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Your ultimate guide to Dubai's souks

Mon, August 22, 2022

Lavish gold jewellery, handwoven fabrics, traditional perfumes and special souvenirs – you'll find it all at Dubai’s traditional and modern souks.

Lavish gold jewellery, handwoven fabrics, traditional perfumes and special souvenirs – you'll find it all at Dubai’s traditional and modern souks.


Hidden gems at Gold Souk

Gold Souk in Dubai
Fittingly for Dubai, 'the city of gold', the Gold Souk is a must-see for couples looking for a statement jewellery piece, or visitors hunting for that special memento from their time in Dubai. The wide passageways are alive with tradesmen and artists trained in the craft of designing jewellery, from bespoke pieces to alluring Arabic designs, with prices that aren’t set in stone. In addition to gold, look out for silver diamond-encrusted ornaments and strings of pearls. 

Food for thought at Spice Souk

Spice Souk in Dubai
A close neighbour to the Gold Souk, follow your nose to the Spice Souk to be instantly transported to the hustle of a vibrant trading floor. Here you'll find top chefs, home cooks and savvy expats all swearing by their personal picks among the colourful sacks of spices, herbs, rice and fruits. Score high-quality saffron strands at local prices, taste fresh organic dates and stock up on spices, dried fruits, candied nuts and locally-blended teas. You're sure to discover an exotic new flavour – and yes, you can even sample before you buy.

Scents of tradition at Perfume Souk

Perfume Souk in Dubai
Follow the road up from the Gold and Spice Souks, and you'll find yourself in Deira’s Perfume Souk on Sikkat Al Khali Street. Dealing in everything scented, from pure perfume to essential oils, incense sticks and the exotic traditional oud, this trading spot has beautifully-fragranced options for all. Buy rich oils in bulk or opt for the more portable ornate vials designed for those who like to dab perfume on pulse points. It's also the perfect place to have a personal fragrance created by experienced perfumers.

Fine silks at Textile Souk

Textile Souk in Dubai
On the Bur Dubai side of the Creek you’ll discover the colourful Textile Souk. A favourite haunt of the city's in-demand tailors and emerging fashion designers, the souk's vast array of shops are crowded with rolls of fabric, including fine silks, airy cottons, exotic weaves, and dazzling sari fabrics. Choose from your favourite materials and pop into one of the surrounding tailors to be measured for a dress or suit made to your design. Most can turn around orders in days.

Boutique buys at Souk Madinat

Souk Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai
Nestled between the five-star Mina A'Salam and Al Qasr hotels, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is for those who want to skip the haggling, but enjoy the thrill of souk-style shopping. Wander the labyrinth of narrow lanes in search of fun souvenirs, fine art and sculptures. Pop into the many local and international design houses or enjoy a meal by the waterside. Complete your visit with a traditional abra ride and drink in the views of the beautiful Burj Al Arab in the distance.

Modern jewels at The Souk – Dubai Mall

Jewels in The Dubai Mall

Located on the ground floor, Dubai Mall's take on an Arabian-style souk offers more than 30 boutiques boasting fine jewellery, precious metals and jaw-dropping gemstones. This is a vivacious shopping experience that showcases local craftsmanship and Emirati heritage through intricate Arabesque styles. Browse through retailers including Damas Collections and Pure Gold to find original pieces that make for unique gifts.


Shopping with a view at Souk Al Bahar

Souk Al Bahar in Dubai

Just a short and scenic stroll over the footbridge that arches across Burj Lake at the base of Burj Khalifa, Souk Al Bahar is a modern take on a traditional Arabian marketplace. Here, you can stock up on dates, fragrances, jewellery, souvenirs and more. Upstairs, with its wide-slung windows, is one of the best vantage points from which to enjoy a meal while watching evening shows of The Dubai Fountain.


Exciting bargains at Souk Al Marfa

Souk Al Marfa

Another modern favourite, Souk Al Marfa stretches along the waterfront of Dubai Islands in Deira. It's fully air-conditioned and home to over 400 shops. The wholesale market sells everything from carpets and spices to clothing and electronics, with stores and kiosks run by both local and international businesses. It's a great spot to pick up gifts for all the family while on holiday – for example, at the Thai Market, visitors can find authentic street food and artisan handicrafts.


Themed shopping at Al Seef

Al Seef Market
A neighbourhood steeped in history, Al Seef is the place for visitors looking to shop, dine and stay. Every building façade here has been designed to take you back to Dubai's past, from the market stalls right down to restaurants, and the effect is simply delightful. The blended shopping experience combines classic souk-themed stores with modern gift shops. Find intricate craftsmanship and traditional handiwork alongside top fashion labels that offer you the best of luxury and style.

Unique souvenirs at Naif Souk


What was once a camel market is now a hub buzzing with activity, especially during the evenings. You must visit during this busy time to experience the excitement and liveliness of the traditional shopping scene. Among the oldest souks in the city, it has undergone several renovations over the decades and is currently housed in a spacious two-storey space where plenty of discoveries await.

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