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Gold Souk picture in Dubai
Spice Souk picture in Dubai
Spice Souk picture in Dubai
Gold Souk picture in Dubai
Spice Souk picture in Dubai
Spice Souk picture in Dubai

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • Free
  • 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Details

  • Shopping, Sightseeing Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.2
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Dubai is and has been a titan of trade for centuries. To get a sense of what commerce was like back in the day, take a stroll through one of the city's traditional souks, or bazaars. The Gold Souk, located on Dubai Creek's south bank in the Deira, specializes in glitz and glamour. Featuring glittering displays of necklaces, bracelets and earrings from more than 300 retailers, the Gold Souk is one of the most renowned gold jewelry trading centers in the world. In fact, approximately 20 percent of the world's gold passes through this market. But if you're not one for gold, don't fret. The souk also sells platinum, diamonds and silver. You're also guaranteed to get what you're paying for. The government tightly controls what is sold and by who in the souk, so you don't have to walk away thinking there's a chance you may be holding something counterfeit.  

On the other side of the creek lies the pungent Spice Souk, where vendors hawk flavors from across the globe, including cinnamon, ginger and chili. This is also the place to stock up on saffron, as you'll find this delectable spice at a much lower cost here than you would at home. 

Recent visitors strongly suggested bargaining when visiting the souks in Dubai. The price vendors set tends to be high, and tourists found that after a little effort negotiating they were able to get what they wanted for a quarter, and sometimes half of the price. Although credit cards are accepted, you might be able to score an even lower price by paying cash. Even those who didn't end up buying anything strongly suggested a trip to the market simply for its cultural value, not to mention it's a feast for the eyes (and nose). Some tourists, however, found the vendor's aggressive sale tactics uncomfortable. Travelers were keen to note that this is a more traditional area of Dubai, and clothing that would pass as normal around the hotels and more developed areas of the city garners unwelcome looks from locals (such as exposing one's knees) here.  

Most vendors are open for business every day between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., though some close for a few hours in the afternoon.  You don't have to pay to peruse, but should you be interested in buying, make sure you're carrying some cash as credit cards aren't widely accepted. You can reach the souks by hopping off in Deira at the Al Ras metro station. Some visitors suggested taking an abra across the creek to heighten your cultural experience. To do that, get off at the Al Ghubaiba metro station 2; docks with abras servicing the creek are located within walking distance. 

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Hotels Nearby

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#1 Dubai Mall Skirting the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai is every shopper's paradise. The massive Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping centers in the world and houses more than ... Read more » Buena Vista Images / Getty Images

Sammy Six / Flickr

#3 Jumeirah Beach Within walking distance of the Burj Al Arab is arguably Dubai's best strip of public sand. Sun-seekers come to this lively shoreline to revel in Dubai's bright rays ... Read more » Westend61 / Getty Images

#4 Jumeirah Mosque Jumeirah Mosque towers over the coast from its perch north of the Dubai Marina. Its detailed white façade – which graces the 500-dirham note – mimics the architectural style of the medieval ... Read more » clearandtransparent / Getty Images

#5 Burj Khalifa Although we don't recommend experiencing it the way Tom Cruise did in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," the Burj Khalifa is a crucial item on any Dubai agenda. Rising 2 ... Read more » FrankvandenBergh / Getty Images

#6 Bastakiya Quarter Amid the towering skyscrapers of downtown Dubai lies the Bastakiya Quarter, the city's historic district. This former fishing village earned its name from the numerous Bastak (Iranian) traders that ... Read more » Westend61 / Getty Images

#7 Gold and Spice Souks Dubai is and has been a titan of trade for centuries. To get a sense of what commerce was like back in the day, take a stroll through one of ... Read more » Image Source / Getty Images

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#11 Dubai Museum Sitting near the Bastakiya Quarter, the Dubai Museum offers visitors a glimpse of where this monumental city has been and where it's going. The museum occupies the Al Fahidi ... Read more » tony740607 / Getty Images

# Dubai Miracle Garden Read more » WhiteLacePhotography / Getty Images

# Kite Beach Read more » gulfimages / Getty Images

# Dolphin Bay Read more » Cristian Laczko / EyeEm / Getty Images

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The Burj Khalifa picture in Dubai
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Gold Souk picture in Dubai
Ski Dubai picture in Dubai
Wild Wadi Waterpark picture in Dubai
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve picture in Dubai
Dubai Museum picture in Dubai
Dubai Miracle Garden picture in Dubai
Kite Beach picture in Dubai
Dolphin Bay picture in Dubai
Inside the Dubai Mall picture in Dubai
Burj Al Arab picture in Dubai
Jumeirah Beach picture in Dubai
Jumeirah Mosque picture in Dubai
The Burj Khalifa picture in Dubai
Historic Bastakiya picture in Dubai
Gold Souk picture in Dubai
Ski Dubai picture in Dubai
Wild Wadi Waterpark picture in Dubai
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve picture in Dubai
Dubai Museum picture in Dubai
Dubai Miracle Garden picture in Dubai
Kite Beach picture in Dubai
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Even if you don't plan on indulging in any retail therapy, you'll want to stop by the Dubai Mall to take in its extravagance. Buena Vista Images / Getty Images

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The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, clocking in at a height of 2,716.5 feet. FrankvandenBergh / Getty Images

If you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a bit, head to the Bastakiya Quarter. This area stands as one of Dubai's last remaining historic districts. Westend61 / Getty Images

Dubai's gold souk is a feast for the eyes. It's also tightly controlled by the government, so you don't have to worry about ending up with something fake. Image Source / Getty Images

jonrawlinson / Flickr

If you've got a family in tow, there's no better place to please the kids than Wild Wadi Waterpark. The park features multiple slides, a lazy river, and a Wipeout and Riptide wave simulator, one of a few of its kind in the world.  Sarah Ackerman / Flickr

Visiting the desert is just as important as visiting the Dubai's architectually impressive cityscape. The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve offers a variety of activities, from camel riding to dune bashing. Courtesy of The Emirates Group

Dubai's oldest building, the Al Fahidi Fort now houses the Dubai Museum. The museum's informative displays tell the city's story, making it a must-see attraction for first-time Dubai visitors. tony740607 / Getty Images

The Dubai Miracle Garden comprises 45 million colorful flowers designed in heart shapes and arches, and it's truly a sight to see, especially considering Dubai's desert climate. WhiteLacePhotography / Getty Images

If you're eager to test out some watersports in Dubai, such as paddleboarding or windsurfing, head to Kite Beach. gulfimages / Getty Images

Cristian Laczko / EyeEm / Getty Images

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