The Spice and Gold Souks

LUXE City Guides - Dubai - - Dubai Marina / The Walk -

Both si­t­u­ated in Deira, the best time to visit th­ese is in the early evening, but beware of the shock­ing DubaiDeira traf­fic. The souks tend to open 9am-1pm and then 4-9pm, and only the tiny spice mar­ket re­ally re­tains any flavour of old Dubai, but sadly it’s now lit­tle more than an al­ley. None­the­less it’s fun to am­ble be­tween the fra­grant and over­flow­ing stalls. Whilst here, you may as well trot through the Gold Souk, but lamentably it has been cov­ered with an all weather (ahem) mall-roof, and is not much more than a long street full of mod­ern shops sell­ing overly or­nate de­signs in retina-rip­ping 24 carat, at­tended by swarms of tour guides with their flocks of leisure-suited sheep. Bar­gain­ing is es­sen­tial and you should aim for around 50% of the open­ing gam­bit, al­though zigzag­ging be­tween the shops works won­ders on price too. Here’s how to go about it. Ei­ther cross the creek by abra (see Bur Dubai/Al Fahidi itin), or have your cab drop you at the Deira Old Souk Abra Sta­tion. Sim­ply cross the road and fac­ing you is a row of ochre-coloured shops, split by Old Bal­adiya Rd. Walk ten paces up Old Bal­adiya Rd. and turn im­me­di­ate left into the tiny al­ley (run­ning be­hind the ochre-coloured shops). This is the best of the Spice Souk. When you’re done, head back to where you started, only this time keep walk­ing all the way up Old Bal­adiya Rd. At the end on the right starts the Gold Souk on Sikkat Al Khail Rd., trot along right to the end, and turn right into Souk Deira St. At the top of this street on the right are sev­eral good per­fume stores, but be care­ful not to drip the heavy oil on your cardie, it stains some­thing shock­ing. Fra­grant now? Sim­ply head down this street and at the end turn right into Al Souk Al Kabeer St. This brings you back to where you started at the Old Souk abra. You can ei­ther abra-cadabra-it back to town or grab a cab. You’re al­ready half-way to the Park Hy­att (see Ac­com.), with Amara (see Spa) and The Ter­race bar. Life is good...

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