Guide Location: United Arab Emirates » Dubai
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Image Courtesy of Flickr and octal
Dubai has, in the last few years, grown up with a lot of modern and very beautiful structures and modern innovations. Still, the 5000 years of history and culture lay open to tourists in Dubai some amazing opportunities for exclusive shopping. Take the walk below to see some of the interesting specialty shops in Dubai.
Tour Stops and Attractions
1) Deira Gold SoukIf you want to take a present home from your visit to Dubai, or if you would like to treat yourself, go to the Deira Gold Souk on Khalid Bin Waleed Road.
The souk is a traditional market with over 300 merchants who sell gold, platinum, diamonds, emeralds and rubies. All of these are the genuine article, so you don’t need to be worried about being ripped off, as you could well be by the street sellers outside the market.
As you go through the huge double wooden gates at the entrance, it really is like finding yourself in Ali-Baba’s cavern! You will see one of the best and most extensive ranges of gold and jewelry in the world.
Each shop has a different display in its window and a master craftsman in each shop is on hand to personalize any item you wish to buy. You will find traditional or modern jewelry in green, red, pink, white or yellow gold, in platinum and occasionally in silver.
There are no price tags attached to the items and if you ask the price, it will seem expensive, but haggling is expected and you can bring the price down by half if you are good at bartering. Even if you are new at the game, just remember to keep a poker face and don’t worry about pretending to give up and turning away. If you don’t get what you want in one shop, you’ll find it in another and the merchants know this, so it’s a good ruse to bring the prices down.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Imre Solt
2) Perfume SoukPerfume Souk is a cluster of perfume shops on Sikkat Al Khail Road, to the east of the Gold Souk. Here you can find virtually any imaginable aroma, from the latest creations to the traditional Arabic attars, fragrant wood, incense burners, etc. The whole area is so intensely fragrant and spicy, just as a true oriental scent should be, so there's no chance you can miss it.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and drapetomania
3) Spice SoukDubai is a fantastic mixture of futuristic buildings and traditional areas, one of which is the Spice Souk on Sikkat Al Khail Road in the Deira district.
The souk is the largest and oldest in Dubai and consists of an open and roofed market with narrow cobblestone lanes, where you will find all the spices you know and a lot you will have never heard of. The smoky, spicy odors, the noise of the merchants and customers and the bright colours will give you the feeling of stepping back in time. When you buy your spices, they aren’t packed in plastic bags, but in hessian pouches to keep them fresh for longer.
Spices aren’t the only things you will find in the wonderful souk. Many stalls sell fine leather goods: shoes, bags and belts. Other stalls offer cheap electronic goods, mostly from India and you can find beautifully decorated Hookah’s (water-pipes) and Shisha (tobacco) in different fragrances. Even if you are a non-smoker, these water-pipes make a lovely decoration item.
The best time to visit the souk is in the early evening when it’s cooler, because although the shops are air-conditioned, the lanes aren’t. Many stands offer refreshing mint tea or fresh fruit juice. The spices aren’t very expensive – even the Saffron is reasonably priced, but you really should haggle with the merchant – it’s expected and it’s also part of the fun!
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Imre Solt
4) Bani Yas SquareBani Yas Square is another hot spot for shopping in Dubai. The market and the Deira Tower nearby are filled with amazing local art works, textile products, carpets and rugs. Here you can also find electronics, glassware and other goods. It is the perfect place to bargain for some quality things at a good price. The area is very beautiful, with the modern Deira Tower surrounded by more traditional structures.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Dehua Carpet
5) Gift VillageGift Village is located near the Reef mall in Deira, Dubai. It is an amazing place where can be found all kinds of gifts, for all occasions and for any taste. The range of goods sold within is impressive and the prices are reasonable. The shop is also very well organized, with a helpful and knowledgeable staff.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and PhareannaH[berhabuk]
Out of the Ordinary Trips in United Arab Emirates