19 photos that captured the essence of Deira Fish Market

The Deira Fish Market closed its doors this week after almost 60 years of existence. As we bid farewell to this Dubai institution, we wanted to share our photo essay from 2016, which captured a typical morning at the market.

The smell is the first thing that hits you as you arrive at the Deira Fish Market. The other immediate impression is just how busy it is with hopeful traders and canny restauranteurs, as well as Emiratis and old-school Dubai expats stocking up for family meals.

We visited the bustling market at 8.30am on a Thursday morning and here’s what we saw…

IN PICTURES: DEIRA FISH MARKET

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Men in official fish market shirts barter just outside the building (this was taken just before someone bought all the fish in the yellow bucket).

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These guys help you carry your fish out if you’ve bought so much produce you don’t have the strength to hold it all. They’ll also help you with the wares you buy at the neighbouring fruit and meat markets.

*MORE: A guide to all of Dubai’s souks*

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The whole market is made up of rows and rows of ice trays full of plenty of types of fish. Traders seem to hold court over two sinks each.

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A trader looks proudly over his freshly-prepared produce.

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Just some of the seafood on offer.

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A man takes a break from filleting (which he was expert at).

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Weighing the fish for sale.

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Roe and squid (the latter is particularly delicious).

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Fish market staff stand near the entrance to the seafood smorgasbord (you can see the meat market in the background).

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Weighing up a very large fish on a super-old-school scale.

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A seller spruiks a fish from Oman.

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A beautiful big piece of tuna that you can buy in steak form.

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Fish on ice.

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A fishmonger leans on his knife as he waits for customers.

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Dried fish, which is a source of a large portion of the stench in the market, stands to attention, ready for sale.

Farewell, Fish Market!

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Photos: John Marsland