If you love to shop, you will no doubt love Dubai; there are no shortage of opportunities to indulge in some retail therapy, no matter where in the city you are. Dubai is noted for being home to the world’s largest shopping mall, however if you are looking for a more traditional shopping experience then Dubai’s Souks are well worth a peruse.
'Souks' (the Arabic translation for 'market') are not just great for shopping but also for getting an insight into the local culture, past and present, not to mention the fact that there are incredible photo opportunities of vibrant spices and dried fruits piled high at every glance. You can bag yourself a bargain as haggling is all part of the Souk shopping fun and it's the perfect place to buy souvenirs for loved ones back at home.
Popular with locals and visitors alike, the aptly named Gold Souk is where people come to buy precious metals and jewellery in Dubai. The bedazzling displays include rows of gold bangles and intricate chains, not to mention the largest gold ring in the world, certified by the Guinness book of records, which looks more like it could be a belt because of the sheer size of it. The gold prices are set on its ever changing market value, with an added commission for any workmanship. The trade is regulated by the Dubai government, so buyers can rest assured that their purchases are high quality and because of the Gold Souk's reputation for its reasonable prices, it's the city's main jewellery hotspot.
Location : Sikkat al-Khali Street, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Not too far the the Gold Souk is the vibrant Spice Souk, which is filled with a precious array of goods of a different kind. The Spice Souk is a place where people can get a true taste of the Middle East, with some of the finest Arabic culinary offerings, including spices, dried fruits, rock salt and saffron, which fill the air with wonderful aromas.
Location :Sikkat Al Khail Road, Al Ras, Dubai.
The Madinat Jumeirah complex boasts its very own air conditioned souk, filled with independent vendors. Inside is a feast for the senses with vibrant colours and delicious smells. The Madinant Souk is open 7 days a week from early until late.
Location : 6 Al Sufouh Rd, Dubai.
If you are in search of a lavish fragrance to bring back from your Dubai trip, then the perfume Souk is the place to go. There is something to suit every taste, from characteristically Middle Eastern musky fragrances to delightfully sweet, floral and fruity fragrances. You can mix and match fragrances to your liking to create your own signature scent that is truly unique to you; making it so much more special than buying a regular bottle of perfume in the shops. They make for unique and cultural mementos to bring back memories from you trip to Dubai, so that you can relive over and over again as you use your fragrance. Customised scents can be decanted into one of the stunningly intricate hand made glass vials that are for sale at the Perfume Souk.
Location : Sikkat al Khali, Dubai.
Although you are probably not going to want to bring back anything in your suitcase from the Fish Souk, it is still a fascinating place to walk around, especially if you are an avid photographer. You can witness the diverse selection of seafood caught from the Arabian Gulf and the hustle and bustle of the trade.
Location : Corniche Deira, Al Ras, Dubai.
The Textile Souk is located by the Dubai Creek and is assessable by Abra, a traditional wooden water taxi which will set you back all of one Dirham and is an experience in itself. Within the Textile Souk are cascades of vibrant, luxurious fabrics and gorgeous hand spun Arabian silks, stall displays of rugs and sequin adorned slippers. It's safe to say that it is an incredibly fascinating place to walk around, not to mention a fabulous opportunity to put your haggling skills to the test.
Location : Bur Dubai, Dubai.