Dubai is a city of uncommon encounters. The modern skyline is sleek and modern standing out against the traditional structures along the Dubai Creek. The extravagant metropolis is enclosed by the azure of the Arab Gulf and the golden desert dunes. Another interesting thing about Dubai is the shopping culture with its luxurious malls and grand shopping arcades. But truth be told, the so called ‘Shopping Capital of the Middle East’ has become this popular because of Dubai Souk.
Souks are bustling traditional Arabic markets that sell practically everything from glittering jewelry, exotic spices, perfumes, colorful fabrics, food, handicrafts, and carpets. Today, the thriving Dubai souqs are located in the neighborhoods along the Dubai Creek. Here, the streets are swarmed with goods and merchandise as the city’s lavish air is drowned by footsteps and the voices of insistent vendors and vehement buyers.
The Textile Souk is located in Bur Dubai. This souk is frequented for its huge assortment of textile offerings. The Textile Souk carries fabrics of every imaginable shade and pattern. Customers can even ask vendors to find someone who can sew the cloth and deliver the dress to their hotels.
The Spice Souk, on the other hand, is located in Deira. It consists of long narrow streets that welcome visitors with the overwhelming aroma of exotic spices. This souk sells herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, and curry. Most spice merchants will be glad to help their clients with mixing aromatic spices which are useful for flavoring food, as well as for medicinal purposes.
Dubai is also reputed as the City of Gold, and by looking at the dusty streets of the Gold Souk in Deira, one could easily understand why. The Gold Souk is practically a paradise of glittering gold. Unlike in other countries, gold in Dubai is priced according to weight. This and the tax-free policies in the modern emirate make Dubai gold souk prices the lowest in the world. The Gold Souk is the most popular market in Dubai, and the one that should never be left out. Apart from gold, it also sells precious stones and exquisitely designed pieces of jewelry that are much more affordable in Dubai compared to purchasing it in other countries.
Adventurous shoppers will most definitely like these traditional markets. Apart from having to find their way through crammed streets and alleys, customers are also allowed to haggle as low as they can. Haggling is a tradition in these market villages. In fact, vendors even anticipate it. The only thing one must remember when haggling is never to walk away after a price has already been agreed upon by both parties. This is considered bad etiquette.
Because of the weather, souks usually open early in the morning and will be closed by noon. They reopen at in the evening, when the weather starts to cool down. Most souks remain open until 9pm. The best time to go shopping in a Dubai Souk is either early in the morning or during the night.