Spending an afternoon in the Spice & Gold Souk is a must in Dubai and it was one of my top priorities in the 4 days I was there. I love visiting local markets whenever I visit somewhere new, it gives me the opportunity to get a feel of a city, its energy and its locals. I can haggle, and bargain and often find unique pieces that can’t be found anywhere else.
The souks are located in Diera, a 20-minute ride from central Dubai. It is surrounded by creeks lined with traditional abras (wooden boats), and forts built from coral rock, it is starkly juxtaposed with the skyscraper–filled skyline, and modern architecture of downtown Dubai.
Also read: Top 8 things to see & do in the UAE
Spice & Gold Souk
The Dubai Spice and Gold Souks are like any other market, if you don’t have a list of what you’re looking for you may get overwhelmed by the vendors trying to get your attention and end up going over your budget. While there, stop in one of the charming lantern shops and buy yourself a souvenir. Ensure you bargain and haggle, because they tend to raise prices when selling to tourists.
The Gold Souk sells mainly gold but also silver, and precious stones in intricate designs and they are cheaper in Dubai compared to other countries. It’s honestly a beautiful market and quite affordable, don’t be put off when you hear the word “gold”, the souk has something for everyone.
If you decide to go to both the Gold & Spice souk, enter through the spice market, the route is shorter and more straightforward.
Traditional Abra Ride
Right across the street from the souks is the Dubai Creek where you can ride a traditional Abra (wooden boat) for AED1. If you don’t do anything else in Deira, do this – I didn’t have the time but definitely will be riding in one on my next visit.
Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
This neighbourhood was number 1 on my list of places to visit in Dubai, however, I didn’t have the time to visit since I was in Dubai for just 4 days, it is on my list for my next visit. It’s a small, quaint neighbourhood that provides a view of the old traditional Dubai and this architecture is hard to find anywhere else in the country.
You will find the Dubai Museum and the most Instagrammable Starbucks here, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
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