shopping in the traditional souk setting? Head down to Souk Madinat Jumeirah, built to recreate the authentic souk setting and set in a larger resort. Stroll down wood-framed walkways and open courtyards to browse stores that feature luxury brands, galleries, and unique souvenirs. The Souk Madinat Jumeirah also boasts an array of dining options and hosts breath-taking shows at its performing arts venue. It goes without saying that this is one of the best souks in Dubai for tourists.
Location: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, Jumeirah
Have you been to any of the beautiful souks in Dubai? Let us know about your experience below! If you’re looking for more shopping experiences, you’ll be interested in knowing the 10 best malls in Dubai. For those stopping in Dubai for a quick break, take a look at the best things to do in Dubai in a day. Fallen in love with Dubai? Find out which are the best areas for property investment in 2018.
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