Dubai City Information Site

The Dubai Souks

Gold, Spices, Carpets, Textiles, Food & More





Hi, Kish here to talk about the Dubai souks.

The word ‘souk’ means market in Arabic and the Dubai souks consist of a variety of them: gold, spices, carpets, textiles, food and so much more.

But when we consider the term souk with Dubai in conjunction, all that we seem to think about are the gold souks.

Given that gold is popular, it is a pity that most of the tourists who come to this city do not seem to see much beyond the glitter of the yellow metal.

Most of the souks are located in the Deira district and as you walk down to the gold souks, you are bound to come upon the spice souk.

Basically souks are a traditional open air market at least that is what the gold souk used to be before it became ultra- commercialized.

So if you are on the look out for traditional Arabic markets, you will need to go to the other souks beyond just the gold souk.

The best place for you to start your journey from would be the spice souk. This is one place that is bound to stock up on any spice from any corner of the world.

The spice souk sells cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, incense amongst many others and you are bound to come across sacks of dried fruits as well as nuts in this market. This is one market that does not believe in ‘little does it’! You should be able to come across basmati rice as well as pickled lemons here.

Dubai Spice Souk
Personally I thought the selection of pickled lemons to sell in the spice market is a little strange. As you walk further down, you should be able to find the Dubai perfume souk with your nose.

It is located in the same area as the other souks are. You should be able to get anything from the latest designer perfumes to the Arabic attars here.

The Arabic perfumes are a bit spicy and not mild like the western perfumes, so it would be advisable to check out the ‘flavor’ before you purchase it.

You can also purchase incense here. As you walk down the whole length of the souk alley in Deira, you will come across the carpet souk as well as some of the ‘general’ souks.

The finely woven carpets at these carpet souks come in a variety of designs and sizes; with an intricate weave costing more. Keep in mind, that when it comes to souks, you are expected to negotiate with the merchants. So be sure to make a counter bid at half the initial asking price and you should be able to get a good bargain.

Inside a Dubai Souk


Remember that haggling takes a bit of time and that is how it is supposed to be. It’s an art in itself. Then there is the food souk with the fish souk being located right next to the vegetable market. You should be able to find the King Fish, Red Snapper, Rock Cod and Barracuda amongst the catch when it arrives in the early morning or late night.

Dubai souks provide the traditional atmosphere which many of the tourists appreciate. It is a pity that as most of these shops get modernized the traditional look seems to be disappearing altogether. I have noticed the change myself as I was growing up in Dubai. They have really changed slowly over the years.

The full Dubai experience is never complete without the ‘souk’ visit. This is how you will be able to get an idea of the old Dubai. Can you imagine yourself standing in the midst of the various vendors hawking their wares? All that chaos reigning there and the shouts and screams as the buyers purchase the produce? Well, that is the very essence of what the traditional Dubai market is all about, a rarity these days with all the big and beautiful shopping malls in Dubai.





See what a souk (market) in Dubai looks like


Go from Dubai Souks back to Shopping in Dubai

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