Market – Souk – Tradition and today mainly attraction for tourists. Afghans, a few Iraqis, and perhaps people from other countries, marketers offer a variety of merchandise at Dubai’s marketplaces. What souks to visit and what to be careful about?
A few basic tips
• Souks are mostly in Burj Dubai, around Deira, but some can be found elsewhere – mostly modernly built markets
• In the market there is a lot of bargaining. While shops, restaurants or taxis have a definite price that you have to pay, market is different
• If you want to buy more things at once, I recommend you to tell them you want 3 or 4 of those thing and then bargain for the best price. Once the seller does not want to go lower with the price, start adding more thing to the „package“ for the same price and this all going to be just great
• Marketers will try to find out where you are from and often know a few words even in Czech, mostly they will try to tell you some rude words in your language to make you laugh and will try to use it as an icebreaker
• Enjoy the atmosphere and watch for things you will not see elsewhere
Gold Souk Dubai
Gold and diamond market near Al Ras Metro, part of Deira, can also be reached from Baniyas Square. You will see here the ring with the largest diamond in the world, shops with golden figures, lots of shops selling gold and not only in the market alley, but also in the near neighborhood. I even found here a house about 3 floors high where there were plenty shops selling gold, diamonds, etc.
Bargaining is here a custom as well. Because of the fact Dubai had no taxes (taxes have recently been increased to 5% – still very low) you can get a good price. You really need to bargain a lot for such price. My girlfriend bought white gold earrings with diamonds on them and when she visited a jewelry store in the Czech Republic, the salesman told her that such earrings would be much more expensive and that the stones in it could not be diamonds. But after an authenticity test she had to apologize.
Always see the authenticity test results on the spot before you buy anything. Sellers have diamond and gold testers right in their store. Although the sellers in Dubai are do not sell fakes, test it a test. Check out more stalls, try, compare prices, see the price per gram, know where you can go with the price. Once you get to know the prices, you can try to bargain even more and go a bit lower. It is often a good thing to leave the shop, when the prices are just a bit higher than you want and the seller does not want to go lower. It might happen the seller will call you back and offer you lower price. If this does not happen you probably had a really good price already. Do not worry, you can always come back and tell them you changed your mind (just some bargaining advices for beginners).
Textile Market Dubai
In the Burj Dubai area there is a textiles market. It needs to be said that a lot of fabrics and textiles sellers can be found, for example, in front of Gold Souk on the way from Baniyas Square metro. The most interesting thing in the market are probably the awesome fabrics. Ladies can even order simple dress on the spot and leave the market with the dress on them. There are also many sellers who offer abayi, Indian dresses, pants, shirts and so on.
Spicy souk Dubai
Spicy Souk is a short distance from the Gold Souk. You can visit both places it in one go. In addition to this, a few meters from market is a place, where you can get on the Abra boat and cross the local river to the other bank just for 1 AED. You will see many unknown (to you) spices, spices that look like stones, huge nuts, etc. And there are dealers of Iranian saffron (I recommend you to buy it in Carrefour).
Souk MADINAT JUMEIRAH
A very modern market and rather expensive one. This place is more for your eyes than wallet. But it needs to be said it is very stylish and good-looking building. Partly build of wood and there are many beautiful shops. There is also a cafe, so you can have a cup of coffee while looking directly at Burj al Arab. An awesome view, plus there is something like a lake where small boats ride, a bit remotely reminded me of Venice.