Souking in the sun at Dubai

Sikkat al-Khail Rd – the center of all major souks in Dubai.

There are two ways of shopping in Dubai: Splurge in the world’s best shopping malls, or bargain your way through the traditional Dubai markets, more commonly known as souks.

There are many souks selling similar items with similar prices, and they are set apart only by location and size. These souks are especially popular among tourists from the Gulf while others are only there because they are on the attraction list.

Here is a list of the most popular souks in Dubai and how to get there:

Popular Souks in Dubai

Diamonds. Gold. Diamonds on gold.

Gold Souk

The gold souks in Dubai are globally acclaimed. Taking a walk through one of these souks will give your senses a rather pleasing stroke even if it means going home empty-handed.

Row after row of narrow alleys are lined with shops selling innumerable grades of gold and precious ornaments, and the sight of the twinkles and sparkles from the display window will leave you feeling overwhelmed.

It is said that there are approximately 10 tons of gold sold at any given time in this souk.

How to get to Gold Souk

There are three options:

i. By bus: 10-minute walk from the Deira bus station
ii. By train: Stop at Al Ghubaiba Metro Station
iii. By boat: Hop onto an abra from Bur Dubai across the creek

Spice spice baby.

Spice Souk

Food in the Middle East is smothered in colourful, fragrant spices. Located just across the Gold Souk in Deira, tourists can find fresh spices conveniently packed in pouches, ready for them to take home.

Almost any kind of spice can be found here, from cinnamon to cardamom, saffron to sumac. Stocks are constantly replenished by freight from neighbouring countries India, Pakistan, and Iran.

Immerse in the exotic aromas while watching the locals bargaining persistently with the friendly vendors.

Kitchenware of all kinds and materials are sold here.

Textile Souk

It is easy to get lost in the cascade of hues and textures in Bur Dubai’s textile souk located just across the creek. The choices of fabric here are literally limitless, and tourists are welcome to bargain.

Find cashmere, cotton, silk, wool, satin, and many other types of fabrics sold in modest stone buildings under wooden roofs.

Here’s a list of the souks to go to when in Dubai

  • Deira Gold Souk, Sikkat al-Khali Street
  • Perfume Souk, Sikkat al-Khali Street
  • Electronic Souk, Al-Sabkha Road
  • Deira Covered Souk Al-Sabkha Road
  • Deira Old Souk or Spice Souk, 67 Street
  • Dubai Souk, Bur Dubai
  • Gold and Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Road
  • Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Burj Dubai
  • Blue Souk, Sharjah
  • Souk Al Arsah, Sharjah
  • New Souk, Khor Fakkan

Happy shopping!

This article first appeared in

Grace Ng is a serial wanderluster, solo female traveler, award-winning recipe developer and travel writer.