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Shopping

5 tips for your next souk shopping trip

Mon, August 24, 2020

Follow our advice for the best deals at Dubai's traditional marketplaces.

Follow our advice for the best deals at Dubai's traditional marketplaces.

1

Always carry cash

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For a traditional Arab-style marketplace experience, look no further than the Spice Souk in Deira. You'll feel like you've travelled back in time wandering through narrow alleyways and breathing in rich aromas of rose petals, saffron and frankincense. Pick up a few tasty souvenirs for friends and family, while posing alongside towering mounds of herbs, spices and incense. To score the best prices, engage in some friendly bartering but keep in mind that shops often charge extra for credit cards, so always offer to pay in cash.

2

Disguise your interest

Running south from Sikkat Al Khail Road to the Dubai Creek, the Grand Souk is an interesting and bustling collection of stores that criss-cross several square blocks. Navigate the maze of alleyways to pick up an assortment of toys, household goods and intricate silk pashminas. When trying to bargain here, don't show excessive interest in a product. If the shopkeeper can tell you are eager to buy, they will be less likely to offer you a better deal.

3

Ask for half-price

Looking for traditional fabrics at a reasonable price? Head straight to the Naif Souk, one of Dubai’s oldest bazaars and a former camel market. Today, it's home to more than 100 shops and stalls brimming with clothes, textiles, electronics, perfumes and leather goods. While here, flex your negotiation muscles and prepare to bargain hard. Take whatever price a seller originally offers and reduce it by half as a starting point, and you might just walk away with some incredible savings. 

4

Shop for gold in-store

Souk shopping in the city of gold isn’t complete without a visit to Dubai's famous Gold Souk. Enter this labyrinth of gold, silver and precious gemstones to buy the perfect gift for yourself, or a loved one. Always remember to purchase your souvenirs directly from stores within the souk, and not from street vendors that may pop up nearby. Every jewellery store at the Gold Souk has to adhere to strict government regulations, guaranteeing quality and fair prices to all. For more tips, read our essential guide to gold shopping.

5

Play it cool at Perfume Souk

perfume-souk

Located near the Gold Souk, the Perfume Souk presents a unique Dubai shopping experience by allowing visitors to find their new signature scent, whether it's a traditional Arabic oud, or a more mainstream floral fragrance. Shop around among the different vendors, but remember to play it cool. Walk away if the seller refuses to budge for a better deal. Once they find out you are getting a better price elsewhere, they might even give you a complimentary treat to seal the deal, like a few incense sticks or travel-sized sample of sweet rose perfume.

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