The Deira neighbourhood is the most authentic, albeit not the most international, part of Dubai. It’s home to rich histories, unique customs, colours that smell like spices, and knowledge passed down from generation to generation. It’s a mythical place that was established as a port area, where souks and unique sights abound, a destination that invites visitors to enjoy the soul of a cosmopolitan city full of contrasts through its white alleyways.
The traditional markets are the main attractions in the Deira district. We invite you to explore the fascinating Gold Souk, the largest in the Middle East, which attracts thousands of tourists every year for its jewellery made from gold, silver, diamonds, and other precious stones. Gold is sold by weight, at the international market price, plus a design fee. The souk is located very close to the Al Ras metro station and is open to the public every day of the week. Remember that in all bazaars haggling is practically a must.
Another of the most unique markets in Deira is the Spice Souk, where you’ll be intoxicated by the aroma of so many spices crammed into this small area. It smells of saffron, turmeric, thyme, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and dried fruit and nuts. The spices mainly come from Iran, Pakistan, and India.
The Perfume Souk is on Sikkat al Khalil Street, but you won’t need to look at a map, as you’ll also smell the typical Arabian perfumes, which are usually sold in small, hand-decorated bottles. And you’ll be offered international perfumes at good prices too.
You should know that those who work in the souks get up very early, before dawn, to offer their goods in a colourful space with photogenic stalls. You’ll also find a variety of other items, such as traditional footwear, purses and wallets, clothes, rugs, and handbags. And you’ll find that the market is dotted with cafés with pretty terraces, from which you can watch those from Dubai go about their lives. It’s a charming experience for visitors, because here you can get a feel for the city.
In Deira, you’ll discover beautiful, vibrant patterns that will catch your eye as you wander through its maze-like streets. If you have time, don’t miss the early morning Fish Market (Corniche Road), with hundreds of stalls offering Dubai’s freshest and cheapest goods, as you walk along the city’s promenade.
And if you’ve lost track of time and it’s time to have lunch, head to the Dubai Fish Hut restaurant, where you can choose the fish you want to eat at the counter and it will be prepared to your liking.
Otherwise, you can continue to enjoy this multicultural and colourful neighbourhood, where there’s a mix of traders from India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, China, among other places, who live in harmony with each other, trying to entertain tourists. Exploring Deira is an experience to be savoured.
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