Get the authentic shopping experience with this guide to Dubai’s Souks

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What’s On reviews Dubai Souks and creates a guide to textile souk, spice souk, Deira Fish Market, perfume souk and gold souk, including opening times.


TEXTILE SOUK

Why? Those who love fashion will adore the vast amount of fabrics on offer from different cultures. It’s teeming with tailors who can whip up an outfit in a few days. Traders are keen to get you into their stores so don’t be surprised to suddenly find a pashmina around your shoulder. The of narrow lanes mean it can get uncomfortably hot and stuffy, so visiting at night is preferable. This souk is more conservative than others so women are advised to cover shoulders and legs.
TOP TIP: Keep an eye out for the architecture of the souk as many of the original features still exist.
When: Sat to Thur 10am to 1pm and 5pm to 10pm, Fri 5pm to 10pm.

Sikkat Al Khail Street, Deira, Dubai. Metro: Al Fahidi

 

Textile souk Textile souk


SPICE SOUK

Why? You’ll smell the Spice Souk before you see it, thanks to the aromas from all over the world. Expensive spices such as saffron can be purchased in bulk for a fraction of the usual price. Keep an open mind and let the traders educate you on the lesser-known spices from India, Iran and Pakistan.
TOP TIP:Get there mid-morning and it’ll be busy, but more bearable than the evenings.
When: Sat to Thurs 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 10pm, Fri 4pm to 10pm.

Beside the Gold Souk, Deira, Dubai. Metro: Al Ras

Spice souk Spice souk


DEIRA FISH MARKET

Why? The Fish Market is the best place in Dubai to get your hands on the freshest and cheapest morsels from the sea. We should warn you, its not for the fainthearted due to the not-so-fragrant air, but we can guarantee you’ll walk away with better offerings than that found in the supermarket. Given its location is right beside the creek, you’ll likely see some squeamish sights as a lot of the produce has just been caught. The market also boasts a huge fruit and veg section that is worth a visit in itself.
TOP TIP:Arrive early before temperatures rise and the smell becomes unbearable.
When: Daily 5am to 1pm and 5pm to 11pm.

Corniche Road, Deira, Dubai. Metro: Palm Deira Metro Station.

Deira Fish Market Deira Fish Market


PERFUME SOUK

Why? This is your port of call for truly authentic Arabic scents, very different from the commercial scents you are probably used to. Venture into one of the many shops and you’ll find experts to help you find a scent that’s right for you.
TOP TIP:The perfume bottles are a work of art and can be purchased as gifts.
When: Sat to Thur 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 10pm.

Sikkat Al Khail Street, Deira, Dubai. Metro: Al Fahidi

Perfume souk Perfume souk


GOLD SOUK

Why? Window after window of more gold than was found in Aladdin’s Cave, with prices determined on weight. Don’t be afraid to do some haggling. The souk really comes alive at night, and even if you aren’t in the market to make a purchase, watching the haggling is entertainment in itself. Services such as engraving are available, and it’s not unheard of to spot a celebrity browsing for a bargain.
TOP TIP: Although the prices are low, there’s plenty of competition, especially in the smaller shops.
When: Sat to Thur 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 10pm, Fri 4pm to 10pm.

Sikkat Al Khail Street, Deira, Dubai. Metro: Al Ras

Gold souk Gold souk